Some changes are the result of biology and the passage of time, within the natural cycle or order of things. Others are self-generated, under our own control and willful effort, or dependent upon encounters with significant others-family, friends, colleagues, and intimates.*

New Year is a great time to make plans for personal change, but statistically 80% of  New Year's Resolutions are broken by February - such is the nature of humanity or is it? Change is hard and inspiration fades without a planned personal campaign to sustain it. And when it comes to creating a plan for better health, it often seems harder - because if you are not obviously ill a plan to care better for yourself  or another person can get lost in the roar of the first weeks on the New Year.

The following 10 step plan is abridged from a favourite site - WiKi How to begin a New Life and we have put together some related activities and services that you can find on the exciting new health and wellbeing tool Connected Kingston to give you some ideas of places to start right here in our borough.  Some of these services are accepting direct referrals from the site and when it launches in March, members of the public will be able to refer themselves.

Visualisation - planning for your new life

Step one - decide what you want from this change to a new you 

Plan you goals and prioritise the things that have to change to get you to where you want to be. If your goal  is to loose weight this year, you might think about joining a club to help keep you motivated, or you might think about changing the way you shop and eat - healthy home cooked food to  create a healthier diet.  Follow this link to Connected Kingston to find a complete list of weight management services - either low cost or free

Step two - careful consideration

Changes you make will impact on yourself and other people - stopping smoking for example means you might have to stop seeing so much of your close friends who are smokers. Kick -it Stop Smoking Service in Kingston

Step three - assess the obstacles

What is standing in your way? Are you being realistic about what you want to do, are you plans practical.  Rather than travelling to a Shaolin Temple in China to  learn Tai Quan Dao, could you perhaps start with finding a local group a bit nearer to home? There are 23 groups offering a wide range of different services and activities on Connected Kingston from Knit and Natter groups to drama and music  as well as martial arts. Search Connected Kingston.

Step four - make a plan

There is nothing as satisfying as starting making a list with pen and paper - arrows joining ideas and underlining for the important bits, add to the excitement.  2D beats digital every time. But if you have been unemployed for ages and not getting anywhere, you might need some help revisiting the plan.  Try Connected Kingston's Better working futures service - they offer support and importantly can help you create a personal plan of action. 

Step five - take some time to revisit the plan

Rome wasn't built in a day and your plan is likely to change and evolve as you start to look into it. Keep reviewing it and discarding things that move from being a priority to not so important.  Connected Kingston has a good list of  around 50 different work, volunteering or educational  activities that might help you revisit the change you what you see. How about volunteering with Learn English at Home to helping  at Kingston Welcare's - Monday mum's peer support craft classes?  Connected Kingston must do list.

Creating your new life

Step one - take care of business

if you are determined to see the changes through, then there is going to be a financial cost. If you have a long term health issue - severe trouble with your breathing for instance, you might be thinking about moving out of London. Whilst you are reviewing you options Connected Kingston can provide you with support with managing long-term health conditions.

Step two - start a new routine

It takes between 3 -6 weeks before you new routine replaces the old routine , so stick with it once you have decided.  If you want to get fit for example you could try one of these 3  local groups on Connected Kingston  Local Park run,  the Get Active Referral programme and Yorda Playhouse.

Step three - keep your focus on yourself

Stay focused on what you want to achieve, comparing your achievements with the perceived achievements of others isn't helpful. If you need some advice to help keep you motivated have a look through these advice and support services listed on Connected Kingston.

Step four - seek help from others

Creating the change in your new life is not easy - if it was everyone one would do it and we would not need New Year to make resolutions. There are many services and support activities offered in Kingston that could help you stick to your resolve to change or to manage your own  health  from support with ADHD to Drug and Alcohol Addition, support groups for carers and befriending telephone service for older isolated residents. View these services on Connected Kingston.

Step five - be patient

Change takes time, give it the time it needs to grow till it feels natural. If you are in need of some peer support to help you adjust, there is a great Mindfulness practice group  for happiness and wellbeing. Suitable for new and experienced mediators. Connect with he group via Connected Kingston


 Source: The Nature of Change, Psychology of Today