Thursday, 9 February 2017

What Happened to Your New Year's Resolutions?

If you are like many of us, you kicked off the New Year with some earnest plans to improve yourself. Whether it is quitting smoking, losing weight, being more physically active, creating more quality time, changing your career, or any of the thousands of things that people seek to improve in their lives, those resolutions seem like such a “must do” when we make them. And yet, so few of us are able to actually make them happen and then make them stick. Instead, we feel stuck where we are.

Why is that?

It is not about being weak or failing.  The answer is in the way that our brains are built and work. The conscious mind, where the will to make those promises of self improvement and the willpower to actually make good on them dwells, represents only about 10-12 percent of our mental capacity. The vast majority of the mind is under the control of the unconscious mind. The unconscious is the place where dreams and imagination come from, so it is the place where we may be inspired by visions of self-improvement.

However, the unconscious mind is also the place where we retain forgotten memories and the long-term storage place of all the positive and negative things we have experienced. Those positive and negative experiences get attached to or associated with the powerful feelings that we were experiencing at the time of the event. That is why without even consciously thinking about it, a long forgotten happy memory that came from a time when you were enjoying a smoke or eating a doughnut comes up and tells us that good feelings come from those activities.

The painful circumstances that drove us to have a drink or binge on something we know is not good for us also rest within, ready to subtly color our judgement into thinking those activities will help us feel better, feel good about ourselves or recover from our troubles.

Trying to change a habit is a combination of physical and emotional behavior change that is like trying to pull 88% of your mind (the unconscious) along with you by using only 12% willpower (from the conscious mind). The unconscious is not logical. It does not care about the benefits of the change you want to make. It only wants to protect you from harm and risk by avoiding things to which it has attached negative associations and make you feel good by engaging in positively associated behaviors. It takes at least 21 days to change a habit and for most of us, the odds are against us being able to win that tug of war between the conscious and unconscious minds.

To set yourself up for success, consider getting a better understanding of what lies within your own mind. Handwriting analysis and regression hypnosis can provide insight into your unconscious mind. Hypnotherapy can help use the resources of the unconscious mind to help rather than hinder your desired behavior changes. Self-hypnosis techniques can provide tools for you to take greater control over your whole mind and use it to achieve the results that you want.

Don’t give up on those resolutions. You made them for a reason. You just didn’t know that the odds were stacked against you. Contact me today to find out how we can get you unstuck and instead, get started to help you achieve your goals and realize your potential!

References 

Dispenza, J. (2012). Breaking the habit of being yourself: How to lose your mind and create a new one. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House.

Hammond, D. C. (Ed.) (1990). Handbook of hypnotic suggestions and metaphors. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Company.

Kappas, J.G. (2009). Professional hypnotism manual: Introducing physical and emotional suggestibility and sexuality (5th Ed.). Tarzana, CA: Panorama Publishing Company.

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