If there is one clear thing that I have learnt in over 20 years of clinical work at the Smart Therapy Centre it is this:  in the end, you are the ONLY person who can call yourself to account.

You can lie and pretend to yourself until the cows come home but ultimately the buck stops with you.

It doesn’t matter what others say or do.  It doesn’t matter how much they try to help you.  It doesn’t matter how much they try to penalise you.   

In the end, it will be your commitment to changing problematic behaviours that will be the difference between success and failure.  Between a life where you feel capable and in control, and a life where you feel desperate and completely out of control.

Now, think hard on this next question before you answer, because your life depends on it.  Are you prepared to go through another year of intense anxiety, panic attacks, depressed mood, loneliness, anger, heavy drinking, over-eating or unrelenting relationship tension? 

If the answer is ‘yes’ then go ahead, change nothing and plough onwards without complaint. 

If, on the other hand you are not willing to keep living with these problem behaviours then New Year is a good time to commit to serious change. 

By serious, I mean longer-term.  Don’t just decide to change for a few days or weeks, but instead undertake to change for at least 3 months and then re-evaluate. 

After 3 months, if your life is much improved (as it almost certainly will be), then re-commit to another lengthy stretch of time.  It only takes about 6 weeks to change established habits so that you feel comfortable and relaxed with the new behaviour. 

You may get the occasional urge to go back to old problematic ways but soon these urges are very easy to resist and in hardly any time at all it feels completely natural to behave constructively and in your own best interests.

If nothing else, think hard about this idea today.  Don’t slide it out of your awareness.  Instead, identify the problem behaviour and commit to serious change.  It just takes one clear decision to start …