Make this year’s New Year’s Resolution a lasting one

Why are New Year’s resolutions so often unsuccessful? Have you tried quitting smoking, reducing your weight or achieving other goals without getting the results that you wanted?

Many people have had limited or no success with these types of goals because they are trying methods which rely heavily on a mix of willpower and deprivation. For the overwhelming majority of us these out-of-date strategies will ultimately lead to failure.

The problem with willpower is that we are continuously focused on that which we wish to avoid or reduce. Making lasting lifestyle changes is initially a battle of the mind, so a good starting point is learning how to use your mind to work for you rather than against you.

The subconscious mind which is the control centre of our emotional impulses, is not capable of thinking in negatives and does not understand words like won’t, shouldn’t, don’t and not. For example, we cannot tell our minds ‘not to think of elephants’ with any success at all.

Therefore it is essential that we use the power of our imagination and focus completely on what we do want rather than what we don’t want and in as much detail as possible, repetitively. Positive thinking is not effective unless it is accompanied with positive imagining. Learning how to make your mind work for you rather than against you will greatly increase your chances of making this New Year’s resolution a lasting one.

Ciaran Starrs, a Clinical Hypnotherapist based in Carnmoney, can be contacted on 07565 577345 or visit