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How to stick to those New Year resolutions!

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Do you want a fresh start this New Year? The Vale Practice share practical tips and suggestions to help those resolutions stick this time!

Begin at the beginning

‘Change is about breaking the habit of your old self and reinventing a new self’ – Dr Joe Dispenza [1].

According to Lyndall Cowie, hypnotherapist at The Vale Practice, it’s our beliefs and thinking which usually keep us stuck in old patterns and habits, and so that is where she starts with her clients. By discussing their core beliefs around an issue and helping them change the focus of their thoughts she helps clients understand how deeply unconscious behaviour patterns have become. She states that ‘if one is conscious about their behaviour, they usually would not choose it.’ By changing behaviour from an unconscious action to a conscious one, people can make better choices and choose a different outcome.
It’s not easy to unlearn old habits of a lifetime, and they’re not going to change overnight. So recognise that what you’re undertaking may at times be difficult, and that you may experience setbacks or come across obstacles along your way. But with increased awareness you can choose how best to deal with these, in order to overcome them and continue to make positives changes to your life.

Preparation is key

Devote plenty of time and energy to creating a good plan that will set you up for success. Acknowledge barriers that may hinder you in the future, such as time, expense, bother and fear, and create strategies which you can implement, should these begin to impact on your aims. Talking to a therapist or counsellor may help you recognise past stumbling blocks, and find solutions to avoid them this time around. If underlying aches and pains are holding you back from tackling a physical challenge, an osteopath may be able to offer advice and help with these, and a nutritionist can advise and tailor a diet to integrate healthy food into your lifestyle, not only to lose weight (if that is your goal), but in order to give you more energy and mental clarity for the tasks ahead.
Value yourself and acknowledge why you want to make the change, prepare properly, and you’re more likely to find success and make lasting changes.

Tell someone

Involving friends and family in your resolution, either to join in your activities or to provide encouragement and support, is a great source of motivation, which is essential for lasting success. Making a commitment to improve your lifestyle along with someone else will make you more likely to stick with it.If you’d prefer to not involve those close to you, you may find counsellors or GPs are not only a source of encouragement, but can offer advice and help along the way.

Be positive

Many of our resolutions state the negative, such as “I will give up junk food.” Instead, try to be more positive and focus on the benefits you’ll gain, by stating “I’ll eat more healthily so that I have more energy and feel healthier.” Don’t think about what you’re about to lose, but rather all that you’ll be gaining. And if you can include someone else into your goal, so that it benefits them as well, you’ll be more likely to keep to your resolutions. So, state “I’ll eat more healthily so that I’ll have more energy and feel healthier so I can play football with my son” and you’ll be even more likely to succeed.

Adapt and change

Always be willing to revisit your goals and adjust them if needed. This is very different from giving up on them. If your original enthusiasm to change your life lead to biting off more than you can chew, for example by resolving to run the London marathon when you haven’t run since you were a teenager, you may be setting yourself up for defeat. But by breaking your goal down to the smallest possible pieces, choosing to tackle more manageable tasks, you’ll create a habit that sticks.
Amberin Fur, osteopath and founder of The Vale Practice, suggests a staggered approach to building up a new exercise routine, which allows your body time to start conditioning without straining your muscles. As you begin to feel fitter and healthier you’ll look forward to achieving your next level of fitness.

Reward yourself

Motivation is a key factor in successful behaviour change and sometimes staying motivated requires a bit of a helping hand. Signing up to daily blogs and newsletters can keep you focused and encourage you to continue making positive changes to your life. But if you find your energy levels waning or you’re feeling a bit worn out, acupuncture and reflexology have been shown to combat feelings of exhaustion, and an Indian head massage helps to release tension and restore energy levels.
When you achieve one of your goals, reward yourself! A well-deserved relaxing or rejuvenating massage, a new fitness accessory or an evening out with the family is chance not only to celebrate your progress, but will also motivate you to keep working towards your resolution.

Find help

The Vale Practice therapy team includes counsellors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, homeopaths, NLP practitioners, hypnotherapists, maternity specialists, chiropodists, and more.
Open 9am-10pm Mondays to Fridays and 9am-6pm Saturdays at 64 Grove Vale, East Dulwich SE22 8DT. For a health MOT or to book an appointment, call 020 8299 9798 or go to www.thevalepractice.co.uk

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