Three ways to keep your resolutions
With the start of the new year many people make resolutions for themselves, but few people stick to them for the long run. Whether you have made a resolution or not, you probably have an idea of how you want the year to turn out, or some goals in the back of your mind for ushering in an improvement in your life. While some people do follow-through to make that a reality, after a few months, the motivation typically fades, the inspiration wanes, and the vision is lost. There are however ways to help ensure that you can follow-through with your vision for the long haul. Even if you are not one who typically sets resolutions, this can be useful for any goal or change you wish to make. Of course, the Madison Hypnosis Center can help you with this as well.
- Setting intentions. This is the step that most people are familiar with when it comes to resolutions; setting your intentions. Intentions are what we would like to happen. They are our planning and imagination and desires mixed together to set a goal. This is the first step to creating what you want, and they are important, but many people get it wrong. Often, it is only the end result that makes it into the intention-setting rather than the whole picture. In this, most intentions amount to not much more than a fantasy. It is like looking at the top of the mountain and expecting to instantly be there, instead of looking at the journey it takes to get there. Figuring out what you want, what your intentions are, involves not only the ideal outcome, but what steps need to be taken to get you there. For example, feeling more confident, or restoring your health, are great goals, but the intentions need to include the changes necessary to get there, such as changing your self-dialogue or making different food choices. Often people know what they want to change, but not in what way. This is where the Madison Hypnosis Center can offer help in figuring out the path forward.
- Attention. Once your intentions are set, not only for the end goal, but for the path to get there, it is time to work on your attention. Attention is the key to making any change, and it comes in many forms. You can pay attention to how your body feels, your emotions, your thoughts, or your actions during the process of accomplishing your goals. You can notice the patterns that arise and the areas when you have been getting stuck. When you have that awareness, and when you pay attention to it, you become empowered to make a choice on how to proceed. For example, if you tend to procrastinate, you can notice what that resistance to being productive feels like in you body. You can notice the subtle emotions in the background, and the thought patterns that arise when you have a task to complete. As you begin to notice these things, rather than let them operate on auto-pilot, you get to decide how you react. Hypnosis can help you explore your capacity for attention to these things. Taking the time to explore your mind, your consciousness, and experience, gives you the room to begin to create.
- Action. Once you have a well-defined vision for what you want and how to get there, and once you’ve become aware of your thoughts and feelings surrounding those goals, you can begin to act in a way consistent with your goals, creating the outcomes that you want. Every action you take after all, has an impact on the outcomes you want, either working toward that defined end, or away from it. The awareness you have cultivated with training your attention allows you to make a conscious choice and act according to your will. But what about those actions we take that we are not really aware of? You can work to bring attention these actions, but of course this is something that hypnosis can help you with as well. By helping you to change your own internal dialogue and self-report, you begin to change those automatic patterns in action. In changing those actions, you may even bring awareness to different patterns, feelings, or habits that you weren’t previously aware of! It becomes a self-reinforcing cycle. As you change your actions, you change your awareness, all the while connecting it with your intentions. Intentions can change as you accomplish our goals and they become more automatic. That’s when you can start the cycle over from step one, or simply enjoy the change and progress you’ve made!
As usual, you can always schedule an appointment if you want help with your goals or resolutions. We can either reinforce previous changes you’ve made with follow-up sessions, or we can work on something new. For the month of February, I’m offering $54 off packages of 3 sessions or more to anybody who mentions this newsletter. Feel free to spread the word to any friends or family who may be interested.
News and Upcoming Events:
Curtis Ryals of the Madison Hypnosis Center will be giving ethics training at the International Certifying Board of Clinical Hypnotherapist (ICBCH) Winter conference in February. The focus of the training will be “Autonomy and Consent in Hypnosis” and will cover a wide range of ethical issues around informed consent in hypnosis.
Curtis will be giving a similar presentation in August at the largest growing hypnosis conference in the United States, HypnoThoughts Live. This talk will be focusing on the major ethical issues that impact the hypnosis industry as a whole.
Workshops: The Madison Hypnosis Center will soon be conducting group workshops for smoking cessation. These workshops will incorporate brief hypnosis exercises, but will focus more on teaching self-hypnosis skills and self-guided cessation techniques. Stay tuned for dates and times.