Counselling in Wokingham – New Year Resolutions

Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406paulcockayne3@gmail.com

Welcome to my counselling blog. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links at the top of this page

Did you make any new year resolutions this year? And, as it’s now January 4th, have you broken them yet?

resolution1Timing is important. A new year can represent a new start, and that can be important in trying to do things differently. It can be useful to draw a line under the past, to start afresh, to look forwards rather than backwards.

Having said that, I think that new year is in some ways 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 made (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. It’s about finding the right time for you.

resolution2Motivation is a key factor in making a significant change. Motivation can come in many forms and to keep a resolution you will need to find a personal motivation that is strong enough to maintain the change you decide upon. Smokers will sometimes put the money they save into a pot, saving up for some special treat; a problem with this can be that it’s hard to maintain the motivation after the special treat is obtained. Often people will make changes to help others in their lives, and their reward may be to see others happier; a problem here can be that your habit can become a secret – many are the smokers or drinkers who give up to please their partners, but end pursuing their vice of choice secretly.

It’s important to have motivation, and best by far if that motivation comes from within you. For the most part we are a selfish race, I think, and the strongest reason for your doing something is because you want to, not because someone else wants you to. That can lead to resentment, as well as making it more difficult to maintain the change.

resolution3One other factor that can inhibit change is a lack of belief. Your partner may tell you that you shout at the kids too much, your doctor may tell you that you drink too much, the speed cameras may say that your drive too fast. But unless you actually believe these things yourself, you will probably be reluctant to change.

Timing, motivation, belief. Three important factors which can help you to change. It’s rare that they all happen to come along together but understanding which of them you have, and which you need to work on, can make that resolution much easier to keep.

One of my resulotions is to blog more often. So far, so good….

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About Paul Cockayne

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