Words have power, there’s no doubt about that. As a hypnotherapist and as an English teacher, I know about the transformative power of language. The words we use about ourselves are the most important of all. Each year, many people decide upon a New Year’s resolution which often begins with the words, “This year I will…”
It is thought that the tradition of making New Year's resolutions originated with the Babylonians, who made promises to the gods in hope that they would earn their goodwill during the coming year. Centuries later the tradition has and endured. Making a New Year’s resolution is a way to set a goal and to begin the year with a positive intention. Unfortunately, good intentions often fall by the wayside, and we are left with a feeling of failure, having not managed to successfully accomplish or achieve what we set out to do. In fact, most people will have given up on their New Year’s resolutions by the beginning of February.
Action or description
Instead, it may be helpful to adopt the idea of thinking of one word, possibly an “action word” or a “doing word” as a theme or positive intention for the months ahead; something that has meaning for you personally and can be reviewed as the year progresses. On the other hand, you may wish to think about a descriptive word to describe a feeling or a quality that you would like to develop within yourself. For example, if you would like to lose weight then I would suggest instead of using the word “diet” with all the negative connotations that entails, perhaps choose the word “challenge,” and set yourself the challenge to consume healthier foods in place of unhealthy foods. If you are the type of person who is easily upset or who tends to feel worried or anxious, then your word for the year may be “calm.”
Yes, you may start the year off well but drift back into old habits or behaviours. When that happens, don’t beat yourself up about it! You’re only human and it’s okay to slip up sometimes. Let’s re-frame the thinking that is applied to a notion of failure: Instead of saying to yourself, “This is hopeless. I will never achieve my goal,” try to think something like, “Okay, so I slipped up yesterday but today is a new day and another opportunity to get things right.” Imagine that you’re pressing a reset button in your mind.
Often people are unable to achieve their goals because they have not fully prepared themselves at the initial stage. Laying a solid foundation for change in ourselves is essential. This could involve the following activities:
Only you know what it is that you would like to change. Perhaps you would like to achieve a better home, work, life balance? Perhaps losing weight or giving up smoking is your goal? Maybe you want to overcome a specific fear or phobia? Perhaps you wish to be able to deal with other people’s behaviour better?
If setting goals, planning, and reviewing progress is something that you find difficult then I can help you with that process. As a former SEN lecturer, I am adept at action planning and breaking goals down into smaller, achievable targets. Solution focused hypnotherapy and mindfulness are other modalities that I use to help people rewire their brains and make desirable changes in their lives.
Word ideas to get you started for 2022:
And so on…
Give it go - see how you get on.
I have chosen my word for 2022 and it is “create.” Will you choose your word?
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