How to Keep Your New Year Resolutions

As the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve many people here in Oxfordshire were filled with a wonderful sense of optimism and determination about reaching their goals and resolutions this coming year. That’s brilliant. You really can be all you want to be.

Sometimes the initial enthusiasm lasts for a day or so, maybe even a week, but then something happens and that determination starts to slip and it becomes easier to stay as you are.

But why should that be? Why is it that so many people have amazing dreams of how their lives could be better but somehow they don’t make them come true? Those dreams just slip away, leaving a feeling of frustration. Why does it feel easier to stick with old habits or stay in a rut rather than embrace change?

At the hypnotherapy clinics I run in beautiful Cornbury Park and Bampton, clients often come for help knowing that they want their lives to be different but not knowing how to make it happen.

I work with people using hypnotherapy and NLP who decide they want to get fit and then do so. Or clients who’ve had enough of alcohol or chocolate or cigarettes ruling their lives, so they cut them out. Not just for a few days until they weaken, but for good. They take back the control and step into their power.

So how can you too become the one who really does leave smoking behind, ditch chocolate or get out running?

Here are some things for you to try at home to start running your own mind in a more helpful way…

Start off with some Timelines. These are NLP techniques which allow you to experience how you will be feeling and the impact on your life with or without a behaviour. I love Timelines and I see so often the impact they have on clients. You will be stepping forward in time in your imagination and getting a sense of how life can be in the future.

First of all do a Timeline for the old behaviour and what will happen if you continue as you’ve been doing. Let’s use chocolate as an example for this.

If you’re in a safe place, in a moment, to physically step forward with your eyes closed then do that. If not, you can just close your eyes and imagine stepping forward.

Say it’s eating 10 bars of chocolate a day that you want to change. Get a sense of how you’ll be feeling a month from now, then step forward to 6 months from now, then a year from now then step into 5 years from now if you carry on eating them.

Notice what you notice about what’s happening in your life as a result of this old behaviour. And notice what’s not happening in your life because you’ve been binging on chocolate.

Take yourself right to the very last moment of your timeline and look back on your life to this present moment and then give yourself a message to the you back then, from your Wisdom Self at the end of your timeline.

Then repeat that process with a new Timeline, this time for the new behaviour that you want to achieve, say leaving chocolate in its wrapper.

Make each step as vivid as possible. Notice what you notice about what’s happening and what’s not happening a month from now, then step into 6 months from now, a year, 5 years etc. And from the last moment of your Timeline give a message to your younger self with the wisdom you now have.

Notice the difference in how you’re feeling with this new Timeline.

How did that feel? What did you notice?

Now make a vivid picture of how you want to be right now. This moment. Make it colourful and bold. See yourself doing whatever it is you want to be doing, even when life is throwing curve balls at you. See yourself still going for that run, even when it’s pouring with rain. See yourself saying no to the most amazing bar of chocolate or piece of cake and feeling really good about it, even if everyone else is tucking in.

With your eyes closed, make that picture as big as you can, step into it and really bring it to life. Feel what it feels like say to be putting those running shoes on or saying no to chocolate. Spin a wonderful feeling inside and then anchor it any way you want to, maybe bringing a finger and thumb together or clenching a fist. Whatever feels right to you.

Get a sense of stepping out of the front door and knowing for the first week or so you can only walk and jog a little bit, even if you want to go further. Make each step small and attainable so you’re left wanting more rather than feeling you can never do it again.

Make a movie of yourself 6 months from now having continued with this new behaviour and when you step into that really feel how you feel, see what you see and notice what you notice as you make it as big and colourful and vivid as you possibly can.

I wish you so well with making your dreams come true. Believe that you can do it. You are so worth being your amazing self.

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