Thursday, February 13, 2014

Time To Reboot Your Resolutions

This month has been a busy time with clients sharing  their inability to follow through on the
resolutions they set during the new year. The begin to feel like a failure, and come down too hard
on themselves.
There is a term called the "false hope syndrome," which means their resolution is significantly unrealistic and out of alignment with their internal view of themselves. This principle reflects that of making positive affirmations. When you make positive affirmations about yourself that you don't really believe, the positive affirmations not only don't work, making you feel worse.

There is also the cause and effect relationship. You think that your life will change WHEN all your goals are met,  and when it doesn't, you may get discouraged, reverting back to old behavioral patterns.

Making resolutions work is essentially changing behaviors and in order to do that, you have to change your thinking and "rewire" your brain. Habitual behavior is created by thinking patterns that create neural pathways and memories, which become the default basis for your behavior. Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking, as shown in MRI's according to Antonio Damasio and Joseph LeDoux and psychotherapist Stephen Hayes.

Now here's my take on it. I think Spring is a better time for goal setting and I'll explain why.
 Robert Butterworth, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles said "People do it all wrong The worst time to make New Year's resolutions is on New Year's Eve. We're exhausted after the holidays. We're stressed out. The weather is bad. Everybody is talking about it and watching what your resolutions are." I couldn't agree more.

Still, at least half of Americans make New Year's resolutions, which is why health clubs, diet programs, and smoking-cessation clinics spend so much on advertising at the end of the year; they know millions of people on Dec. 31 are going to resolve to lose weight and get fit. They know that most are going to fail and yet we still fall for all the advertising.

Springtime Advantages make much more sense to me.

Spring is a better time to set such goals, because it's a time of renewal. We feel more
energized, it's staying light longer, and we have more energy.

Spring is also an ideal time to reassess your resolutions and modify your strategy for success, according to psychologist Stephen Kraus, PhD.

Ultimately, Kraus says, success depends on two things -- desire and the right strategy. The trick, therefore, is to renew your desire to achieve your goal and keep modifying your strategy until you succeed.

So now you can reboot your goals, let go of the guilt, and here's a few ways to do that.

1. Focus on one goal at a time, instead of several. When one fails, it has the domino effect.
2. Set realistic, specific goals, and give yourself a little reward as you get closer, not at the end.
3. Truly focus on changing your behaviors and beliefs. That will create new neural pathways in
    your brain. Like anything else, you must TRAIN YOUR BRAIN.
4. And last but not least, don't take your life so seriously. You can mess up, but don't give up.
    Just start again tomorrow.
    One piece of cake isn't going to ruin your diet but your attitude will!  Here's to your Reboot!!