New year, same you - 2nd Cup of Tea NLP blog

I love the expression, wherever you go, there you are!

I’m guessing that if you were one of the roughly 25% of British people who made a New Years’ Resolution, then you might also be one of the 73% who keeps none or at least, not all, of them.

Source: Quarter of Brits will make a New Year’s resolution | YouGov

Why do we keep making them if we know we’re not keeping them?

It’s very compelling to sit and imagine yourself being a different, and let’s face it, better version of yourself. Maybe one who is thinner, fitter, kinder, less stressed, a better friend, relative or colleague, who earns more and spends more time at home. And yet it’s easier said than done.

If all the things that stopped you achieving these dreams in 2020 are still true today, maybe wishing and dreaming isn’t working.

Maybe NLP and coaching can help.

What is NLP?

NLP is Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Broken down that is Neuro, your nervous system including your brain, Linguistic, the language you use to label things, and Programming, borrowed from computing language, as the order and sequence for doing something.

NLP is an umbrella label for lots of techniques that help you to reprogramme your nervous system.

In other words, it has the power to change how you behave.

What behaviour would you like to change?

What was on that new year’s resolution list? Whether it is the big-ticket items like; stop smoking, lose weight, get fit, or whether it’s to stay calm even when I’m running late, not to procrastinate, or give myself time every day to meditate, NLP can help.

Recognising the pattern.

The first thing to recognise is that we have a pattern for everything.

Think about making a cup of tea, I bet you have a tried and tested method, well it’s the same for everything. You have a process for getting dressed in the morning and for driving the car and for planning your day. But you also have processes for the less useful stuff too. You have a process for getting stressed, you have a process for being late and you have a process for not making time for yourself.

That might sound crazy, but it is true. Think about the last time you behaved in a way that wasn’t helpful, what were the steps, what did you think feel say or do and in what order? Trust me, we don’t do anything without a reason even if that reason isn’t helpful.

Secondary gain.

One of the presuppositions, or useful beliefs, of NLP is that ‘All behaviour has a positive intent’.

So even if a process looks like it couldn’t possibly serve a purpose, it does.

Let’s take those big-ticket items first, stopping smoking, losing weight, and getting fit. I think it’s true to say that we all know these are things that we should do. If it’s so obvious then why is it so hard to change. Well, even if you regularly engage in a behaviour that you hate, wish you could change, and think has no positive use whatsoever, then you are wrong. On some level there is a positive intention. We call it secondary gain. Identifying this secondary gain is a big step towards changing the pattern, because, if you know what the intention is, you can very likely get the same outcome from a different behaviour.

For example:

If you are always running late, maybe there is a secondary gain for the excitement and drama it causes.

If you smoke or drink or eat chocolate when you are stressed maybe it’s because it helps you feel calm.

Once you have identified the positive intention you can look for a healthier way to achieve the same result.

How else could you have some excitement in your life without making yourself late? Maybe sign up to do a parachute jump or embark on a new career or hobby.

How else could feel calm when you are getting stressed? Maybe by having a cup of tea, having a long bath, or phoning a friend for a chat.

Change the pattern.

NLP is about recognising that you have a process and then changing it. We call it a pattern interrupt.

The techniques are simple and effective.

How does coaching help?

Coaching can help you identify the unwanted behaviour, get to the bottom of the positive intention, and help you to identify the behaviour and outcome you want instead.

I would love to help you get there.

There is still plenty of time to make 2021 the year you say, ‘new year, new me!’

New Year, same you.