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Why it might be time to ditch the New Year’s resolutions – By Dr Shamarel Odusanya

    The start of a new year is often a time of reflection for many people. Questions like, what did I achieve in the last 12 months? Did I make any progress towards any of my life’s goals? What do I want the next 12 months to look like? Whilst these reflective questions can be extremely helpful. It doesn’t necessarily ring true that a new year’s resolution is the logical next step to these reflections.

    New year’s resolutions can be unhelpful for a number of reasons. Firstly, they can be driven by the myriad of social media campaigns by companies trying to sell their products or services. This then becomes a problem if it doesn’t align with what is actually important to you which can in turn mean that you find it difficult to commit to the resolution. Secondly, new year’s resolutions can sometimes be challenging to last beyond the month of January because they have been framed as a “New Year’s” resolution. Once the month of February takes hold, the new year doesn’t feel so new and the attachment to the desire for change can sometimes wear off. Thirdly, if you have previously struggled to stick to a New Year’s resolution, it can make further attempts at it feel demoralizing and pointless.

    Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t endeavor to make changes in your life. If there is an aspect of your life that you would like to change and feel motivated to do so, then of course the New Year is as good a time as any to try. However, the way in which you go about making these changes may be what you need to focus on.

    The first recommendation for a successful approach to making changes in your life is to understand why this change is important to you. This requires you to think deeply about your life goals, and priorities and how the resolution in question fits in with this. Intention matters and can help you in taking steps in the direction you wish your life to go in. Furthermore, if your intentions are aligned with your core values, then this can create a powerful stage for which you can see your desires come to fruition.

    The role of intention in working towards a resolution is crucial. In the absence of intention and a meaningful connection to your goals, all you’re left with are lofty ideas and a bit of a wish list.

    Another useful recommendation for resolutions is to ensure that whilst trying to make changes in your life you don’t lose sight of what you already have and the accomplishments you have already made. Your resolutions are likely things that you wish to incorporate into your life to enhance it. So focusing on things that are going well is an important part of the process. Think of your new year’s resolution as a new kid joining a class. The goal for the child is to integrate with their other classmates successfully and that can’t happen by ignoring and alienating the other kids! If you feel that you are struggling to even make sense of what’s important to you and what you want for the new year ahead, you are welcome to sign up for the Envision: VisionBoard Workshop on Sunday 22nd January 2023. Facilitated by Clinical Psychologists: Karen Andrews and Dr Shamarel Odusanya, this workshop is all about creating success for 2023. For more information visit:


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    Emotional Wellbeing Check

    An Emotional Wellbeing Check is a 30 minute consultation to give you an overview of how you are doing with your psychological wellbeing. It will highlight key areas of your wellness and give an indication as to whether there are any areas of your life that would benefit from some attention. Like any other health check up, an emotional wellbeing check is an important part of staying on top of your mental health. With no commitment to engaging in regular therapy, this service offers a useful measure of your overall emotional wellbeing.

    When might an emotional wellbeing check be beneficial?

    • Something feels “off”, but you can’t quite put your finger on what it is
    • You are considering embarking on therapy, but you remain uncertain as to whether this would be beneficial for you
    • You have a history of mental health difficulties and want to stay on top of your emotional wellbeing

    Following the wellbeing check you will be provided with a brief summary report with recommendations from Dr Shamarel. As this is not a service that insurance companies typically reimburse for, you will not be given a formal diagnosis.