So the New Year is here. But perhaps it doesn’t feel like a new beginning just yet? You may be struggling to keep your New Year’s Resolutions or finding it difficult to set goals and get motivated. Don’t worry – it all makes sense! Find out why conventional approaches don’t work and how to take a different approach…
Why do New Year’s Resolutions Usually Fail?
A new year offers us the opportunity to reset, recalibrate and refocus on what we really want from life. Yet if we focus on setting resolutions we can quickly become disillusioned! The usual approaches to New Year’s resolutions rarely work because…
1) They focus on what we think we SHOULD do, rather than what we really want. How many people force themselves to start new exercise regimes? Gym memberships, diets and detox programmes peak at this time of year. These ‘shoulds’ create stress by beginning an inner battle between willpower and desire
2) Resolutions centre around what we DON’T want or what we want to STOP doing – quit smoking, cut out chocolate, stop drinking alcohol, lose weight etc… But as the unconscious doesn’t process negatives, these resolutions focus the mind on smoking, chocolate, alcohol or being overweight! No wonder we don’t stick to them for long!
3) Failure fuels SELF-DEVALUATION; we feel useless for having given in to our cravings or quit our new routines so soon, which in turn reinforces old habits and beliefs, stymieing real change!
4) It’s not even the right TIME of year to be starting new habits, as META-Health and 64keys reveal…
The META-Perspective and Seasonal Cycles
You may be feeling unready for a new beginning because you’re still in hibernation mode. From a META-Health point of view and an understanding of the Two Phases, this makes perfect sense. The winter is a natural time for Second Phase rest and regeneration.
The seasonal Second Phase of parasympathetic regeneration begins around the time of the Autumn Equinox, when the body starts to prepare for winter. As the days shorten, our activity and energy levels lower, and we are naturally drawn to the ‘eat and sleep’ mode of being.
We remain in this regeneration mode throughout the winter, focusing on energy saving, keeping warm and rebuilding our reserves. Illnesses such as coughs, colds and ‘flu are common at this time of year as they are regeneration phase symptoms and part of a natural process of letting go. They are especially likely when there has been some stress in the busy period leading up to and during the Christmas holiday!
In January, we’re still in this winter rest and recuperation phase. It’s a time for going inwards and building energy before going out into the world. The Regeneration Phase predominates until the Spring Equinox in Mid-March, when we move into the Stress Phase: a more energetic mode of being. It’s then, rather than the middle of winter, that we tend to be more motivated to get active, lose weight, burn off energy, and achieve our goals!
When does the New Year really begin?
There’s also a planetary and energetic explanation for our desire to relax. According to the Human Design System and 64keys, the New Year’s energy doesn’t come in until 21st/22nd January! So it really isn’t the time for setting resolutions. The current phase is all about completing the old cycle before moving into the new: a time for taking stock and releasing the previous year.
This can be another reason why we tend to experience symptoms in this period: it’s all about letting go of the old ways of being before moving on.
From a coaching perspective, this means holding off on the resolutions and goals for a moment! Before moving onto the next steps, we can welcome the opportunity to review and reflect on the past and present.
Complete the Old Cycle: Release the Past Year Gracefully
Sometimes setting goals doesn’t work because we’re just not ready – we have unfinished business to take care of first!
Often overlooked in coaching is the important step of gaining closure before moving forwards. This brings clarity and space for the new to emerge.
So before setting your new intentions, take time to review the past year and tie up any loose ends. Your answers to the following questions can provide a sense of completion, clarity and space:
- How was the last year for me?
- What have I learned about myself?
- What have I achieved in the past twelve months – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, socially, personally and professionally?
- How have I grown in the last twelve months?
- What experiences am I thankful for?
- What am I ready to let go of from last year so I can move forwards freely?
If there are themes, memories or issues to release, EFT can be extremely useful to support this process. When we’ve let go and gained completion, we naturally move into the present.
Where Are You Now?
This brings us to today. We can evaluate our current situation from a META-perspective, taking into account where we are at each level of being: mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, socially, personally and professionally.
- Where am I right now in each area?
- How do I feel?
- What’s holding me back?
- How can I overcome these barriers?
- What are my strengths? What am I good at?
Through this process, you may find that your goals and vision for the future start to emerge naturally and effortlessly.
Create Your Vision
Now, or when you’re ready, it’s time to define what you really want!
For each area of life and being, consider:
- What do I hope to achieve this year?
- What do I plan to learn, and in what ways would I like to develop, personally and professionally?
- What am I ready to let go of this year?
- What blessings am I open to receiving?
This vision-creation is an important part of our how we begin our Coaching Programmes, setting the scene for effective change and personal development.
And Finally – Do It Your Way!
Defining your vision is just one approach to personal growth and achievement. Once you’ve let go of resolutions, there are many actions you can take to make your new year magical. What appeals to you? For example:
- Create a Gratitude Jar or Happiness Jar – and add one entry to it each day
- Design a Vision Board – find and collate images of your dreams and desires in a visual display
- Define your Top 50 wish list – things to do, experience and achieve in the next 12 months
- Choose affirmations, mottoes or inspirational quotes for the year ahead
- Work with a Professional Coach and Therapist
Let go of the pressure to conform to the usual ways of starting the New Year: do it your way, and in your own time, and you’ll probably find that your energy and motivation naturally increase as we move towards spring!
What are your dreams, goals, desires and strategies for the coming year? What suggestions do you have for others? Post your comments below or share on our Facebook page