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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Giles

How is January feeling for you?

January 17th is known as the day when most of New Year’s resolutions will be abandoned. There are still couple days to go when I am writing this blog, so time to reflect what is happening with you and your resolutions.

We want to make big changes. We want to reinvent ourselves at the start of a New Year: a new happier, healthier, all-around better person.

When we set our change goals, we make them very specific, measurable and time bound.

Why do we give ourselves so unrealistic challenges? Challenges which partly fail as we are underestimating how big change is actually required and how much our environment influences our willpower. We are overestimating our own willpower and how much energy it actually takes. Willpower has its limits as our mental resource, especially if we are living a busy live already. Based on neuroscience even our brain works in a protective way, resistant to change.

Dry January, getting fitter, slimmer, healthier need all some groundwork in order to succeed. All these resolutions relate to our physical bodies and require a lot of motivation and willpower. It is about breaking habits which have been there for a while.

It takes between 18-254 days, in average 76 days to completely break an old habit, and it can take much longer to master something new.

When we feel like we have failed to change, we easily give up. Even the day in January is called “quitters’ day”. Giving up and failure do not feel good.

The key to adopting better habits, making those changes last longer, feel good and motivated is to allow mistakes, forget your own “zero tolerance” attitude. Mistakes, bad days happen. The biggest obstacle to your new habits is self-criticism. Change starts with small steps and being kind to yourself.

So how is January feeling for you?

If you would like to explore more about changing habits, or any other issues troubling you, get in touch. Counselling session either online (UK and Europe) and face to face (York).

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