22 February 2022

January and that Groundhog Day feeling

As Christmas dissolves into memory, the month of January is an important time of self-reflection. Named after the old Roman god Janus who would look back at the old year and forward to the new, culturally we are still inclined to spend the first few days of the New Year belly-button gazing; with high ideals we are going to cut down on food and drink, do more exercise and make big changes to improve our relationships, jobs and lives. Such reflection is important as it helps us review effectiveness, rather than just carry on doing things we have always done.

Resolution results or “fad failure”?

As well as removing negative habits, I believe the New Year must also be about making positive moves forward, for example; a new interest, hobby or training course. Often it is a decision to change career if your current role is causing stress, anxiety and depression.

Unfortunately, change is not easy and reaching goals takes effort. You also have an enemy called “limiting self-belief” that can trap you in a vicious cycle of repeated failure in your home life, relationships and career. The inclination towards “loaded expectations” about what you are going to achieve and how quickly, is another hindrance. Setting unrealistic goals will usually end in failure.

Groundhog Day?

Look back to last January. Where have your expectations aligned 12 months later? What have you achieved differently to last year?

Failure makes us cynical about making resolutions because we’re still wringing hands about last year’s plan that nosedived (evidenced by yoyo dieting, failure to start that training course or being stuck in a hated job). Such ponderings are pointless self-flagellation.

So what can you do this year to make success attainable this time next year?

Here are my top 6 tips:

Just begin

As Martin Luther King said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” So stop making excuses and make a start. Procrastination is your enemy and calling resolutions fads is a convenient excuse not to do anything. Importantly, don’t let past failures dictate your future. Simply start afresh.

Blow away cobwebs

A new start is energised by a clean slate, so begin with a declutter at home and in the office. Clear out wardrobes of old clothing, and kitchen cupboards of unwanted food, donating to local clothes and foodbanks (within use by dates). Then tidy office drawers of files you no longer need. A pre-spring clean has powerful physical and psychological benefits because it changes the energy of that environment.

Be realistic, not an extremist

What goals do you set? Are they realistic? Diets and abstinence are popular choices after the excesses of Christmas, but every-day moderation is more successful than short-term deprivation, so instead of doing damage to yourself and attempting to get everything done in one month, remember that as long as you are making progress you are doing better than most.

Don’t let a trip put you out of the race

Do not throw in the towel because you fail once or twice. Perseverance builds muscle and knockbacks are valuable lessons. Don’t get flustered by someone else in your Facebook or WhatsApp group apparently doing better or achieving faster than you. Tortoises do beat hares and ‘inch by inch, it’s a cinch’; so be sure to celebrate every milestone.

Jumping on a bandwagon helps

I’m a big fan of jumping on lifestyle-positive bandwagons for mutual support and encouragement, whether it’s through social media; work colleagues or friends and family. Notably this month we have Dry January, Veganuary, and even Januhairy! Some people are doing ‘Facebook Banuary’ where social media is banned for a month and meeting friends in the flesh is the new ‘old thing’. Go for it! People-power helps wavering commitment and inspires us to keep on truckin’.

Get expert help in identifying your success-blockers

Friends can give advice, but often, making the necessary life changes to improve your situation needs an expert coach.

As a hypno-coaching professional I help you drill down and remove the success-blockers in your subconscious mind, delivering both personal bespoke training and corporate coaching to deal with entrenched addictions and to defeat stress, anxiety and depression at home and at work.

Take a chance on change

2020 will be a decade of change; good and bad. Although some events are out of our control, with help, you can optimise opportunities and build resilience to difficulties, gaining personal satisfaction with fresh thinking on how you meet challenges, interact with others and embark on new adventures. As Jim Carrey said, “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

For more information please contact me.