New Year's resolutions
Whether it’s giving up drinking, going on a diet, or perhaps quitting smoking, most of us, at some point in our lives, have committed to making a New Year’s resolution.
And, apparently, the human race has been making them for a very long time.
The ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.
If you think about it, it is a completely natural idea – to make personal resolutions at a significant time in the calendar. Afterall, a new year is a symbol of us turning a corner in time. It also feels in sync with the oncoming new buds of Spring and nature’s rebirth all about us.
It’s also often a process that evokes a feeling deep inside us; a feeling where we can imagine the changed person that we want to be; the person we are meant to be. And I believe most of us do this at some kind of subconscious level every year, at this time of year.
We use a new year as an opportunity to make a change for the better; and we know ‘better’ is possible, otherwise we wouldn’t embark upon it in the first place. Sadly, it is also true that, for many of us, deep down, it feels that we will inevitably falter and fail in our resolution. And it is a belief that we hold, even though we know change is possible, that we are somehow not ‘good enough’ or of the right ‘calibre’ to really achieve our future, changed self.
The problem is the way we approach resolutions.
We usually start from a place of guilt. We feel somehow we have done ourselves a wrong and that only some kind of hardline, willpower exercise, usually involving abstinence, is not only going to get us the results we want but is also necessary to absolve us of our unwanted habits.
So, we embark upon a temporary programme of intense willpower and denial, using the conscious mind to guide us, determined that with sheer mental discipline alone we will be able to achieve our goals.
However the mistake we make in doing so, is that we ignore the subconscious mind. For it is the subconscious mind that is responsible for running the undesirable behaviour in the first place, whether it be, say, comfort eating, smoking or drinking alcohol.
It is only by working with the subconscious mind that we can find out why we are running certain destructive behaviours in the first place. And it is only by reprogramming our subconscious to find more desirable, suitable behaviours that we can ever hope to achieve our personal goals or resolutions.
This is why most diets don’t work. We forget that the reason we put on the weight in the first place is because we eat for comfort or reward, whether we are hungry or not. Comfort eating is something most of us say we do “without thinking”. And it is precisely because we are not thinking. Instead of conscious thought, we are being led by an irresistible urge deep inside. This same urge makes us light up just one more cigarette, or have one more drink for the road, even though we really don’t want to. This is also why most new year’s resolutions eventually falter. You have to deal with your subconscious mind first if you are ever going to have that lasting change.
Hypnotherapy is a proven method that allows us to access our subconscious mind and ‘suggest’ positive change to it. This kind of subconscious reprogramming is what we really need to set us up for a new, healthier lifestyle, so we can be the person we are meant to be.
This way, you don’t need to rely on a new year to trigger change either, you can start being the real you whenever you feel ready. More of a new you resolution.
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About Damon Dwyer
Damon Dwyer is an experienced hypnotherapist and psychotherapist based in Oxford.
He treats clients for anxiety release, weight loss, quitting smoking, phobia removal, sleep improvement, amongst many other things, see profile for more details.
If there is something you'd like to change in 2017 then get in touch for a free initial consultation.