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It is a common experience for people that New Year’s resolutions ‘don’t work.’ Have you ever wondered why it is that you start out the New Year –  gung-ho with your new commitments to exercise regularly, stop smoking or to lose that 15 or 50 pounds –  only to eventually sabotage your efforts and end up feeling like a failure?  Well, it really depends on where you are coming from in first making a New Year’s resolution.  It is prudent to ask yourself why you want to make this change.

Often people will say that they mostly want to feel good about themselves.  Often they think it will make them happier, or even just happy.  They think they will be happy in life when they just lose the weight, stop the smoking, or get to the gym 3 times a week.  Now although these are admirable goals for their health-inducing benefits, reaching them will not make people happier. Thinking that changing oneself in any way will, in itself, make one happy is erroneous thinking.  It is the “if only” mind game  –  “if only I lose that 15 pounds, then I’d be happy”; “if only I could stop smoking, then I’d be happy”; “if only…………”; “if only…………”; “if only……….”; add in your own.

What is fueling this “if only” thinking is an underlying belief that “I am not good enough” or “I am not enough” or “I am not okay, or lovable“  just as I am.  “I need to be different than the way I am.”  We are first and foremost already rejecting ourselves.  Most people experience this “not good enough” state at some time in their life.  If they try to make external changes, such as losing weight for example, they cannot sustain feeling good about themselves with a foundation of underlying “not good enough” or “unworthy” thoughts and feelings.

The real change needed is a shift in perception.  Start by adopting an attitude of compassion toward yourself.  Stop judging and rejecting yourself, and practice self-acceptance instead.  If it’s a change in your body that you seek, look in a full-length mirror and send love to your body, especially to the areas that you do not like.  If you want to quit smoking, then you must learn to be compassionate with yourself, accept and love yourself even as a smoker.  It isn’t going to help at all to beat yourself up by thinking negative thoughts about yourself.  It is only by accepting and making peace with “what is”  –  and knowing that you are okay, worthy, enough, ‘good enough’, and lovable just for being who you are  –  that you can then take successful steps in the direction of your goals.

As you consider your desired dreams for 2013, remember to first offer yourself compassion, love and self-acceptance.  From this starting point, you create within yourself the strong foundation which can support real change and lasting results.

Port Moody Health offers multiple programs and treatments to help you reach your New Years Resolutions.  For information on Smoking Cessation, Weight Loss Management or any of our other programs, call the clinic at 604-949-0077 today!