Changes That Last

Let’s face it, 2020 has left us with plenty to improve on. Whether you prescribe to ‘New Year, New Me’ thinking or not, everyone has goals for a better 2021. All the most common resolutions are top of the list for this year for many people: lose that lockdown weight, enjoy life more fully, save up for an important purchase, get more physically fit, find a better job, stress less, stop smoking, drink less, rebuild relationships and friendships, see family more. No matter what your goals are, you’ve chosen them for a good reason. They represent changes that you think will make you feel happier or more fulfilled. Doesn’t it make sense to give yourself the best possible chance of sustaining these changes by speaking to someone who can help?

All of these goals for next year include making a change, breaking a habit, or building up something that is already positive. Breaking and making habits can be difficult alone, which is where CBT based techniques can boost your chances of achieving your goals.

Let’s look at a common goal: lose weight. Without a thorough plan, this is a goal with no teeth. How much do you want to lose? In how long? How will you measure? How will you accomplish it? The ins and outs of something that seems so simple on the surface can be overwhelming, but having a therapist as a sounding board can help. It can help especially with the psychological barriers of this same goal: what happens on days that you just can’t work towards your goal? How to you stay motivated? What keeps you accountable? How do you keep from feeling burned out? How do you keep the changes you’ve made? Replace losing weight with another goal and you’ll see that making changes toward any goal faces the same problems.

CBT can help you face the automatic negative thoughts that hold you back from success. Take, for example, a search for a new job. You may find yourself over analysing in your head what career you want to go into, what position is right for you, how much money you want to make, if you’re good enough for these jobs, etc. These thoughts and worries are unhelpful. Of course, you want an idea of what you might like to do, but it doesn’t do any good to worry and agonize over details of a job you haven’t applied to yet. Therapy can help address your worries and give you the confidence to put yourself (and your CV) out there. It can help you focus on the present and not what might be.

The point of using CBT is to ultimately make a behavioural change. Overall, you want to feel better in your life and you believe your new year’s resolution will get you there. CBT is a short-term therapy approach. You can start to see a change in your behaviour within just a few weeks. The most challenging part is keeping it going! It takes 21 days to make or break a habit. You will be well on your way to your goal by February, but what happens when there is a setback, delay, or you’re burned out? A therapist can hold you accountable for getting back up and on your way. 

Imagine having someone on your team with motivation tools, SMART planning skills, and behaviour change tools when you tackle your new year goals. Within a few sessions, you will have planned out your goals, learned the tools you need to reach them, and brought down your psychological barriers to action. You can even schedule in a 6-month check-up to reassess your progress, update your plan, and keep you motivated and accountable for the rest of the year.

Call now for a free initial phone consultation, and lets see how together we can make 2021 a positive year for you.

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