New Year, New You!
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? The New Year has started, and, as many of us are still feeling bloated and slightly queasy from a possible over-indulgence in rich food, late nights and alcohol, we start January full of good intentions.
Lose a stone. No alcohol. Quit caffeine. Stop smoking. Throw the chocolates out with the recycling. Early nights. Don’t shout at the children; hold doors open for people. Let go of grudges and smile more. Our top wish-lists for New Year’s Resolutions include weight loss, exercise and aspects of personal development, ranging from new hobbies and skills to being a better, nicer or happier person.
The problem is, after that initial burst of enthusiasm, often coupled with feelings of self-disgust at the size of our thighs/smell of cigarettes on our clothes/that jaded hungover feeling, life gets in the way. Statistics show that of the 26.5 million of us who made resolutions on the 1st January, 78% of us will have given up within ten days, and 2% by the end of New Year’s Day!
Will power is especially hard to achieve when we’re tired, bored, over-worked or frustrated – which often kick in as we settle back into our routines, at a cold, dark time of year renowned for its lack of fun and sparkle.
The GOOD NEWS is – You CAN do it!
It is possible to stay on track and make permanent changes in our habits. Here are several simple and practical things you can do to make your resolution work, hour by hour and day by day.
Start small and aim above all for consistency. If you set your goal in small, incremental steps, you are far less likely to be setting yourself up for disappointment and all the negative feelings about yourself that go with it. So, for example, aim to lose 1lb a week for 12 weeks instead of embarking on a crash diet that will leave you feeling half-starved and reaching for the chocolate after two days. Substitute the biscuit jar with a lovely bright bowl of healthy fruit where you’ll clearly see it.
Make a list of all the benefits and turn your resolution into a positive, rewarding experience – getting into those jeans that have been in the wardrobe for 6 months; no more stale cigarette smells on your breath and clothes; waking with a clear head and renewed energy.
Use a positive mantra e.g. ‘I want to eat delicious, fresh, healthy fruit’ rather than ‘I have to stop eating that chocolate even though I want to’. ‘I want to breathe fresh air and have clear comfortable lungs’ instead of ‘I have to give up smoking and fight the cravings’.
Keep a diary. This will enable you to celebrate your achievements, and put any lapses into perspective. Accept that there may be lapses from time to time, be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you have the occasional slip.
Two’s company! Any resolution will work better if you can involve a partner or friend to help both of you keep on track.
Formulate an ‘if-then’ plan for when and where you’ll activate your resolution – i.e. ‘IF it’s the afternoon and I’m craving chocolate, THEN I will eat a piece of fruit instead.’
Formulate an ‘if-then’ plan for how you’ll handle obstacles – i.e. ‘IF I don’t have any fruit to hand, THEN I will drink a glass of water and THEN walk to the shop and get some fruit.’
If you feel you may need a bit more assistance, NLP and hypnotherapy can help you access powerful additional tools to keep you motivated, boost your will power and resolve cravings. Do give me a call on 0117 907 7722 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’d be delighted to talk it through with you and help you achieve your goals.
Most important of all have a Happy and Healthy 2016!