Maxine Harley – Are you making any new year resolutions?

Maxine Harley
Maxine Harley

ARE you making any New Year Resolutions? You may be wasting your time and energy!

No matter how much you want to make changes to your life – there’s one big thing getting in your way...YOU...or rather your brain!

If your own sub-conscious mind has decided against something happening, then making ‘resolutions’ won’t change that.

This core belief system is doing what it believes to be in your best interests.

I know, I gets it wrong most of the time.

That’s because it’s not operating from an up-to-date set of instructions.

Having a goal is one thing... but making it real is quite another.

It can be hard to re-train, re-programme and update your brain’s ‘files’ so that it allows a new habit to become ‘automatic’.

Goal Automaticity

Neuro-scientists tell us that it’s easier to replace a bad habit with a new one if you have visual reminders which ‘prime’ your mind to act in the desired way.

Things like having only healthy food on show in your kitchen, energy-conserving notices on your appliances etc.

There’s a battle going on in your brain between the strong and powerful desires of the ‘emotional’ area, and the more sensible and logical parts.

These logical parts helps you to:

Find further goals that fit with your new one and help you to remember them.

Compare what you’re currently doing and thinking about, with your new goal – and assesses whether these are a good fit with your longer-term aims.

Helps you to co-ordinate your actions towards getting you what you want.

Gives you willpower and self-encouragement.

Reduces your inner cravings.

Research also tells us that on average it takes 66 days to learn a new behaviour which replaces the old one, and for this new one to then become automatic.

So don’t be hard on yourself if your brain and sub-conscious programming let you down – again.

Be clear about what exactly you want to change and list all the reasons why.

Keep that list in view every day.

Remove any physical temptations, and

Keep going until you eventually create your new ‘automatic’ behaviours.


Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy)

Maxine Harley has a masters degree in psychotherapy, has written two books, and created four new approaches to psychological, emotional and physical well-being. She lives happily in Chichester with her daughter and grandson.

Maxine Harley – Will you have a happy Christmas?