New Year Resolutions

New Year resolutions!  Think before you start!

 

If New Year resolutions are about improving yourself or dropping a trait or behaviour that you would long like to change then that’s a good thing. But be very aware that if you are to have any chance of succeeding with those resolutions there are a number of things you need to be really mindful of.

Research shows that more than 50% of all resolutions are broken and that more than 30% will be broken by the end of January. So flippant  thoughtless resolution making will not lead to success and may leave you feeling bad about yourself, despite your best efforts.

 

Resolutions are not easy to keep, that is why you need the right mindset and some preparations if you are to have a chance of succeeding.

 

REVIEW 2018

 

So before you start with all this resolution making for  2019, take some small time out and reflect on 2018. Be realistic truthful and fair with yourself.

Take yourself back to last January and look at any resolutions that you made.Think about why you  made them. Ask yourself what you were really trying to achieve.

Now write down what progress you made with them and where things didn’t go well.

Did you start like a storm and then leave the resolution after one fall or slip.

 

If so it’s very possible that you expected too much too quickly and or too easily.  You may also not have been mindful that small setbacks are to be expected and planned for. Finally you need to ask yourself if this resolution was something that you really wanted to achieve and if so why did you let it go.

 

THE BEST YOU – A WORK IN PROGRESS

 

Resolutions are really something we need to be making every week every month, small resolutions that bring us to our best.

Resolutions should not be all about your weight,  or your drinking.

But resolutions that will improve many aspects of your life.

 

You should think about all aspects of your lifes if you want to be the best you that you can be.Your social life, your hobbies and your work, your love life, your sexual self.

 

Resolutions are often about giving up, perhaps it would be better if you thought about taking something up.

 

I encourage clients to take up something new every year,and to learn a new skill or hobby. Try something new , explore a new area, make new connections.  is it imperative to open your world outwards and resolutions are good in so far as they can keep you on the right track and help you to review how you are doing.

 

SETBACKS – EXPECT THEM!

 

Many people are inclined to over count their failures and under count their successes leading to low feelings about oneself, that ultimately damages your motivation. The good feeling that you get from counting your successes maintains your motivation to continue even when there has been a set back. if on the other hand you focus on your mistake, give out to yourself for having slipped in your resolution, you are far more likely to throw in the towel, take out the packet of cigarettes and put yourself back on the smoker list. The attitude that you take to setbacks and the manner in which you count them is going to be key to whether you succeed or not in my view.

Success like any goal is not one single step achievement,  it tends to be made up of many small steps that all move in the right direction toward the ultimate goal.

 

PICK THE RIGHT RESOLUTION

 

Think carefully about the resolution you are choosing. Achieving this goal has to be really meaningful to you. it needs to be important enough to place it beyond some other tempting things.

 

Your resolution should not be based on what other people want of you/ or if they want you to change something

Your resolution must arise out of your own desire to change

Your resolution shouldn’t be vague

and your resolution should be part of a plan, with measurable steps.

 

PREPARE BEFORE YOU BEGIN.

 

Prepare for your resolution  start day , it doesn’t have to be January 01

 

Do some research, planning, thinking and reflecting

before you choose what you are going to do and what you really want to improve in your life.

You need to explore and give time to your plan and to feel committed to it. Writing it down and mapping it out is important. A visual map of progress is very useful.

If you are not committed it will be very difficult for you to keep to the plan.

 

KEY TO SUCCESS

 

Think deeply about why and what you want to change

 

  • Practice some self control for a few days. Begin by saying NO to something you want. Start with 3 No’s and build each day for a week until you are on 10-15 No’s.
  • Begin your Plan
  • Chart what you do correctly
  • Congratulate yourself for what you achieve for the progress you are making, good feelings will help you to stay on track
  • Expect setbacks and accept them. See what caused the setback, work it out and write it down, resolve to do better

 

Improving your life happens a step at a time. Most importantly those steps must be in the right direction. Happy New Year now get down to the work of mapping out the improvements you need to make.

 

Stephanie Regan

Clinical Psychotherapist

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