New Year Resolutions are Good for You
Friday, 1st January 2016
New Year Resolutions are Good For You…
… How to make them happen (with a little help from hypnotherapy)
‘Ring our the old, ring in the new’
So says the famous Tennyson poem. We see the new New Year as a time to make positive changes.
And so, every year, many people make New Year resolutions such as achieving a long-held goal, or, stopping an unwanted habit.
There’s lots of evidence to suggest that making resolutions (a fancy way of saying setting goals), is good for your well-being.
Goals give us purpose, they stop us drifting and striving to achieve them makes us happy.
More importantly, setting our own goals helps us be in control of our lives. If we don’t set our own goals, other people or, even worse, life itself will soon set them for us.
What does that mean?
One example could involve a job. Imagine you’re unhappy at work and don’t get on with your boss. In this scenario, a big chunk of your life is controlled by someone you either don’t like or don’t respect. Your goal (or resolution) in this situation would be to find a new position where you will be happier and more in command of your circumstances. The same could apply to an unhappy relationship.
Another example could involve health. Someone who is overweight may be unhappy about their appearance. However, if they don’t take action to resolve the issue, their appearance may become the least of their worries. Instead of having a goal to look nicer, life could quickly dictate that their main goal is to avoid weight-related illnesses and even stay alive.
Unfortunately, very few people make their New Year resolutions/goals happen. They start with good intentions, but soon drift back to their old ways.
So how can you make it more likely that you turn your New Year resolutions into reality?
There are three key areas to consider:
- Setting goals
- Committing to goals
- Achieving goals
Meaningful goals that inspire achievement tend to be challenging but not overwhelming. If you don’t believe your goal is possible, you’re unlikely to commit to it. It’s okay to have more than one goal, but not too many. As a rule of thumb, human beings are comfortable with up to 5 separate challenges at any one time, any more than that and many people start to feel under pressure. I would suggest a maximum of 3, all in different areas of your life, like health, work and personal finance.
It’s helpful to make your goals SMART and, as most people know, this is an acronym for:
- Specific – don’t be vague, set an actual target
- Measurable – ensure that progress can be accurately checked
- Achievable – make sure that the goal is realistic and possible
- Relevant – is the goal relevant to your life situation and will achievement make you happy?
- Time-based – when do you want to achieve the goal by?
For example, rather than say:
My goal is to lose lots of weight in 2016
It’s more helpful to say something like:
My goal is to lose 3.5 stones by January 2017 and I will achieve this by losing an average of of 1lb per week during 2016.
Achieving this goal will make me fitter and healthier and will allow me to wear nicer and more stylish clothes
Commiting to Goals
Once you’ve set your goals, it is important to commit to them.
The first thing to do is write them down – in ink, in your own handwriting. When a resolution or goal exists only in your head, it’s just a dream. When you write a goal down, you’ve made the first step towards making it happen.
The second thing to do is make a list (again in writing) of the benefits achieving the goal will bring you. What will you be able to do post-achievement that you can’t do now? Being clear about the benefits will help you keep going during the inevitable setbacks you will encounter.
Once your smart goals have been set and listed, it helps to break each goal down into a series of steps and then work through them one step at a time.
Write down the list of steps and then tick them off when they’re accomplished.
Think of any skill you ever learnt. You took things one step at a time. You took lessons, you practised and you persevered. You had good days and bad days and you kept going.
It’s just the same with resolutions and goals.
How Hypnotherapy Can help
Whilst many people can achieve their goals on their own, others may need a little help.
The area where most people usually need a bit of support is self-belief. People often self-sabotage their goal achievement efforts with unhelpful (and usually irrational) beliefs and negative self-talk. In effect, they programme themselves for failure.
If this is you, then hypnotherapy can give you the self-belief you need to make your New Year resolutions a reality.
To find out more, call me or email me using the details below.
BA (Hons) D.Hyp PDCBHyp
Member of The British Society of Clinical Hypnosis
Member of The British Institute of Hypnotherapy
Tel: 07768 613866