New Year’s Resolutions
New year’s resolutions – we know that well used phrase all too well.
And it’s that time of year again – January to be precise – where we all make those promises to ourselves for change. And because those promises for change take place in January – and not say, May – we call them new year’s resolutions!!
And what are they resolutions for? They generally fall into one of two key categories:
- Resolutions to BE better
- Resolutions to DO better
These two kinds of resolutions can be applied to all the typical things we make new year’s resolutions about:
- Quitting smoking
- Cutting back on alcohol
- Eating better
- Controlling the addiction to chocolate, sugar and sweets
- Sleeping better
- Loosing weight
- Getting fit
- Winning in sport
- Achieving success at work
- Studying harder
- Getting over a fear or phobia
- Resolving conflict
- Growing our confidence
- Learning new things
- Taking on new challenges
- Fulfilling our dreams
- Beating depression
- Overcoming anxiety
And the list goes on….
The irony is that by making change according to a calender, we are often adding to our anxiety. Anxiety to change NOW. Anxiety to change when we are not yet fully ready or fully committed.
As a therapist, I work within the stages of change model. It basically means someone has to be ready, willing and determined to make change (such as quitting smoking or loosing weight) in order to succeed. Having the start date chosen for you doesn’t mean your heart and mind are automatically on the same page as that calender. Often, they are far from it.
If you think to yourself ‘I should quit smoking’ you are not ready. If you think to yourself ‘I want to quit smoking’ you are ready. See the difference?
Those that are truly committed to being better or doing better will not wait til January to see me (or any other therapist for that matter). They will come during all the other months of year.
Consider you are in a position where you need to buy a new house because your family is growing for instance. If it’s July, you won’t wait til January to buy a new house now will you. No. Similarly, if you are understimulated at work and it’s March, you will not wait until January to look for a new job. Again, no.
In these above scenarios, you act when the need and desire exist and are at their strongest. This is what will get you the results and the success you seek. This is what will lead you to becoming a non-smoker, to becoming fitter and healthier and so forth.
Change comes from within, not from a calender.
HELP IS AVAILABLE
As a therapist, I support you to make change. My magic wand does not extend to forcing that change to happen within you if you are not ready, and nor would I want it to.
Change and the desire to change is intrinsic, organic, honest and true. That is what will make your heart sing.
So forget new year’s resolutions, it’s a silly concept. Let it go, just as you let go your belief that Santa pops down our chimney’s with presents (who even own’s chimney’s anymore anyway?!). And instead – embrace change when you are ready to embrace yourself. As that’s what change is – embracing that you are good enough, that you deserve to be better and to do better.