New Year, new me..new reason to get annoyed!
Unfortunately its that time of year again. The week you start to assess every aspect of your life and berate yourself for not looking exactly like this
Yep…probably all you’ve heard since 12.01 Jan 1st is talk of the ‘ol resolutions and before you can say “Happy New Year”, you’ve pretty much assumed this look
Those of you who have the misfortune of knowing me personally will know, I am an advocate of being practical,rather than verbose( yes I see the irony)And so, I want to lay out for you, the reader, a more realistic and hands on approach to new years resolutions! Because let’s face it, saying “Believe in yourself and you can achieve anything” hasn’t really gotten us all that far yet.
And so, pasting together some self help/psychology theories, here’s what I have found to be the most sensible “tips” online to help you to both make and keep your new years resolution.
- Stop focusing on the negative
First things first. We start out with resolutions on the wrong footing entirely. It’s the end of the year and as a culture saturated in social media envy we tend to think about what we don’t have by now rather than what we do have.
This needs to be reversed. You need to focus on all the wonderful things you have actually done, and the times when you really conquered a challenge. You basically need to think of yourself as a trained athlete going into 2019 rather than… a drunk snail. So it is recommended that you make a list of times in 2018 when you were all kinds of admirable. Write down a time when you were brave. Write down a time when you were selfless. Write down a time when you overcame fear.Its like giving yourself a pep talk of your strengths, so you’ll enter 2019 thinking..
- Focus on the positive.
No, this is not, in fact, me paraphrasing what I just wrote! When I say focus on the positive, I mean make your resolution a positive statement, rather than a negative one. For example avoid “I WILL NOT smoke/drink/gamble” or “I WON’T eat X or Y” .Instead try “I will walk” or “I will practice”. Anybody who has read “The Secret” or something similar knows you have to attract change into your subconscious through positive statements. Instead of saying what you won’t do, focus on what you will do
Step three is a bit tricky. It has been shown, in psychological studies, that we find it difficult to visualize ourselves at a much later date. If we try to think about ourselves ten years from now, it’s almost like thinking about a stranger.
And so, if we want to make a change that will benefit us then, like saving money, it becomes difficult to maintain. It feels like doing something for someone we don’t even know. To make changes now to benefit a future self, we must work on visualization. Visualize yourself achieving your goal, and more importantly, make it a visualization realistic enough to identify with. For example you probably can’t see yourself running 26 miles this week. But you could maybe imagine running to the shop and back?. See it in your minds eye, and seeing will become believing!
4. Questions and Answers
Lastly, the question-behaviour effect deserves a mention. It has been found that asking ourselves a question, and responding to it, is more effective in solidifying our wills than merely making a statement. So, to apply this to a new years resolution you might ask yourself- “Will I take up a dance class this year?” And respond “Yes I will” The question-answer approach apparently makes the resolution more ingrained in the subconscious by virtue of the fact that it prompts a secondary psychological response.
On a more positive note, (but less practical) note, at this time of year I tend to encourage people to be excited, not fearful or self-critical. Although its only 365 days, I find a hell of a lot can happen in a year. Some things which I could never predict or expect. So rather than think of it as a sentence or penitence, think of it like a first date!
You never know just what might happen!
Happy New Year! xx Michelle