With another New Year upon us are you full of enthusiasm and good intentions for these next 12 months? The New Year is a naturally powerful time to pause and reflect on what you most desire in the coming 12 months. Sadly, a disheartening statistic quoted in the Journal of Clinical Psychology tells us that only 8% of people are successful at achieving their New Years Resolutions. If you’re among the 92% that do not achieve their resolutions you may be telling yourself that its because you’re not disciplined enough, not committed enough or not focused enough.
The real truth is that the New Years Resolution system is broken. New Years Resolutions come from the S.M.A.R.T goal methodology developed in 1981, and that methodology is out of date. The S.M.A.R.T acronym stands for setting goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bound and this approach has been the staple diet of business and management for the last 30 years. The reason you are failing in your New Years Resolution is that you are using out-dated technology.
I have spent the last few years researching and experimenting with an improved approach to goal setting that ensures my clients, and myself, maintain enthusiasm and momentum while pursuing highly ambitious outcomes. This month I’m thrilled to be launching my first workshop introducing the Intentional Goal Setting System.
The Intentional Goal Setting System flips the S.M.A.R.T goal setting system on its head. Instead of chasing a very 1980’s form of external material success, our new approach to setting goals, tracking progress and defining success is all about being satisfied while pursuing your deepest desires.
The Intentional Goal Setting System invites you to focus on the kind of person you desire to be. Then, instead of focusing exclusively on your end result, you track the tangible, measurable experiences that provide proof that you are being who you want to be. This approach builds a greater sense of satisfaction in day-to-day life and provides you with strong motivation to keep on moving forward.
Working with memories within hypnosis is a very powerful tool to achieve effective change. During early childhood, our minds are incredibly open and our neurological patterning is formed at this age. Key events that occurred in early childhood can influence our behaviour, our emotions and our beliefs in the present without us even being aware of it.
One of my approaches when working with clients is to guide their unconscious mind to find often forgotten but influential memories. This technique is widely known as regression. Once the client has located the key memory, we work quickly and effectively at re-contextualising the events of that moment. This process allows the client to take more information from the event and make new conclusions. By revisiting specific childhood events and seeing the bigger picture we create new neural connections which allow new behaviours and responses in the present.
To make the process of re-contextualising memories even faster and more effective I often use the technique called “creative mothering”. As the client reviews the key event, I invite them to bring their present-day adult-self to be there with their child-self inside the memory they are working with. The purpose of their adult-self is to serve as the source of support and resources that their child-self needed at the time.
In her recent exhibition, Imagine Finding Me, London-based photographer Chino Otsuka has literally inserted her adult-self into childhood memories using digital software. The compositions presented in her exhibition could well be little vignettes from many of the client sessions I facilitate.
The results of re-contextualising these key memories are often noteworthy. I recently worked with a client who came to see me to overcome her feelings of failure. I took her back to the originating memory which involved feeling ignored by a parent. Once she’d been through the process of having her unconscious mind understand that being ignored was not her fault she was able to know that she was important and loved. Getting in touch with the knowledge that she did matter allowed her to claim her self-worth in the present.
A week later she made a minor miscalculation while driving. While everyone remained safe and no property was damaged, she did receive a fine. She relayed to me that if that miscalculation had happened in the past, she would have fallen into a hole of self-criticism and shame from which she would have taken a long time to recover. After releasing and re-contextualising the key memory she was thrilled that she could easily say to herself, “Damn it, how annoying!” and get on with the rest of her day.
What patterns of thought or behaviour have you feeling stuck? If enough is enough, then get in contact. Let’s go meet with your child-self and discover what else there is for you to learn.