Article by Daniel Browne 04.01.16
Each January I begin rolling out a range of special offers at my hypnotherapy practice and run a number of classes to help people stick to their New Year resolutions. It normally comes under the umbrella of ‘New Year, New You’, but this year I’ve decided to throw that idea out of the window and replace it with something a little more appropriate.
I now feel that saying that a new year means a new you must arrive is a bit misleading. I mean, what’s wrong with the old you? Nothing of course; you may just need to work on achieving a few goals. From my perspective that’s more of an improvement that a complete reinvention. Therefore I now declare that New Year, New You should actually be New Year, Improved You.
Now I know that for some people the simple changing of one word is pretty meaningless, but actually the words we use can often shape our mind set and approach to things. For example, there’s an idea in hypnotherapy that we should use the term weight management instead of weight loss, with the thought being that if somebody loses their weight they may then try to find it again. Admittedly I don’t wholly subscribe to that school of thought, but I do believe there is something in the words we use ourselves shaping our behaviour and actions.
With this in mind, I am going ahead with New Year, Improved You promotions instead of the usual New Year, New You offers. It’s all about empowering positive change in people and letting them know that a completely new you isn’t required. Just a few simple positive changes can bring the desired improvements.
This isn’t about the selling of my services and promotions though. You can check those out by clicking here rather than reading about them in an article. What I’m here to do today is discuss what you can do this January if you’re looking to indulge in a little self-improvement (and even if you’re not).
Cut down on your pork life and get some exercise
Blur references aside, if you’ve over-indulged at Christmas and consumed enough calories to sink a ship, then trying to lose weight (or should that be manage your weight?) will no doubt be on your list of priorities for 2016. You may be thinking about joining a gym or an exercise class to get your body back into shape before the warmer months arrive. Hold that thought, though. Before committing to a gym membership or paying for exercise classes, think about all of the ways in which you can exercise and burn those calories without spending a penny.
Getting outdoors to exercise is a great way of getting fitter and some all-important fresh air into your body. You’ll save the cost of a gym membership and there’ll be nobody to make you feel guilty if you miss a session. You could even turn your exercise sessions into social occasions by roping friends in to joining you on your evening walk or jog. Then with the money you’ve saved by not joining the gym you can treat yourself to something nice as a reward for shedding your excess weight. I firmly believe in rewarding yourself when you’ve achieved something.
Be your own champion
If you’ve noticed that there is something in your life that you would like to change or improve, acknowledge the fact that you’ve noticed it and thank yourself for it. By having that initial self-awareness you’re already taking a step in the right direction. By being your own champion you’re providing yourself with the best form of support you can receive; self-confidence and belief in your ability to achieve. You can now let your own positive thoughts and inner wisdom guide you to making the positive change or improving that certain something about you or your life. If you’re planning on a resolution for 2016, make sure you’re not too hard on yourself and don’t judge yourself if you don’t achieve instant results. Tell yourself that you can do and let those words become your belief. That belief then becomes action, which leads to you achieving.
If you’re happy with your life and don’t feel you need any self-improvement, don’t bother
That’s right, I did just say that. If you’re ok with where your life is at and how you are within that life, why change anything? If you’re happy to continue with the way things are then I say carry on. If a tendency towards alcoholic beverages and the eating of cake is something you enjoy, why give it up? Don’t feel you actually have to make New Year resolutions or do anything revolving around self-improvement in January just because it’s what we’re supposed to do. Which leads me to my final point…
Do what makes you happy
As New Year arrives we’re fed images and articles about what we should be doing to improve ourselves and what our resolutions should be. My advice to you is not to pay attention to any of it. You will know in your mind and in your heart what it is you feel you need to achieve. You will realise for yourself what the positive changes you need in your life are. Once you know what you want and need to do, create an action plan and get going with it. You’ll end up happier and more likely to achieve your goals this way, as you’ll be subscribing to what you want to do rather than what we’re told we should do.
I wish you a very happy and prosperous 2016.
Hypnotherapist and Mindfulness Expert