New Years Resolutions: Stop hating them with these quick tips

The New Year can be a good opportunity to reset your goals.  But there is an art to getting them right.

Many reading this may well say they are “done” with new years resolutions – the very nature of them means that we keep coming back to the ones that haven’t worked in the past – so we tend to set resolutions around our weaknesses, rather than capitalising on our strengths. As noble as it is to recognise our weaknesses and attempt to change them, we are facing an uphill battle if we don’t set a plan of action that focuses on capitalising on the strengths we do have. For those of with a habit of “beating ourselves up” over resolutions that didn’t turn out as planned, this can weigh on us to the point where we may want to throw in the towel.

For some of us who did set new years resolutions; come February, the casual resolutions thrown about over Christmas drinks have either been forgotten, or are already starting to look too difficult.

So are New years resolutions worth doing?  Is there a better way of doing it to the way you are doing it now? Absolutely.

Give the following tips a try:

-Set goals using the S.M.A.R.T. approach (see previous posts).

– Avoid massive changes. Instead, celebrate smaller wins toward small goals. The science says it’s far more likely to work for you – and it’s definitely not too late to start.

– Do it gradually. You’re far more likely to have success if you do it in little chunks.
For instance, if you want to cut down on junk food, and total abstinence hasn’t worked in the past, remember that you don’t need to do it all at once. Instead, try not having junk food for one meal a week, then every third meal, and so on. You’re more likely to have success if you do it in little chunks.

-Forgive yourself, because willpower will always ebb and flow. Use the moments when you’re feeling resolved to prepare for the times when you might falter.

-Set your life to minimise temptation. Put on your gym gear the night before, slice up fruit and placing it at the front of the fridge. Remember that if we order the super-size popcorn at the cinema, we will eat it.

-If necessary, make fewer resolutions in the first couple of weeks to allow yourself to really focus on what you want to accomplish.

And remember – if you have “fallen off the horse” already, don’t be too critical of yourself.  Setbacks are part of the process.  Just remember to get back on the horse.

If you would like some personal assistance with setting goals, or if something keeps on blocking you, a personal consultation with a a qualified professional could help.   During  February 2016 Psycoaching is offering skype consultations at less than half the normal rate.

See Psycoaching.com.au

What are your thoughts on new years resolutions?  Let us know in the comments below.

-Richard

You are not alone

Mental illness is happening all around you, but you probably don’t see it.  Imagine, for a moment, a school prom – and you are standing around like a “wall flower;” feeling self-conscious.  Then look around and realize all the other wall flowers.  The irony in this situation is that there are many others in the room thinking “I really stand out here, and everyone is looking at me.”  Then consider this: how plausible it is that people will be worrying about how you look, when they are so busy worrying about themselves?

When you suffer depression or anxiety, (as we all do from time-to-time) it’s easy to feel like you are the only one going through such pain.  Isolation is normal when dealing with an overwhelming problem like depression or anxiety. But you are not alone. (more…)

DEPRESSION, TRAUMA, BULLYING – LAUGHING MATTERS: Celebrity Interview.

“Humour is infectious. The sound of roaring laughter is far more contagious than any cough, sniffle or sneeze. When laughter is shared, it binds people together and increases happiness and intimacy. Laughter also triggers healthy physical changes in the body. Humour and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from damaging effects of stress. Best of all, this priceless medicine is Fun, Free and easy to use.” 

International award winning comedian of Warner Brothers Movie World / Police Academy Stuntshow fame Michael Bennett knows only too well about depression and despair. (more…)

Depression: A Laughing Matter?  The secret STIGMA lurking in my subconscious 

Fifty percent of the room had had it, or something similar, but nobody wanted to admit it.

What happens when you captivate the attention a big bar full of strangers, get them all laughing, then suddenly challenge them without warning  to “put your hand up if you’ve ever had depression?”

I was about put my hand up and let out a gratifying “yes!” but something held me back.  My shoulder twitched upwards, then down, then back up again as I quickly glanced around the packed bar to see if anyone else was going to admit it.

(more…)

Depression and Anxiety: A Laughing Matter – part 1

As a quick fix for a low mood, there is nothing quite like a good belly laugh. But have you ever thought of it is a cost-effective form of treatment for anxiety and depression?

Next week I will bring you an amazing interview from one of Australia’s funniest comedians –who has been working with PSYCoaching to spread his unique insights about mental health and the great work he has been doing to help adults and kids lift their spirits.

Why So Serious?

There are times when it is not easy for us to get out of our heads and appreciate the world around us with a sense of intrigue and curiosity.  There are times when we find ourselves   “stuck in our heads” and dwelling on our problems. (more…)

Mental Illness in the Workplace

I am currently delivering workshops on Mental Health Issues for a range of government agencies in the workplace and thought I would share with you all some interesting facts:

Did you know that mental illness can affect anyone at anytime?

Statistically, approximately 1 – in 4 adults have a diagnosable mental health condition, yet most do not seek help (and it it is my experience that many who do seek help wait until their distress is severe).  Despite this, nearly half of all senior managers in a recent Canadian survey believed that none of their workers will experience a mental health problem at work.

(more…)

Beating the Christmas Blues

There’s an unrealistic image of holiday perfection that permeates our culture. Turn on the TV from December onwards and you are likely to be inundated with images of the perfect, affluent, nuclear family happily enjoying each other’s company during a holiday meal (of KFC). Some of us have memories from our childhood that feed this drive toward the nostalgia of holidays past. If we lived it, we want to replicate it every year. If we didn’t, we may feel we are missing out, and we may strive to create the perfect Christmas. This can be a recipe for feelings of failure. (more…)

PSYCOACHING SEMINAR: Working with MOVEMBER for your mental health and for men’s health in general

Help change the face of men’s health and help the 1 million Australian men living with depression or anxiety. Let’s put the moustache back on the face of fashion and have some fun supporting a good cause. For one, prostate cancer is the biggest cause of natural death for men and is desperately in need of donations and funding. And let’s not forget – men’s health is great for women’s health!

(more…)

Nice one: being kind makes you happier, healthier and more attractive

Thanks to Sandy Smith from the Canberra times for this enlightening piece, originally published on 13/11/14.

As well as making others feel good, there is evidence that people who spread a little kindness are happier, healthier and more attractive than their mean-spirited peers says mental health professional.
With World Kindness Day being celebrated around the world today, what better excuse is there to muster up some good intentions and show kindness to others?

Clinical psychologist Jo Lamble from Sydney explains how carrying out random acts of kindness will make you happy.

“Research tells us that having a strong sense of meaning and giving to others is the best way to find happiness. Being kind lowers our stress levels, which means less cortisol running through our system, lower blood pressure, better sleep, and stronger immune systems”

(more…)

National Psychology Week – Tips for wellbeing

Feeling Flat, anxious or depressed?  National Psychology Week (9-16 November) is as good-a-time as ever to take control of your mental health!  Start by following these tips from the Australian Psychological Society and think about how to get your life on track:

1. Identifying the benefits of change

Think about how your lifestyle is affecting your health and happiness: is your current lifestyle costing you your health? Do you avoid activities or social events due to your health or weight? Would making a change actually benefit you?

(more…)