How to succeed with your New Year resolutions

As you think about the year ahead here is a quote that sums up the essence of a New Year resolution that will succeed.

  “Think about adding to your life rather than what you are taking away”  Huffington Post

 There is an old saying that goes, “What you focus on is what you get”.  As you think about what you are resolved to do in 2018, is your focus on what achieving it will add to your life, or on what you will be losing?  Are you wanting it more than you are afraid of it?

 Four ingredients need to be in place for successful motivation.

  1. You want to do something rather than feeling you have to do it.
  2. You know how to achieve it.
  3. You involve other people in it  (e.g. tell people about it)
  4. You are able to imagine achieving it.

 Think about something you know you can and will do – such as taking a holiday.  Do you want this holiday or do you have to have it?  Do you know how to get there?  Will other people be involved?  How easily can you imagine being there? How good does that feel?

 That’s how you can think about your resolution – be it stopping smoking, letting go of excess weight, learning a new skill, turning over a new leaf with your family, getting a new job.  Whatever you might choose to do that will add to your life.

 Recent neuroscience research shows that imagination is greatly enhanced in hypnosis.  Parts of the brain involved in imagining activate in exactly the same way as if the imagined event was truly being experienced.  If this is something you want, then the reward centres of the brain produce dopamine and we feel good.  This has the effect of making us want to do it even more.  If you want to achieve a certain weight then the more realistically you can imagine what that will be adding to your life the more you will want to do it.  Conversely, if your focus is on the downside, the brain produces the fear response in order to deter you from doing it.   If this is what you do, then there are ways to change it.