New year and a new you

Madness it is said is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. As we reach that time in the year when many of us set ourselves changes that we would like to make in our life perhaps it is a good question to ask ourselves.
If we want to lose weight how are we going to avoid the behaviours perhaps snacking that got us to the situation that we find ourselves in. Perhaps its smoking again how are we going to avoid the situations that remind us to have a cigarette?
Often it is the smallest of changes that make the difference and doing one thing different can make all the difference. I know of someone who discovered that they didn’t like to eat after they had brushed their teeth at night, they liked the clean feeling that you get. So in their attempt to lose weight they simply brushed their teeth 2 hours earlier and this gave them the nudge, the reminder to stop snacking at night and keep that weight loss goal in mind.

So as you embark on your goals for 2012 ask yourself what habits do I have that sustain the behaviour that I want to change? How can I change those habits so that I set myself up for success? It’s not enough to say I want to ... in 2012, you have actually got to change what you do, and not do the same thing over and over and expect change to happen by will power alone.

Perhaps you need support in making changes. In recent years the growth of slimming clubs and stop smoking programs have shown the value of being with other people who have the same goal or at least who can talk to you about the changes you want to make. It all shows the value of sharing with people around you the changes that you want to make in your life. Perhaps your family and friends could help. If your resolution is to spend more time with your children, perhaps giving them the power to choose what you do for 1 hour a week might be the difference that makes the change work. Perhaps you want to go to a night class but are afraid that you will feel out of place. Is there a friend who can go with you, often learning a language or the like is easier with two of you in any case? The key here is dependence you are making the change for yourself, but you have a reason, not letting others down, to keep going on the change.

Finally ask yourself is the change I have set myself realistic. While you might get fitter, it is unlikely that you are going to win gold at this year’s Olympics. Rather than set yourself up for failure choose little goals along the way that get you to your big goal. For example I am going to spend an hour with my children this weekend, not I am going to spend every weekend with my children or I am going to run 1 mile this week not I am going to run 20 miles this week. Don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach each of those goals praise is the life blood that will keep you going and again why a support system is so important.

In conclusion then: Changes in your life need more than a simple statement, you need to think about the habits, what you will do differently. You need to think about small realistic steps and how you will reward yourself when you achieve those steps and finally where is your support system when making those changes in your life. Perhaps friends, family or a counsellor can help make the difference and help you to achieve your goals. Good Luck!

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Written by Graeme Orr MBACP(Accred) Counsellor

I am an Accredited Member of BACP offering counselling for both individuals and couples on the Southside of Glasgow.
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Written by Graeme Orr MBACP(Accred) Counsellor

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