q Successful Resolutions with Clean Language - Clean Change Company

Successful Resolutions with Clean Language

Introductory Articles

By Judy Rees, for The Model magazine, Christmas 2006

And what would you like to have happen this New Year? Are you thinking of making that big change – stopping smoking, cutting down on booze, getting regular exercise and eating well – yet again?

It’s like Samuel Johnson said of second marriages: a triumph of hope over experience.

And when it’s like that, as it often is, what would you like to have happen?

Personally, I’d like there to be something completely different out there which would really help. Another way of approaching big changes; a way which honoured my personal beliefs and my way of thinking; a way which helped make changes which stayed changed and which, in my ‘other life’ as a coach, worked for pretty much any client.

Fortunately, there is. It’s called Clean Language.

Other articles in this edition will tell you more about what Clean is and where it comes from. I’ve been challenged to offer you a way to experience it, here and now. Clean is more usually used in a situation with a facilitator asking the questions, but can be used by yourself. 

And assuming you’re reading this alone, and have a few minutes to spare, let’s experiment…

Step 1: Build the (metaphorical) dream

So, do you have a New Year’s resolution? Take a moment to write it down, on a blank piece of paper.

If it’s anything like my standard resolutions, it’ll be all about giving something up. Which is wonderful. And, this process, like so many, often works better when you can say what you’d like more of, rather than less of.

One way of helping your mind to make that shift is to read back to yourself the words you’ve written and then ask yourself, “And when all of that, what would I like to have happen?”

Using another blank piece of paper, write down the first words that come into your head, even if they’re exactly the same as before, or if they don’t make much sense. Because the magic of Clean Language is that it can work whether the words “make sense” or not, because it uses the metaphors inherent in the words we choose.

Let’s say I answered: “I’d like hope to triumph over experience.” That’s fine – it represents something I want more of (triumph of hope) rather than something I want less of (eating junk food). In the NLP jargon, it’s a ‘desired outcome’.

You might also like: