new year resolution written in a notebookWell, here we are heading towards the end of January 2013 and for most people those well intended New Year’s Resolutions, or plans to make their lives better will have gone out of the same window that Santa came in, as they have every other year. So why do New Year’s resolutions always seem to fail?

Here I am going to share an example of how to get your New Year’s Resolution back on track.

The main reason that New Year’s Resolutions usually fail is that the resolution itself is too broad, not focused and sometimes not thought out with a strategy for making them happen. Make the resolution achievable, so for example rather than saying I will get fitter, try planning and making it more specific, I will go for a walk every two days for example.

To set a specific and attainable goal is also important. If you want to be fit then be specific about how ‘fit’ do you exactly want, I can walk for 2 miles without exhaustion for example.

Plan an achievable strategy with a identifiable, short and long term benefits

My friend Alan said to me on the afternoon of NYE that he wanted to stop smoking, When I asked him what his plan was, he looked at me with the sort of smile I had seen so many times before, the one that said ‘I want to, but I won’t be able to do it’

Well on New Year’s Day when I spoke to Alan, he told me he had already failed and was still smoking. Hearing his disappointment, I offered a strategy to get his resolution back on track, he said he would try it.

a cigarette in an ashtray.

Instead of just seeing how long he could go without smoking (as he had so many times before) I suggested that he slowly reduced his intake in a planned way.  There is a good reason for this cigarettes contain addictive chemicals and it isn’t easy to stop any addiction all in one go, it is always easier to reduce gradually.

Alan is now 23 days into his regime and has reduced from 20 cigarettes each day down to 15 without any trouble at all.

Most smokers will finish a box of 20, but retraining the brain to accept that it’s ok to have five remaining each day and that on the fifth day they don’t need to buy any is a useful strategy, the brain makes things as simple. Alan is benefiting from this already, his sense of taste is already improving and so are his finances.

One packet less every five days, which means in 2 days time he will have saved £36 so far in January alone, do the maths, Alan did and he is using the savings to take his girlfriend to a nice B&B for a night each month, he will take her to a better hotel each time he reduces and finally kicks his habit, when he stops completely he will be saving a staggering £216 every month, that’s a very nice hotel room for the whole weekend or a very nice holiday every year, his partner is obviously delighted too.

As you can see, Alan is improving his own life and his relationship by spending more quality time with his partner and it will only get better. The benefits to his health, his finances and his relationship are all becoming a reality because he had a plan and the plan was achievable and thought out.

Sometimes we need help to find the right ways to improve our lives, life coaching or talking to a counsellor helps, they will help you explore what is the best strategy to be successful and help you get motivated by looking at all the benefits.

Paul Parkin – Online Counsellor and Life Coach

‘A journey of a thousand miles, begin with a single step’

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Author Bio

Online counselling with UK qualified counsellor Paul ParkinPaul Parkin Dip. Coun. I am a counsellor, therapist and life coach. I am passionate about helping people who are hurting or in crisis. My goal is to help people reach their full potential by providing affordable counselling online to people everywhere via my counselling website – Counsellors Online. I have worked as a counsellor for the past 11 years, I have worked in several counselling settings, including – The National Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) the NHS. North East Council on Addictions (NECA) and Several telephone helplines including The Samaritans. See other posts by Paul Parkin or subscribe to his posts.

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