2013 is the year to change your life

Hypnotherapist John Mill

Most people want to beat the bulge after Christmas

Gym instructor Danny Kashman says you should aim for small goals

Stopping smoking is not only good for your health but your wallet too

First published in News Wandsworth Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Thinking of making a New Year's resolution this year but scared you might not be able to keep it? Sophia Sleigh gets some tips from the experts on sticking to your goal in 2013.

It is that time of year again when millions of us make promises to improve our lives but we know deep down we are doomed to fail.

Sitting in the armchair in a food induced haze we dream of a New Year in which we achieve that Kelly Brook or Ryan Gosling body and no longer wheeze when we get to the top of the stairs.

Some people make the same resolutions each year including losing weight, stopping smoking and getting fit.

However, in reality most of us fall off the wagon within days of making our New Year’s resolutions - the pounds pile back on and we can’t resist that sneaky cigarette.

However, after hosting the greatest sports spectacle on earth, perhaps 2013 should be the year Londoners take a little inspiration from the hundreds of determined athletes.

A hypnotherapist, a life coach, a doctor and a gym instructor all say it’s possible and with a little mind over matter we can all stick to our New Year’s resolutions.

The hypnotherapist

John Mill, is a Harley Street hypnotherapist from Sutton who helps people deal with problems ranging from stopping smoking to nail biting and weight management.

In the New Year he often has clients come to him wanting to stop smoking and lose weight. 

John gets people to stick to their New Year’s resolutions by changing the way they think about the promises they make to themselves.

He teaches them about the size of their stomach and even leaves a McDonald’s Happy Meal on a chair in an experiment to show it has so many preservatives a month later it will not have rotted.

He said: "With weight and smoking a lot of people don’t imagine doing it.

"You have to take away the words ‘try’ and ‘hope’. If you believe you can do it - you can.

"I don’t put them on a diet but I get them to choose what’s healthy. They know the difference between a pear and a pastry."

The doctor

Dr Ruth Charlton, the Epsom and St Helier Trust’s joint medical director, urges people who make a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking.

She said that quitting smoking not only improves not only your own health but that of those around and it's even good for your wallet.

She said: "Over the course of ten years, a person smoking 20 cigarettes a day will see something in the region of £25,000 go up in smoke, quite literally."

The gym instructor

If weight loss is your primary goal then, Danny Kashman, an instructor from Pinks Gym in Carshalton, advises people to think of it as a lifestyle change.

He said: "I’d say pick small goals that lead to bigger goals.

"For example aim for four pound increments if you want to lose a stone. Make small steps.

"The best thing to do is to make a few slight improvements where you can - replacing white bread with linseed bread.

"Where people go wrong it is when it’s not a lifestyle change they slip into bad habits again."

But never fear, Danny says you can still enjoy your favourite takeaway on a Sunday as a reward - he said it can even help your metabolism rather than hinder.

The life coach

However, it is not only weight loss and smoking that people decide to change in their New Year’s resolutions.

Wimbledon life coach and therapist, Nina Madden, founded Life Changes which helps people to improve their lives.

She said Christmas is usually her busiest time because people have been thinking about their lives and what to make changes to.

When someone comes to see her with a motivational problem she investigates the goal behind the goal because that is what their mind is really stuck on.

She explained: "Someone who is maybe just a little bit over weight is fixed on it - but what they really want is to feel better about themselves and feel better in social situations or to get into a relationship.

"When you get to the real thing people want, it is a lot easier to get them to stick to it.

"In terms of stopping smoking and losing weight the advice I would give is to have a clear image in your mind of what the end result is going to be.

"That’s really really important and to connect that up with the reason why you want to do it and connect with your sense of identity."

If four experts say it is possible then what have you got to lose? So take the plunge and make 2013 the year to change your ways for good.

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