Earlier today, I gave my 32nd "Thought for the Week" on BBC Radio Manchester. Given the date, I decided to talk about why we often fail to stick to New Year resolutions, and how to achieve personal change.
You can read it below.
Today is the 1st of January, so let me wish you a Happy New Year. May it be a good one.
In January, many people make new year’s resolutions. After all, the start of a new year always feels like the chance for a new beginning. And if you’re going to change the world, it’s a good idea to start with the one person you should be able to control, namely yourself.
So why, year after year, do we make new years’ resolutions, but not stick to them? Why does our resolution become irresolute? What does it really take to change?
About 15 years ago, I did some courses by the American motivational speaker Anthony Robbins. I have never forgotten him saying: “How quickly can you change? In a heartbeat.” But then you must take what he calls “Extended massive action.”
Let me give you an example from my own life. For decades, I talked about wanting to lose weight. But my weight kept slowly going up. Then, 3 ½ years ago, I had a high blood sugar reading.
Overnight, I decided to change. I completely re-engineered every aspect of my eating habits. In 12 months, I took off 24 kilogrammes, and it has stayed off ever since. You can change, but you must really want it, and you must make the changes you need, in a way that you can carry on forever.
Let me leave you with my favourite joke. It’s about psychiatrists.
How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?
The answer is only one. But, the light bulb must really want to change.