In the month of January we tend to look at making changes and in my work as a hypnotherapist it’s a busy time of year.
Clients seek me out to help them change habits like quitting smoking, reducing alcohol, eating healthier, exercising regularly, sleeping better and to focus on lifestyle habits they want to adopt or stop.
I also see many people who want to change how they think or feel about themselves and their lives, whether it’s to feel more confident, deal with stress and anxiety or overcome limiting beliefs that are holding them back.
I’m currently writing my second book which is called The Process of Change. This will include the practical and mindset habits that I’ve learnt need to be in place, to make change permanent.
Here are some important aspects of changing a habit or way of thinking;
- Really commit to the change – decide you will see it through no matter what. To help people do this I get them to identify a clear goal and the most important benefit of the change. The goal needs to be focussed on and the most important benefit visualised several times every day, so that the mind accepts it and then the mind will help you to move towards this goal and the benefit that comes with it.
- Practice patience with yourself. Understand that a new habit is being learned (it doesn’t just become automatic immediately). Remember when you learnt to ride a bike, at first you had to think about everything consciously- sitting on the saddle, feet on the pedals, concentrate on balancing whilst picking up speed etc. Eventually riding a bike became a natural and automatic action/habit and you no longer had to think about it. It’s the same with anything new and unfamiliar, you have to practice your new habit for a while before it becomes the norm for you.
- Another really important step to making a change is to forgive yourself if it’s not easy. If you have a setback just acknowledge that it’s part of the process. Congratulate yourself for being on the journey of change and for wanting to do good for yourself. Know that the setbacks will become less and less as the new behaviour becomes more and more familiar.
A final point to remember is that you are enough. You are enough just as you are and the reason you want to make a change is to care for yourself which will benefit you and also others in your life.
I hope these points help you if you’re creating new habits in 2020.
Happy New Year to you all!
This article first appeared in the January 2020 issue of SE22 magazine.