Round the Horne was a show on BBC radio many years ago and and I remember this gag. Question to a doctor: Do you charge your patients? Answer: No I sidle up to them.

Well it is the same with those New Year resolutions. There is no point charging up to them and relying on your will power alone. That will never work as subtle emotions and triggers will always overwhelm you in the end. Try this fourfold pointer as to how you can sidle up to that New Year resolution and find that this year it is different.

One, spend time building your motivation and allowing yourself to really feel good about how the future will be different. Imagine something about that difference – see it and make it real and good in your mind.

Two, ask yourself the tail end question. What would change if this resolution was successful and would I like that? You might then find that there is something you would not like which would be an unconscious saboteur if you have not clearly changed your emotion and feeling about it.

Three, think about all the triggers that relate to the resolution that have the effect of stimulating what you really do not want. So smokers might know that it is that lunchtime cigarette that they really enjoy. In which case, resolve to do something different that lunchtime and something else you would enjoy.

Four, take pressure off yourself. It is not whether you make that transformation on the first of January but that when you make the change that it is real. By adding the new year pressure point, you are in fact setting yourself up to fail.

best wishes

Andrew Richardson
Feelbetter Counselling East London

94 Malford Grove, London E18 2DQ

Direct Line: 0208 257 0429 Mobile: 07870 104651 Skype: famrichhg