Time Out Dubai speaks to experts to find out the what, why, when and how of making the right resolutions
Time Out Dubai Staff
We all know New Year resolutions don’t have the highest success rates but instead of ditching the annual goal-setting tradition altogether, we at Time Out towers are determined to make them stick this year with a little help from two very different healing experts.
We speak to clinical hypnotherapist and master Theta Healing practitioner Mariam L. Yasin, as well as Dr. Melanie Schlatter (PhD), a trained and licensed health psychologist, to find out how alternative and conventional health practices can respectively help us achieve our goals.
What are your personal opinions on what some would call a dated tradition? Mariam Yasin: As with all traditions, they start for a reason and usually a good one! Setting ‘resolutions’ allows one to clearly define the changes they want to create in their life and for the mind to focus its energy on manifesting exactly that. That’s the biggest secret in manifestation (that I teach) – knowing what you want. Instead of focusing on the negative, direct your energies towards positive outcomes.
Melanie Schlatter: I think it will likely remain, similar to how people set goals around the time of their birthdays. People gravitate towards potential hope, and the signal of a New Year can be enough to ignite this process.
It can be difficult to analyse yourself, how can people correctly identify what needs to ‘improve’ in their lives? MY: We shouldn’t dismiss what incredibly powerful beings we are. We instinctively know when something is not working out and this is the way our mind lets us know it’s time to move forward and create change. Because our subconscious is infinitely more powerful than the conscious mind, seeking the expertise of a qualified practitioner through techniques such as Theta Healing or hypnotherapy will guide you to healing and creating change from the inside-out.
MS: I think that in our hearts we know what needs to change, but indeed, some people do have difficulty, especially when they have limited resources, control, or choice. They stop hoping and dreaming and feel stuck. At these times, you can start to ask yourself some simple questions: Am I doing what I want to be doing? Where do I feel resentful of my time or energy being wasted? Am I truly living my life and making time for what is important to me? Have I got anything to look forward to?
Some people set easy goals and some, unrealistic ones. Does it really matter as long as they are achievable? MY: The mind has to believe that what you want to manifest can be a reality. That doesn’t mean you can’t aim high and actually achieve it, but it has to be relatively plausible. For example, if your resolution is to get married to Brad Pitt, well he is already married and unavailable so your mind would have great difficulty believing that this could be a reality. It would be more effective to manifest your most compatible soul mate by defining all the qualities he or she may have and, yes that could even be resembling Brad Pitt.
MS: Goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Therefore by default, they have to be realistic. Easy goals may provide a little incentive in the beginning, but you simply won’t experience the true personal gratification from setting and attaining a slightly more difficult goal.
Is there such a thing as too many resolutions? MY: No, actually there is an interesting trick to manifesting. I always tell my clients that they need to create a list of 100 things they want in their life; whether it’s material or emotional. Write it down on a piece of paper. This is how you keep the mind busy on what you want instead of all the dramas, worries, etc.
MS: Yes. Focus on the top goals at first – the ones that would make the biggest impact on your life. For instance, it is often best to start with the goals that will give you physical energy. You will never reach your goals if you are sick and tired.
For those seeking to make the big ones – losing weight, quitting smoking, dealing with depression, etc. What would you recommend? MY: Statistics show that only 2 per cent of people can operate out of willpower alone so more often than not these issues would need to be addressed through the support of a holistic therapist who can guide you through the changes and empower you in the process. All of the issues mentioned have subconscious mind associations and need to be resolved at that level. It can be easy; it’s just the not knowing how to create the change that leaves most people frustrated.
MS: The simplest answer would be: if you know there is a goal you need to achieve to feel better and truly live your life, then make your goals SMART and write them down. Also, note down what the positive and negative outcomes from changing as well as not changing will be. Imagine how you would think, feel, and behave as if you have already achieved your goal. Be aware of all the ways to offset your demons in these three areas – think, feel and behave. Write down alternatives for when typical unhelpful thoughts strike, then engage in a proactive behavior. The more you do this, the more your brain will become addicted to the ‘good’ feeling of saying no, as opposed to the artificial ‘good’ from a negative habit.
There’s a belief that if you do anything for a month, it becomes a habit... MY: There is clear scientific evidence that it takes 21 days for a new neural pathway to be developed in the brain. That means in one month’s time you can break any habit or behavior and create a new one through specific techniques such as positive affirmations, self-hypnosis or seeking the guidance of a healing practitioner.
MS: The idea of 21 days to form a habit is hotly debated, and in fact, it has been proven that a habit can be formed faster than this. The background idea is simply that it takes your brain a certain amount of time to get used to something new, so that it becomes a no brainer, like brushing your teeth. However, if you make a solid plan to break a habit, based on truly emotive or crucial reasoning that resonates within you, then there is no reason why you can’t succeed quickly.
Sometimes we need professional help – are there warning/key signs to look out for? MY: If you’re feeling lost, confused, overwhelmed or even experiencing physical symptoms and cannot seem to get a grip on what is happening within your space, then this is a good time to seek help before it gets out of control. This happens when your mind and body is telling you that something needs to change. Urgently. We have a tendency to let our emotions take over without knowing how to shift them into a positive understanding of our current situation.
MS: If someone suggests that they think you need some help, please listen to them. Often outsiders can observe things in us before we can recognise it ourselves. As a preventive measure, it’s better to seek professional help sooner rather than later because later you may not have the ability to confront the necessary issues and deal with coping strategies.
DR. Melanie’s tips to HELP realise your resolutions: 1 Reflect daily on the reasons why you are setting a goal and why the change is important.
2 Figure out what inspires you most so that you can engage in necessary change.
3 Love the things that you find most difficult or challenging.
4 If you slip up, don’t dwell on it and get back to your goals straight away.
5 Avoid self-defeating self-talk such as ‘this is just how I am’.
6 Tell people your plans for change so you can be supported (and be held accountable).
7 Make sure you give yourself a pat on the back when you feel proud of a positive outcome.
8 Create an aversive picture of unhelpful behaviour to tone down the ‘need’ for it.
Mariam’s tips to help realise your resolutions: 1 Define clearly what you want and don’t limit yourself with the factor of time.
2 Always write your resolutions down on paper. This starts the creation process.
3 If one thing on your list becomes a reality, write something else in its place.
4 Make sure you write what you want as if you already have them in your life now.