Monthly Article Archives: January 2010

A New Year: Any Planned Changes?Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

I have often voiced reservations about the effectiveness of New Year’s resolutions. I enthusiastically support replacing “negative scripts” in our lives with healthier attitudes and behaviors. However, far too often the initial determination and enthusiasm associated with these resolutions wane within a month or two. But why? The reasons vary from one person to the next, but a key variable for many is a failure to have a realistic plan for accomplishing the goals of the resolution. In addition, most people do not build in safety nets to manage obstacles that may appear. Rather than making adjustments to unrealistic goals and/or an unsuccessful plan, many abandon their resolution and revert to old scripts and habits. A couple of examples follow, which I believe are not uncommon occurrences: Joe had gained a noticeable amount of weight during the past 10 years. At the beginning of December he looked at an old photo of himself before the extra pounds began to accumulate. He shifted his eyes from the photo to the mirror. As he looked at himself, he could not help noticing the paunch that had grown insidiously in his stomach area. Joe didn’t like what he saw. He even attempted to

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