Weight loss, Smoking Cessation and New Year Resolutions
WEIGHT LOSS? STOP SMOKING ? …LOST RESOLVE?
Why New Year Resolutions often fail
We’re now well into February and many of our New Year resolutions will be discarded like the Christmas trees that litter the streets. While we may feel bad or disappointed in ourselves this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all Christmas trees can be recycled and there is even one in my back garden which was replanted some years ago and is now about eight feet tall.
So can your New Year resolutions be recycled? Of course they can and in so doing our self esteem and confidence can also be boosted.
However, it may be helpful to look at the reasons why so many New Year resolutions fail. Often resolutions are made in the warm glow of Christmas indulgence (after the festivities are over I’ll diet; I’ll stop smoking, I’ll go to the gym etc.) and then tend to fail and fade in a dark and windy January with its post festive blues as winter stretches ahead and the credit card bills come in. Perhaps New Year isn’t the best time to make resolutions. Like puppies “ not just for Christmas,” resolutions need not be just for the New Year
Sometimes we may well try to do too much at once when making resolutions. Losing weight, stopping smoking, giving up alcohol, being less lazy, stop spending so much etc. It may be more helpful to look at what we would like to achieve overall. e.g. a more healthy life style with less anxiety and stress. Then break up the overall bigger picture into smaller images and into smaller steps and tackle these one at a time.
Resolutions are often couched in and focused on negative terms. For instance giving up alcohol, giving up snacking, giving up chocolate, stopping smoking, focusing on things of which we feel we’re depriving ourselves. However it may be of more value to look at them in positive terms. A more positive focus would be to focus on the benefits of embracing a more healthy lifestyle physically and emotionally. How much more beneficial if our focus was on how we would feel or look if we were lighter, how would it feel to be more calm , how our health would improve if we let go of negative habits. So rather than give up we can just let go of maladaptive behaviours.
Many of us resolve to lose weight or quit smoking in our New Year resolutions without giving much consideration of the root causes as to why we keep smoking or over eat or avoid healthy exercise. In my experience as a therapist, personal issues such as obesity and smoking are often related to a lack of self esteem (as are anxiety, stress, fears and phobias) often ( but not always) have their roots in unhappy, negative or traumatic life experiences. A high proportion of my clients have had divorced family or alcoholic family backgrounds or care givers who were absent or distant (emotionally or physically) or unable to give appropriate nurturing care. Such negative life experiences (mild or extreme in nature), whether in childhood or later in life, can lead to underlying emotional discomfort and subsequent maladaptive behaviours such as smoking and overeating. So to succeed in our resolutions it may be of value to consider any underlying reason why we let them go.
Hypnotherapy and hypnosis have proved effective in assisting clients in tackling and managing such emotional discomfort and subsequently achieving weight loss and smoking cessation.
Nonetheless, if you feel you’ve failed in your resolutions then just remember if you you dieted or stopped smoking for a fortnight you have achieved something and with the right approach, can achieve even more. Often by sharing your plans with friends and family, seeking their support and in turn supporting their endeavours can lead to lasting achievements.And there is always Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis.