Counselling in Wokingham – New Year Resolutions

Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – paulcockayne3@gmail.com
This blog is intended to give you a flavour of how I work as a counsellor. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links above.

Do you make new year resolutions? Do you keep them? Do you even believe that you can?

resolutionIn a way, I think, new year is the worst time to make a resolution. In the first place, it’s quite likely that you’re hung over, which is not the best condition to look for the strength to change. But more significantly, you’ve most likely make (and broken) new year’s resolutions many times before. Indeed, you may well have failed to keep exactly the same resolution many years in succession!

So even when making a new year’s resolution, you may be expecting to break it, you may be expecting to fail even before you’ve started to try. It may be that other times of year are better for trying to change those habits or behaviours that are so difficult to change.

We can easily get caught in patterns of behaviour that seem impossible to change, that keep repeating themselves, and sometimes it is difficult to understand why we keep on doing things that are unhelpful to ourselves or to others. It can seem as if we have no control, that things “just happen”, almost as if we’re not doing them ourselves. But of course, we are – we are choosing to smoke, or shout at the kids, or drive too fast, or do any of the many other things that we might wish to stop. Nobody is making us do those things – we are choosing to do them ourselves, even if it doesn’t always feel like that.

There are always reasons for the things we do – it’s just that sometimes the reasons are not obvious. But if we can understand the reasons, it can make it a lot easier to change – and to make that change a permanent one.

It can also be very helpful to understand the process that takes place inside us. For example, if you are trying to stop drinkin, it is useful to know the sorts of things that would make you want a drink – when is it most difficult to say “no”? Maybe it is about stress – so how can you tell you are getting stressed? Can you then do something to relieve your stress earlier, before it gets to the point when you are desperate for a drink?

If you can understand the build up to your drinking, you can break it down and make plans for dealing with your feelings in different ways, so that the need for a drink doesn’t creep up on you unexpectedly.

Counselling can, of course, be helpful in helping you to understand what is going inside. How do events affect your feelings, and how do your feelings affect your behaviour? How can you make it easier to effect a change, and how can you make that change last the whole year, rather than petering out in January?

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About Paul Cockayne

Counsellor, musician, iPhone developer, games-player, cheese-lover....
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