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  • Writer's pictureChris People

New year's resolutions you want to do it differently?

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

  • Rather than spending another year of not only not getting where you really want to be, but then to make it worse, also beating yourself up for it...yet again…?

  • Do you instead want to try something that will help you discover meaning, purpose and satisfaction, and help you find your own incremental baby-steps to getting there?

  • Something based on real science and effective therapeutic techniques, without the "woo-woo" of pseudo-scientific nonsense?

Feeling the pressure and sleazy 'influencers'

That time is approaching where we feel the need to make some changes, and the overwhelming feeling of pressure may already be building inside you. And we’ll soon see everyone else getting excited about giving up booze for a month, or sugar, or going to the gym regularly, or setting some other grand and often arbitrary expectations. And to make things worse, our Instagram is filled with people who seem to live the perfect life and also (intentionally) make us feel bad that we're not as perfect, and we can't achieve the things that they've achieved, whilst they live off the sponsorship for products they endorse, in those videos that make us feel like we could be perfect just like them if only we had that thing/characteristic/secret they're selling. (I’ve talked about how I hate ‘shame’-based tactics before: I think these dirty tactics lack nuance, are underhand and, well, shameful.)

How's that been working out for you?

Now, hyperbole and my dislike for certain influencers aside (!), there are some really good reasons to undertake a personal, frivolous or physical challenge. Maybe they simply bring a little fun into your life, or maybe they help you connect to friends, family or your community, which are all awesome things to do! And these can actually help in a therapeutic context too. But maybe you're really searching for something a bit more...fundamental...something about the nature of your life and the way you feel about things. Does that other new year's resolution stuff work for this? In the long-term I mean, for what really matters to you right now?…Does it actually make us feel better or happier? Does it actually make our life easier or more meaningful and fulfilled?

Maybe you don’t even know what it is you need to change. You have a feeling you need something to add meaning and purpose, but you just don’t know what direction to take?

Or, like me, you probably have previously tried setting yourself a new task or goal each year, that you then can’t achieve and then spend the next 11 months beating yourself up about it? Hearing that voice in the back of your mind chatting away telling you ‘you’re not good enough’, ‘you always screw this up’ ‘you’ll never change, don’t try’. Maybe you just chalked this up to your lack of ‘willpower’, whatever that is actually supposed to mean!

It's not about willpower or effort!

It’s not that! It’s just that so far this game has been rigged, you’ve been on the back foot, and too busy dealing with all the genuinely important stuff in your life, whilst also being derailed with all that other noise (like those damn influencers) that seeks to keep you from what’s really important for you.

This isn’t about the amount of effort you’ve put in: I know you’ve already worked and tried really hard. And you’ve probably already tried a bunch of other stuff to get where you want to go. But maybe you just didn’t have access to the right tools and support system at the time. And if you’ve been kind enough to read my rant this far, I’ve sure you’ve already guessed I’m going to suggest an alternative…

Here's my alternative suggestion...

How about we drop the struggle? Let’s drop the rope of this tug of war with our own minds and the world. If something needs to be different, well then let’s also do things differently this time. We can change the rules of this game and make lasting and meaningful change.

Small, achievable, incremental changes that lead us in a direction of value, meaning and purpose – whatever that personally means to you. This is one of the many things we help you explore in Men:Mood and Mind, and so if you don’t know what really matters for you yet, that’s just fine, we’ll help you get there. Men: Mood and Mind focuses on 3 key principles, often referred to as the ‘Triflex’ in Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT):

  • Opening up: learning to deal with difficult thoughts, feelings and challenges

  • Being present: contact with the present moment, learning to ‘be’ not just ‘do’; and

  • Doing what matters: living life in pursuit of our true values

What's it all based on?

We use a combination of ACT, CBT and mindfulness with hypnosis as an accelerator for change, to provide you with the right tools this time to start moving towards what really matters for you right now. These are evidence-based approaches, which means they're supported by the scientific and clinical research. You’ll be supported by me as you need it, and you’ll actually have some accountability to me and the group about whether you took the action you told us you wanted to take.

This course was designed as a catalyst for change, a toolbox for your mind if you like. There will be lessons and exercises that are relevant to you right now, and some you’ll probably want to save for the future. It’s fully adaptable to your current situation. Consider it future-proofing your software. My goal here, like all good therapists, is so that you don’t need to see me again in a role as coach or therapist! (But of course, if something particularly challenging does come up in the future, you will know where to find me!).

Next rounds of the Men: Mood and Mind Course

The next rounds of Men: Mood and Mind will be launched before we break for Christmas to help us start making the changes we need right now, and hopefully avoid us getting caught in another vicious and pointless ‘new year resolution’ cycle of self-criticism and doubt.

Friday lunchtimes: starting the 26th of November, 1pm (UK time, 50 minute sessions) for 8 weeks. We’ll take a 2 week break over the Christmas period (no session on the 24th or 31st of December!) and be ready to hit the ground running again on the 7th of January 2022.

Thursday evenings: starting 2nd of December, 7 pm (UK time, 1.5 hour sessions) for 6 weeks. We’ll take a 2 week break over the Christmas period (no session on the 23rd or 30th of December!) and be ready to hit the ground running again on the 6th of January 2022.

So, if you're interested in making lasting, meaningful change, please do get in touch to organise your free, no-obligation consultation call.

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