Good intentions gone out the window? ‘Set smaller goals’

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Going to the gym more often, quitting smoking or maybe just lightening the load. On 1st January, New year resolutions are often made by why do we fail at the first hurdle and why is it so difficult to be so disciplined?

Behavior coach Bianca Dubbelaar (39) from Eersel knows all about that. “For starters, it is all to do with how we are ‘wired’ as humans. We have on average about 60,000 thoughts a day and three-quarters of them are negative.”

And that can be disastrous for all our ambitions at the start of a new year. “We are very inclined to linger in negativity. If I didn’t manage to lose weight last time, why would I succeed now? We don’t do that on purpose, it’s in our primal brain. “Before you know it, you’ll be putting a bag of chips in your mouth.”


Perhaps even more important is the reason behind our resolutions. “It’s all about motivation. Why do we necessarily want to go to the gym four times? Often this stems from a certain fear. For example, the fear of getting sick, but also because we think people think we are ugly or too fat.”

If you start with that approach, according to Dubbelaar, the plan is doomed to fail. “If you don’t see results quickly, you quickly fall back into that downward spiral of thought. For example: I will never get a killer body. Or: people will laugh at me when I’m in the gym. Before you know it, you have a bag of chips in your mouth again. “Choose smaller challenges and be proud of your acheivements.”

The thought expert and hypnosis coach also sees these problems in her own practice. “Every day. We all struggle with this. And certainly not just in January.”


But what can you do about it then? “First, you have to find out for yourself why you are actually doing something. Think back to that bag of chips. Are you eating it because you have an empty stomach, or because you are looking for comfort? If you know that, you can break through.”

Dubbelaar also has a practical tip. “Don’t make your goals too big. Choose smaller challenges and be happy when you do achieve them. Life is a kind of computer game, where you face a new problem at every level.”

Source: Omroep Brabant

Translated by: Louise

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