As we officially head out of Winter and into Spring, it’s often a time when we look back at the resolutions we made so enthusiastically on the 1st January – and take a moment to wonder exactly when our fervent commitment started to wane and why we’re finding it so very difficult to make these planned changes permanent…

Well firstly we are usually unrealistic and over ambitious. And secondly, people’s brains don’t like negatives. So, when you are on a diet you say to yourself ‘I will not eat cake’ or ‘I will not have a burger and milkshake for lunch.’ Your brain, however, is thinking about cake, burger and milkshake! It is like saying to you now ‘DO NOT THINK ABOUT PINK ELELPHANTS!’ I can guarantee that you will, and are, thinking about pink elephants (and if you’ve ever seen the film Dumbo they have tutus and are singing J)

So how do you keep your resolutions? Well firstly be realistic about what you can achieve within the time, and the resources, you have available. If you’re thinking of taking up exercise, consider if you’re in close proximity to a gym and if you can actually afford to go. And crucially, be honest with yourself – do you actually like the exercise you’re committing yourself to do? Do something that catches your imagination and try and go with friends. You are much more likely to go in the first place – and enjoy yourself when you get there – if you have made a commitment to someone else and if the activity has a social side to it.

If you do find you are struggling, then consider working with a coach or hypnotherapist who can help you. Hypnotherapy is a fabulous resource for all kinds of things, from losing weight to stopping smoking and all other health outcomes in between. It can really help you to change your mind set, move forward and achieve your goals.

An important fact to note is that hypnotherapy can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. It has a somewhat murky past which unfortunately results in most people asking ‘will you make me cluck like a chicken’ at their first session. The answer is of course ‘no’ – not unless that is something that you actually want to do of course! Hypnotherapy uses your own resources – it works on a subconscious level and almost rewires your brain to think about things differently. So, for someone that smokes it is not ‘I must not have a cigarette’ (as this makes you immediately think about cigarettes). It is ‘I am a non-smoker’.

Hypnotherapy looks at your negative triggers – the language you use and the reasons why you smoke, eat too much of the wrong foods, don’t exercise (for example) and then gives you positive triggers to stop you thinking about not smoking or not eating cake. In other words you’re not being told not to think about pink elephants – they simply don’t exist! A good hypnotherapist will look at the whole picture and give you the tools to make the positive changes you would like to make to your life – then you can have your own achievable resolutions for the rest of 2017 and beyond!