As the New Year approaches, many of us are giving thought to what we would like to achieve for 2009. While some of us are contemplating joining a gym or losing weight, others are determined to quit smoking or perhaps eat healthier this year.

Whatever behavior or habit you are considering, it’s highly likely that you have made this same promise to yourself in the past and by February you were faced with your old habits once again – all of your good intentions literally out the window. Even thought the changes we want are in our best interest and would greatly improve our quality of life and health, they continue to elude us. Even relationship habits or emotional patterns that we desperately want to improve often stay with us and we stay stuck despite our best efforts.

In fact, doesn’t it seem like the more we want it and the harder we try the worse these problems seem to get? So why exactly does it work this way? Why is it so hard to keep out resolutions?

The reason is surprising simple. While you are obviously aware and can control your conscious thoughts (“I will exercise more”; “I will give up chocolate”; “I will not yell at my spouse in the front of the kids”), your unconscious thoughts are not within your awareness and may net yelling you the exact opposite. The unconscious or subconscious thoughts win this battle most of the time because they are more powerful, making up 95 percent of our mental potential. Subconsciously you are still accepting and living by negative thoughts and ideas that you’ve had for a long time. It is these ideas or thoughts at the subconscious level that keep you doing the very things you consciously no longer want to do.

The wonderful thing about the subconscious is that while it can work against you, it can be used as your most powerful ally to affect positive changes on your life. Your subconscious contains all of your memories, your belief system, and sensory information from all five senses. There are things stored there from the most traumatic experiences of your life and also from repetitive negative thoughts you’ve had about yourself or been told by others.

Unfortunately, your subconscious does not have a sense of humor or a sense of time, so everything from the gentle jibes we get from a co-worker about having love handles, or teasing from classmates about not being cool enough are stored here as very serious, real and current realities. Using clinical hypnotherapy, these negative imprints, also called blocks or obstacles can be gently and easily removed, allowing new, more positive thoughts and ideas to take hold.

Working with the inner mind in this way, coupled with behavioral therapy, you can establish new habit patterns and make the behavioral changes you have not been able to make in the past. You can have a powerful, motivating mindset that is free from the blocks that have prevented you from reaching your goals so many times in the past.

Along with behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy, many alternative or complementary therapies can easily and naturally help you lake similar transitions in your life. A holistic approach will often incorporate many therapies to ensure that you have many tools and techniques to help you reach and fulfill your purpose.

So before you make your resolutions this year, consider making this one first: explore the idea that the key to success lies within your own inner mind. Understanding this, and deciding how to use it to your highest potential, is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.

Author's Bio: 

Shayn Cutino is a Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist. For more information, go to