Why your New Year’s Resolution may be doomed to fail! Part 1

Did  you make a New Year’s Resolution? Based on past surveys, most people won’t have made a resolution this year but the majority of those who do, will choose issues around weight and fitness.

 During the first couple of weeks of the New Year, motivation, optimism and determination will be high. By the end of January (or much sooner) will-power and good intentions are likely to have dwindled and many will abandon their resolutions and go  back to the familiar and comfortable ‘bad’ habits of last year. Those who have been on strict diets, will overcompensate for their few weeks of sacrifice and binge.  Ironically many will find themselves putting on weight and end up heavier than they were on January 1st. It is common to hear people state that they would do anything to return to the weight they were the very first time they chose to go on a diet! – this may be the first introduction to the cruel, vicious circle of yo-yo dieting!

 New Year resolutions are popular because a new year can feel like a brand new start, a ‘clean slate’, beginning a ‘new page’ and  the hope that, ‘this time will be different’, but in truth – it’s never too late or too early, to make a positive change!

 I help people to successfully achieve the goals that have previously alluded them. Some people have been struggling for many years but the point I really want to emphasise is this –  they didn’t need to change themselves, they need to change their approach. This is important because  sadly, many of those who abandon their resolutions will suffer from feelings that extend far beyond simply failing to reach a goal. They are likely to blame themselves for being ‘a failure’, ‘lacking in character strength’, being ‘weak’, ‘hopeless’, pathetic. If this is yet another failed attempt it may confirm their belief that they are inferior to others who do not appear to struggle as they do. The negative effect on self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence makes further failure more likely. If you anticipate failure, it is far more likely to occur.

 As a university qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Applied Positive Psychologist I have been trained to understand the human psyche ranging  from utter despair and depression to happiness and euphoria. Whatever change we seek to make, whatever our circumstances, we are all motivated by a desire to move away from pain and towards a state of happiness. We are all unique, our problems are different and so too are our solutions. Yet most people use a ‘one-fit-for-all’ generic approach. as if what works for one person will work for everyone. For instance, gyms are a great place for people who enjoy going to gyms to get fit, but if you hate gyms (as I do) you would be far better finding your own ‘right fit’, perhaps playing sport, walking or an active hobby like gardening. Enjoyment is one of the keys to success – if you like what you do, you’ll be motivated to do it, if it makes you miserable, you won’t. It sounds so obvious and yet so many people (like you?) have started 2015 on diets and exercise regimes that will leave them feeling hungry, deprived and exhausted!

 I work with individuals, groups, private and corporate clients to help people identify what will really make them healthier and happier. Often, people are surprised to discover that they chase happiness in the wrong places and they benefit from learning about the tenets of positive psychology, often referred to as ‘the science of happiness’. Equally, an understanding of the power of our unconscious mind and the role it plays in our automatic responses and habits will help to explain why we often struggle to overcome and change our habits despite our best efforts.

 Recently, I’ve been asked for my ‘top tips’ about how to achieve positive change and it’s made me realise how much information there is to be shared. Over the next weeks I’ll be posting blogs on different aspects of making change. With the right information anyone can move towards their ideal goals and feel happier as a result. With a simple understanding of how our mind works and what motivates us we are better able to understand what we need to do to help ourselves.


Below is an extract from Lesley’s BBC Radio interview where she discusses New Year Resolutions



Lesley Lyle MAPP: Author, Writer, Positive Psychologist, Clinical Hypnotherapist, Associate lecturer, Laughter Facilitator Director Positive Psychology Learning. Follow her on Twitter & Facebook

Creating positive change through the application of science based processes