Set Yourself Up to Succeed not Fail in the New Year
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Teresa Mulvena, CBT Cert, MA Counselling, MBACP (senior accredited)
23rd January, 2009
The new year can be a marker of time passing, and lead us to think about the direction of our lives are taking, and aspects we wish we could change.
For most of us New Year’s resolutions fade and we return to our old ways. Why is this?
1. We get caught up in the day to day trivia of life, - the non-important errands. We lose sight of the big picture. The urgent and the trivial activities sap our energy, while the important things we can put off, until we get the next jolt to remind us how off course we are.
2. Denial of our own death. We live as if we never expect to die. It is an innate human characteristic that for most of us it is almost psychically impossible to contemplate our own deaths. We live as if we have all the time in the world. It may be frightening, but it can also be helpful to remember we only have one life. This isn’t a dress rehearsal.
3. “When I… Then I…” thinking. This is fairly similar to denial. It is the myth that one day we will get around to it, or that something will change in our external world, our circumstances, that will allow us to change our good intentions into actions.
It takes courage to make changes in our lives. Set yourself up to succeed not fail.
• Structure your life so there is less possibility of the bad habits continuing.
• Get support. Tell your friends and family what you are doing and get their back-up.
• Choose the most important aspect you want to change. Don’t try and change everything at once even though you might want to make sweeping changes it will make it less likely to succeed.
• Identify the barriers to change, and work on eliminating them.
• Don’t be afraid to talk to a professional. A therapist can help you identify any psychological blocks to change.
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