In your life-time, how many New Year resolutions have you made and broken before mid-January? If you are like most of us, your answer will be “lots” or “too many to count”.

Generally speaking, a New Year resolution has little hope of success, whether we resolve to lose weight, get up early to go for a run before work, or arrive early for appointments instead of always stressing and turning up five minutes either side of the designated time.

After we’ve been over-indulging during the holidays and handling a variety of stressors, we tend to feel slightly sluggish and dissatisfied with ourselves and at the stroke of midnight, or a little beforehand, we decide to change deeply entrenched habits that we are unhappy with. We hope that willpower will magically materialize on the first day of the New Year, and this year we really will win the battle of over our weaknesses.

Realistically, this is nonsense! Wishful thinking can occasionally be useful, but changing a long- standing habit requires careful planning, strategies and emotional and mental support. In essence we have to change our neurological patterning, cater for emotional and mental triggers and change our beliefs and behaviours. A lot more than a wish on a star or new calendar year is needed.

Instead of making declarations to the world in general, or in secret to your diary, and setting yourself up for yet another disappointment, I suggest making an equally challenging, but vastly more helpful declaration:

This year I choose to love, encourage and be patient with myself every day.

If you choose to adopt this mantra and guide for the entire year, you will gradually notice that you feel better about yourself, have more confidence and inner strength. Over time, you are likely to feel more positive, powerful and in the flow. From that standpoint it will be much easier to make life enhancing and enriching choices and changes.

In effect, as the year moves forward you will be making neurological changes in your brain. And those changes will stick if they are gradual, gentle and reinforced over and over again. Bullying and belittling don’t breed confidence or success.

Kindness, patience and love nurture natural growth and positive healthy change.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Remember that you are a work in progress, learning, evolving and growing from birth to death.
  • Notice how you talk to yourself. All too often we are our own tireless taskmasters. Gradually change your inner chatter to encourage and cheer you on.

Be forgiving, kind and loving to yourself.

Encourage yourself as you move through your days.

  • Know that every small change is a foundation for the next one.

Be patient with yourself, small step by small step. 

  • When you slip backwards, just smile, pick yourself up and carry on.

You can do it!

Sending you very much love for an awesome 2019,

Gillian.

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