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Why new year's resolutions don’t stick, and how they can.

Updated: Jan 1, 2023

New Years Eve. Many of us will be considering the highs and lows of the past year, and thinking about the shape of our lives for the coming 12 months.

Traditionally, today is the day to set goals and drum up the enthusiasm to somehow make it stick this year.

But. It didn’t work last year or the year before that. You did well for a few weeks or even a month, and then something happened to disrupt your good intentions or you just got fed up of the new regime. You slipped back into your usual routine, so despite all the effort and will power nothing really changed.

And here we are again. Determined it will work this year. You fight the niggling doubt, hoping to stay on track, so that you can look, feel, and be the person you know is inside, just waiting to emerge.

Bad news. If determination, good intention, planning and organisation hasn’t worked for you so far it wont work this year on any year.

Good news. Change is possible, of course it is. People do it all the time. Are they more special, talented, determined or stronger than you? No! They just have a few extra techniques that they use either naturally or consciously, skills they use to keep them on track to reach their goals with far less effort.

Make your resolutions work this year. Try a fresh approach. There is an arsenal of tips, tricks, hacks and ideas that will enable you to set and reach your goals.

What follows are a few ideas you can use to help give the changes you desire a fighting chance of success. I’ll introduce you to some amazing teachers and coaches who have helped thousands of people to make change. If you are serious about getting yourself on track, I encourage you to look into their work and give these ideas a try.

1- Set your goal.

Find the goal that matters most to you at this point in time. Multiple goals sound o.k., in practice they detract from one another. Be clear. One goal, one resolution, one focus. With one success under your belt, you can easily translate the techniques to the next most important thing on your list. Clarify what your main goal could be - it’s not always obvious. Think about the things you want to achieve, make a list of them all. Then, for each one, consider your why. Why is this thing important to you? Which one speaks to your heart, truly? How will you feel when you’ve achieved the goal?

2- know your values.

If you know you want change but have no idea where to put your focus, you must first be able to identify and state the values you want to live by. Dr. John Demartini’s Values Assessment is a great place to start. This is a free online tool with a series of 13 questions that will give you a far better idea of pinpointing the things that matter to you the most. Results are private, and you can revisit over the time to see how your priorities change. Dr. Demartini is a respected coach, teacher and best selling author with a passion for helping people reach their full potential. He offers lots of free content on his website, and it’s well worth the visit. When you know your true values its far easier to create routines and habits you can stick to - because they feel in step, boost your energy, and make you more productive.

"Determining your values means you'll become clear on what you value most so you can do more of what you love, and love more of what you do." Dr. John Demartini

3- Be specific, & set a time frame.

Better sleep becomes “I will be able to regularly have at least 6 hours sleep within 3 months”.

Lose weight becomes “I will be x pounds lighter by June 1st.”

Use my devices less becomes “I will reduce my device use by at least one day a week within 30 days”

Clear my clutter becomes “I will have cleared 50% of my clutter by August 30th”

4 - Create achievable steps.

You have your goal based on your values, your specific ‘why’, and a time frame, now you can set your how.

Take “clear 50% of my clutter by August 30th”. What does 50% actually mean? How many rooms will you de clutter? How do you intend to go about this task? You might resonate with ideas from a book, or you can join a group of like minded de-clutterers in your area (or on line), you could find a coach, or book a live on going de cutter course to help you design your plan and keep motivation high. Create the steps, and start the process of setting the plan, joining a group or booking a coach or course. Whatever you choose, work back form your goal and set the pace from there.

Your goal could now look something like this: “I will de clutter one room or one specific space every month, starting with my wardrobe, which will be de cluttered and organised by the end of January”.

5 - Create a Vision Board

A vision board or treasure map is a visual depiction of your goals. Visual images have far more impact on the brain than text, so well worth taking the time to create yours. I often see them used to display a persons ‘big picture’ but in this case encourage the creation of a single board for one specific dream. The idea is to first find images that illustrate your goal. You can cut them from magazines or find them on line and print them out. Next, take a plain board, arrange the images in a pleasing way, and fix them securely. Then place the completed board in a prominent position so you can see it many times each day. There are also a number of apps so you can create your board on your smart phone or tablet, and some have music built in, even better!

6 - Tools for the job

Organise any kit you will need to make your resolution work.

If you want to start a running regime, check your shoes and running kit fit well and are in good shape. Pace out a few circuits in preparation. Research running clubs in your area.

If you want to lose weight, clear your cupboards of unhelpful temptations, source an eating plan that you feel you can enjoy, buy flavourings, basic ingredients and kitchen equipment that you will need to produce your meals. Consider finding a weight loss buddy. Mutual accountability works.

7 - timing

Why do we choose to set our resolutions on the first of January? I feel there are far better times to start the serious business of creating change that sticks.

When it comes to new beginnings, harnessing the energy of the New Moon by following the Lunar calendar makes more sense to me. The Lunar new year falls on the first day after the new moon following the Winter Solstice, also known as the Spring Festival, or Chinese new year. In 2023, this is January 22nd., but it’s different every year.

The days may only be a tiny bit longer and we are definitely still in the middle of winter, yet there is now a promise of Spring, and a feeling of possibility.

Use the time between the Christmas holiday and the Lunar new year's day to make your plans and set your resolutions for the coming year.

See how working alongside the energy of the moon feels to you!

8 - Prime your environment

You are where you live.

Look around you. The items in your physical environment say a great deal about who you are, what you think, and how you act. "Where attention goes, energy flows". It's hard to be clear or move forward from a space where there is chaos or clutter. Clutter is stuck energy. It isn't always a heap of mixed up stuff, and often hides in plain sight - in neat piles, next to your sofa, on your coffee table, tucked into a drawer... so its well worth the effort of sorting through.

A simple but impactful exercise is to check behind all your doors for anything that prevents them opening fully, look for items that block your hallways or stairways and make space for energy to flow. Does your front door key work smoothly? Do your drains flow freely? (Yes, really, this matters. All blockages block).

9 - tapping for change

For many years I have used the practice of Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT) it's had a huge impact on my ability to deal with a number of health issues, clarify my thoughts and generally shift my energy, often in a matter of minutes.

It’s hard to believe that tapping specific zones on our body can create energy shifts, but if you haven’t already, I encourage you to give it a try. There is plenty of great information all over the internet from renowned teachers, authors and healers, including Donna Eden of Eden Energy Medicine - so do check out these simply learned skills for yourself.

One practitioner and teacher in particular has a fresh down to earth approach that you may resonate with. Poppy Delbridge explains her Rapid Tapping technique for creating fast life changes, perfect for raising motivation and making resolutions stick, all set out in her new book Tapping In.

Great for experienced tappers or sceptical newbies, this book is packed with easy ‘taps’ to get you started, and moves through the many ways you can improve your mindset, increase energy levels and confidence - tap by tap! If you lack motivation, clarity, or feel stuck in any way, my suggestion is to make ‘Rapid tapping’ your first priority goal for this year, and Poppy’s book is a good place to start. You can also join Poppy for a completely free rapid tapping session every Monday at 11:11, a great way to tune in and get the feel of this fabulous technique.

make this year the best year

Let's make 2023 a year to remember for all the best reasons. Use some, or preferably all of these techniques and give you the ultimate chance of success this year.

Find out more about using feng shui and related energy techniques for creating positive, rapid change at

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