Monday, December 29, 2008


The history of new year resolutions goes like this: The tradition goes all the way back to 153 B.C. when Janus, a mythical king of early Rome, was placed at the head of the calendar. With two faces, Janus could look back on past events and forward to the future. Janus became the ancient symbol for resolutions and many Romans looked for forgiveness from their enemies and also exchanged gifts before the beginning of each year.

In 2009 we also have the unique ability to look backward and forward. The problem with most PTSD experiencers is that we don’t. We only look backward – and see the past reflected in any peek into the future. In the upcoming year this must CHANGE.

I know, I know: It’s difficult to make change on the conscious level, that’s why so many of us have vowed to change our PTSD ways and failed. Well, of course it’s difficult to change! Those thoughts about change occur in our conscious mind and here’s the rub: The conscious mind only represents 12% of our entire mind. The other 88% - the subconscious - is where our motivations are housed. The 88% runs the show; if we want to affect complete change we must access this 88% through various methods (for example, EMDR, NLP and hypnosis).

But that’s not what we’re talking about today. TODAY we’re focusing on the role the 12% plays. As in: it’s important to condition the 12% to change. That’s where resolutions come in. Don’t underrate their importance in helping us focus so that we achieve PTSD freedom. The memories need to be routed out at the subconscious level, but our thoughts and actions in the 12% also have a major impact.

So….. In support of your 2009 Healing PTSD Resolution(s) (because you’re crafting it/them, right?), a few tips today about how to make that/those resolutions stick. It all begins with our vow not to be a part of the Failed New Year Resolutions statistic that states 80% of all resolutions will be broken by January 31.

We will need to concentrate on ways to avoid falling into this trap….

1 - Be confident you will succeed. We cannot achieve anything if we don’t believe in ourselves. The tough thing about PTSD is that it robs us of a sense of our own strength, identity and power. OK, we all know that. It’s time to get past it.

If you believe in nothing about yourself all year, you must only believe this: You can heal PTSD. There are many of us who have done it. You are not alone and not unique. You can join those of us who have crossed the bridge to wellness.

You must commit to doing whatever you need to build confidence in yourself: design and/or write healing affirmations, design a healing mantra to repeat during times of stress or quiet relaxation, actively work to build your self confidence.

2 – Refine your resolution so it does not feel out of reach. I like this article by Dr. Donald E. Wetmore. Once you’ve crafted your resolution, consider these 4 tips to help refine it into something that is manageable.

3 – Be nice to yourself. Making change is difficult. There are 1,00o reasons why we don’t have the patience, strength, focus, drive, etc. to kick PTSD. But there are 1,000,000 why we should, can and do. Remind yourself it’s all a process. Don’t be in a rush. Be slow and methodical. Tackle one thing at a time. Prioritize the items on your lists and attack them one by one.

Most importantly of all, make sure you stick to a mindset that supports the Herculean effort you’re making. It’s all a matter of perspective, which you can support with these new year resolution tips.

(photo: Fredden)

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