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Keep that resolution

Have you given up yet?
Have you given up yet?

So, how are those New Year’s Resolutions coming along? It is the 6th day of the New Year and already around 20% of all resolutions are broken. By the end of the year, another 80% will go bust. So, why do we make resolutions only to turn around and break them? Is there something you can do to help you keep that resolution?

Here are the top 5 reasons we break our New Year’s Resolutions:

1. The "All-or-nothing" syndrome. Simply put, we set our resolution to be either success or failure. We hardly ever give ourselves a chance at making progress. If you allow yourself some progress in your resolution, you have a better chance of sticking to part or all of it. For example, if you resolve to stop drinking caffeinated drinks and you slip up one day, you then consider your resolution a failure and go back to your habits. Instead, consider this as "cutting back." "I didn't fail. I only slipped, but at least I have cut back considerably.

2. The "Snowball Effect." This is related to number 1. Once we have a small lapse in our resolution is snowballs into a bigger lapse. If we have a small slip in our resolution, the best thing to do is recommit and be proud of what you have done to that point. For example if you resolve to diet to lose weight and decide to have that piece of cake at someone's birthday party, don't decide you've broken the resolution and so you might as well give up. Keep working on it. You'll find you get better at it when you don't beat yourself up over a small slip.

3. Overlook progress and dwelling on setbacks. From the title you can see this is related to number 2. When you have a small slip, don't give up the resolution. Think about what you've done to that point and be proud of you successes. For example, if you resolve to quit smoking and you have one cigarette, think of how many times before that you have said "no." Celebrate your successes, and work through your missteps.

4. No plan. Ever made that resolution at the last minute or made one early on but never made a plan to follow through. Without a plan, you are destine to give up. Think about your resolution and how you are going to get through it. For example, if you resolve to quit smoking, have you planned on the withdrawal you may suffer through? Are you going to need a support system? Patch? Gum? Cold turkey? Have a plan and then have a backup for those big resolutions to help ensure your success.

5. "Nice to keep" versus "Need to keep." Resolutions that are in the "nice to keep" category tend to get pushed back on the priority list when things get tough or personal issues get in the way. Make your resolution a "need to keep" resolution and the priority will remain constant. For example, let's say you want to cut back on alcohol consumption. If this is a "nice to keep" resolution, as soon as the pressure builds up or you decide that "one drink won't hurt," is okay, you push the resolution back. Push it back once and it becomes easier the next time until it is time for a new resolution. Make this a "need to keep" resolution and you'll find yourself wanting to keep.

Resolutions are hard to keep. However, you can make it less stressful by following these few guidelines when deciding what to resolve. And remember, talk to a hypnotherapist to see if hypnosis can help you beat a bad habit and keep that resolution stronger.


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