A very Happy New Year from everyone here at The Morpheus Clinic for Hypnosis, and we hope you had a wonderful holiday season.

As a new year begins, many of us take the opportunity to look our lives and take stock of what has changed in the past year: different occupations and hobbies, additions to the family or new friends. As humans, we have a tendency to want to compare our present selves with the person we were one year ago. A bad habit which refuses to go away, a few extra pounds here or there, chances missed due to low confidence, or simply wanting a more stress-free life. This is why we make new year’s resolutions.

I know I won’t be alone when I admit that I enter January enthusiastic to make big positive changes, and then become sorely disappointed when February hits and I’m not quite the super-person I aimed to be. Unrealistic goals and unnecessary pressure sets us up for failure, and expecting a quick fix invites nothing but defeat. Heres our top ten tips to help stay focused on your goals:

10 tips to keep your New Year’s Resolutions on track:

1. Keep a diary

Write an honest account of your day, the ups and the downs. Being honest and having a record of your progress will help you see how far you’ve come.

2. Display positive affirmations in an often viewed place

I often place notes on my mirror for an extra boost of motivation as I get ready for the day.

3. Discover a new hobby

If you’re wanting to quit smoking, something involving your hands could help; a fun exercise class such as Zumba will work well to help you achieve a weight loss goal.

4. Connect with others who have similar goals

The Internet is at your fingertips and there are countless other people who can support you through the good times and the bad.

5. Celebrate every victory, no matter how small

One day without a cigarette is an amazing step in the right direction. Before you know it, it’ll be a week, a month or a year.

6. Write specific, optimistic and realistic goals down

Having physical evidence of the expectations you have for yourself will make it more concrete. For example, “I will feel confident when I speak at my brother’s wedding in 6 months.”

7. Set time sensitive mini ‘check-in’ goals

If you want to lose 30 pounds in six months, aim to lose 10 pounds each two months. Breaking it up will make it seem more manageable.

8. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t entirely reach them

The main thing is that you’re moving forward. If you have a bad day, don’t relapse for the next week. You can get back on track as soon as you want to.

9. Be willing to adapt

Life almost never goes how you exactly plan it to. Let your goals evolve as you do, and make sure they work around you, not against you.

10. Be kind to yourself

When you feel proud of yourself, make sure to reward yourself. As you progress, be sure to treat yourself to something beneficial – that shirt you had your eye on, a night at the movies; something helpful and pleasurable to keep you motivated and happy.

It can be hard to admit you need help, big cities and fast modern living can make us hard and reluctant to show vulnerability or ask for help. Studies have shown that people who want to quit smoking, the chances of becoming a long-term ex-smoker increase by up to 26% when using some kind of aid as opposed to going it alone(1). Alongside that, the American Psychological Association(2) reports that people lose 11% more weight, and are more successful at keeping the weight off, when using a social aid. So we can see that it pays to have a helping hand when you’re trying make positive changes, and admitting you want help is the first step.

Committing yourself to a program is a huge motivational help. For example, paying for a gym membership makes you much more likely to exercise, rather than telling yourself that you’ll go for that run and then continuously procrastinating. That’s where we can help; committing to our of our 5 or 9 session packages (saving you on the cost of 1 or 2+ sessions, respectively), can be a huge incentive to succeed in your goals if you are considering hypnosis.

In other news, World Hypnotism Day falls each year on January 4th, and there are many video and other resources that may be of interest to you.

(1) – Fiore MC et al. (2008). Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville MD: USDHHS. Public Health Service.

(2) – http://www.apa.org/monitor/jan04/teaming.aspx