It would be remiss not to write about New Year’s resolutions – as it’s a theme on so many of our minds. In the distant past, I used to feel a little melancholy about the New Year.
Years ago, I used to think about what hadn’t changed, how far I was from what I wanted, how annoyed I was at not ‘cracking’ some of the issues I wanted to tackle. Yes the New Year can be a time of introspection, reflection – particularly when the festive season is often about entertaining others, socialising.
Very often New Year’s resolutions are about ‘giving something up’. Typically a bad habit. I personally think the mind registers it is about lose something. And often, even those ‘bad’ habits – for example smoking, believe or not, do serve us in some way. For example, smoking and over-eating can often disguise and hide painful memories, or feelings, that we just do not wish to face. We may not even be aware of what those are until we talk to a coach, or counsellor, to really explore what’s going on for us. And if the habit is working on some deep, subconscious level, it’s going to take a bit more than one sentence uttered at 00:01 when you’ve had a ‘skinful’ to give it up. Your ego will step in and try and keep you where you are. You may succeed, you may slip – and that’s fine but be realistic and kind to yourself and don’t heap everything onto this one night of the week.
So what does work?
Instead of thinking about what you are giving up, think about what you want to gain instead- and even get specific. What is the benefit for you? You need to understand what is your motivation ‘away’ from something, what is your motivation ‘to’ something. For example:
- I want to be smoke free so I can get back to good levels of fitness
- I want to be fit and healthy so I can play with my children
- I want to give up chocolate to improve my complexion
Resolutions – a waste of time then?
Not necessarily. See it as a way of decluttering, and notice what resolutions you have made, or tried to make before, and what is coming up for you. See if you can transform those into meaningful goals that are motivating and personal to you, have a timeframe on them, which you want to do, and are in line with how you are as a person. Work with a coach to help figure out what your priorities are and how to set goals to move you in the direction you want to go.
I’ve provided lots of tools around this theme in my LifeNav™ self-coaching programme which you can find on this web site, or get in touch, and we can arrange a chat.
And remember – anyone that recognises and wants to change something that they feel is no longer working for them- should be commended. It’s a brave and honest step to take so well done!
Have a wonderful New Year and 2017!