2017 is yet in its infancy, and the days are still soaked with the anticipation of what lies ahead. Of course our New Year’s Resolutions are still on track - right? RIGHT?!
Ahem, hands up if yours are hitting a spot of turbulence already.
That’s if you even made any – resolutions have been passé for, like, ever. And who can blame the naysayers when, statistically, most New Year’s resolutions are doomed. Historically, this has been a resolution-ish time for our species, so really, there’s no reason you shouldn’t cash in on the good vibes to help prod yourself in a new direction. But before we run headlong down the path of inevitable annual failure, guilt and self-loathing, let's see if we can take a different approach.
- First, wrap your head around this: resolutions fail not ’cos we’re useless, but because “we don’t understand our own psychology,” says Pete Ross. Have you blown one too many attempts to lose weight or get fit? Are your efforts to try out a new sport or career opportunity regularly thwarted by your own self-doubt? It’s probably your parents’ fault (isn’t everything :P ). Seriously, though, our attitudes are rooted in patterns of behaviour and thinking that go all the way back to our childhoods. Deciding you’re going to change will not magically reverse all those years of subconscious conditioning. You’re going to have to dig deep and haul those ideas into the bright light of day. No, not (necessarily) hypnosis, but rather some scrupulous surveying of the attitudes towards food and fitness, or remarks about our talents and potential, which we’ve absorbed from the people and environments we’ve spent significant time in and around throughout our lives.
- Once we’ve identified any damaging scripts that have been hardwired into our minds, we can begin the process of overwriting them. For example, whenever you find yourself thinking “I’m no good at sports” or “maths is not my strong suit,” stop that thought in its tracks and say to yourself, “I can be good at it, and I’m going to learn how." Make these the kinds of words and phrases that you say, and allow others to say, about yourself. Repeatedly doing so, and reinforcing more positive and empowering scripts is what will eventually bring about change.
- Respect the process – it’s taken all your years on earth for these ideas to nestle their way into your sense of self; it’s not going to take one day to undo them. It’s a long, slow affair, and a journey inwards that, once begun, continues for our whole lives long. But it is an incredibly rewarding journey to take, and it has the power to change completely the kind of person you are, and the life you lead.
It’s still early enough to revise those resolutions so that you’re more likely to meet them, and to enjoy the process. And if you were one of the many who didn’t make any resolutions, don’t wait for another ‘occasion’ to make a change. You can start yourself on this journey of self-exploration and improvement any time of the year!
Date Published: 11 January 2017