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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

How do you keep your new year's resolutions?
Hypnotist Monica Dobbie says focus on the end result rather than the negative habit

Helen Jardine

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

* Photo by Helen Jardine. You can do it: Hypnotist Monica Dobbie says many new year’s resolutions fail because people wrongly focus on the negative habit rather than the ‘reward.’
Whether it's quitting smoking, taking up running or getting to bed earlier - new year's resolutions are much easier to make than they are to keep.

But hypnotist Monica Dobbie says this is simply because we are approaching the whole thing the wrong way.

We have to actually want to change our behaviour, rather than just look at it as something we should change.

"New year's resolutions are three words that many of us shrink away from because we've made them every year but haven't been able to keep them," said Ms Dobbie. "They are like broken promises to ourselves.

"The reason that we so often fail is that we focus on the negative habit that we want to change and on what we should do; not on what we really want to do."


For example, Ms Dobbie explained that if we focused more on the end result - what our life would be like once we have stopped smoking, or the clothes we will fit into when we are slimmer, or what our home would look like if we were tidier - it would be a lot easier to stick to our resolutions.

"We need to ask ourselves what will be the 'reward' we will get from stopping smoking," she said. "For exercise it may be having a greater fitness level or feeling more energetic.

"Answer the question 'what's in this for me?' and write it down. Then, anytime you are struggling and you ask yourself 'why am I doing this?' you read it and remind yourself that you are getting closer to what you really want."

Also, the way you word your resolution can be crucial to your success.

Nobody wants to "give up" anything or "lose" anything, so Ms Dobbie advises her clients to use the words "stop", "quit" or "become slimmer."


She says that making resolutions is a very positive thing to do in life as it sets you goals and provides a sense of challenge and accomplishment.

However, if you are not sure what you would like to change in your life, she says one way is to ask the "miracle question".

The miracle question goes like this: "If a miracle took place in the night and you wake up to a life that is exactly as you want it, how would you know a miracle had taken place? What would you see, hear and feel?"

Although Ms Dobbie admits that it is entirely possible to achieve your new year's goals simply by being positive and optimistic, adding hypnosis to the mix will make things "85 per cent easier".

She said: "We tend to think that by consciously forcing ourselves or by having more willpower, we will stick to our resolutions. And, although we do need commitment in order to change a habit, the subconscious is more powerful than the conscious. It is when we communicate directly with the subconscious, through hypnosis, that permanent change happens."

For example, if we have had many years of negative self-talk (such as 'I'm not good enough', 'I can't succeed', 'I'm a failure' etc.), then when we look in the mirror on New Year's Day and tell ourself "I'm a wonderful person", our subconscious mind will reject that right away.

Ms Dobbie says this is where people can use hypnosis to create healthy, positive changes in their lives.


She said: "What a hypnotherapist can do for us is to employ their expertise in a professional and systematic manner that helps us to change our mindset about negative habits and life changes that we want to make.

"Step by step, we discover that our resolutions are well within our reach and that with professional help, they can become our reality. We begin to live a new life that is full of promise, possibility and permanent action - not broken self-promises.

"New year's resolutions give us a focus of intention and a direction for change. Thinking about them should make us feel good - excited, expanded, uplifted, challenged. If not, we should find some others that do!"

You can contact Monica Dobbie on 505 7531 or email Her website is:

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