Ghost of Christmas PastI know, I know – you’ve probably seen a dozen New Year blogs, New Year products and other activities based around the idea that now is the time to change yourself.

Thing is, it is true. Now is not the only time when you can take hold of your life and really get to grips with the changes, but in many ways it is the best time. Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a delightful tale that can be seen as one man’s epiphany through the lessons of the three ghosts. It’s a bit of a stretch but I’ve used these three ghosts to show why, even though it is a cliche, this is certainly the best time to make those big changes in your life.

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discarded cigaretteWe all know that there are a plethora of solutions and approaches to smoking cessation – from smoke aversion to nicotine replacement, from hypnosis to acupuncture.  Naturally the scientific world, Government health organisations and charities are very keen to study the various approaches and pin down exactly which ones are the most effective.

There are a host of studies, and the outcomes vary slightly from one to another. Hypnosis, which is my favoured approach, (although I combine it with cognitive behavioural therapy and neurolinguistic programming) comes out quite well overall, usually significantly higher than nicotine replacement for example.

But I have to admit that there is something that consistently out-performs all the other techniques!
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By now most people will have had at least a fleeting thought about a New Year resolution. Even if it is only to firmly commit to not bothering to make one this year.

Maybe New Year resolutions should be relabelled January resolutions, since the first month is often how long they last. (That’s actually not such a bad idea!)

My take on New Year resolutions, which I explore fully in my book ‘Making your New Year resolution work for you‘ [£4.99 on Amazon), is that behind every New Year resolution there is a bigger picture goal that drives it. Unfortunately we don’t tend to make that conscious connection between say, giving up chocolate (small picture resolution), and becoming fit and healthy (big picture goal). When we say we are going to stop smoking and use the money to save (small picture resolution) we are not necessarily fully connected to becoming financially independent (big picture goal).Read more »

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