One New Years Resolution That Will Create Lasting Change

goals inspiration mindset Jan 15, 2023
One New Years Resolution That Will Create Lasting Change - Team NLP

My New Year's post is a little late this year as I took a few weeks off to recharge.  I also thought long and hard about what to write as there is no denying that this year is likely to be a stretch for so many people.  So I decided to focus on mindset as it is one thing you can work on that costs nothing financially.  Only your investment of time, focus and effort.  

Why are so many people unhappy? 

Whilst I can't say this for all of my clients, years of experience has shown me that unhappiness and the need for coping mechanisms come from several different places:

  • Dwelling on the past 
  • Not being good enough ie comparing themselves to everyone else
  • Rigid and negative thought patterns - often leading to catastrophising about many things
  • Turning into a victim or a martyr, blaming everyone else when things don't go to plan for you

Often over-thinking leads to overeating, over-drinking, over-medicating and a general over-indulgence to cover up any feelings of inadequacy. So, perhaps the best resolution has nothing to do with giving up all those not-so-healthy things and everything to do with adopting a new mindset that will make it less tempting to turn to them.

Maybe instead of trying to trim away all the symptoms of our dissatisfaction, we can accept that what we really want is happiness—and that true happiness comes and goes. We can never trap it like a bird in a cage.  And, that no amount of personal development can change the fact that we will sometimes get caught up in thoughts and emotions that we would rather not have.

What we can do is work to improve the ratio of happy-to-unhappy moments. We can learn to identify when we’re spiralling and pull ourselves back with the things we enjoy and want to do in this world. Instead of scolding ourselves for all the things we’re doing wrong, we can focus on doing the things that feel right to us.

This may sound familiar if you’ve read about NLP.  

Starting today, and every day, regardless of the calendar:

Identify your negative thoughts

Become your own observer and pay attention to your negative thoughts. When do they occur most? What does your inner voice say to you? Plan to do something small to change that starting right now. For example, ask yourself where the thought comes from?  Is it logical?  Where is your evidence?  Commit to changing it to something kinder.  And, this will take time....train your brain to focus on something new. This isn’t major transformation over a night. It’s a small seed of change that can grow.

Identify the different events that lead to negative feelings

For example, difficult conversations with others, overextending yourself at work, not getting enough sleep, drinking too much etc. Whatever it is that generally leaves you with unhappy feelings, note them down. Work to reduce these, making a conscious effort to do them on one fewer day per week, then two, and then three. The key isn’t to completely cut out these things, but rather to minimise their occurrence.

Identify the things that create positive feelings 

For example, going for a walk, playing with your family, reading, looking at photo albums, or singing. Whatever creates feel-good chemicals in your nervous system, note them down and make a promise to yourself to integrate more of them into your day. By doing this you will learn the formula that makes you feel happier.  

If you want some more help, sign up to our free online Introduction to NLP course

Or join us on our next NLP Practitioner course.

Wishing you all the best for 2023.

Lindsey and all at Team NLP.