Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions & Neither Should You

By Rhiannon Griffiths

I will firstly caveat this whole post, by saying it really applies to those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, where the New Year celebrations fall in the middle of Winter – for all you gorgeous Aussies, Kiwis & Southern Hemisphere dwellers, I will get to you guys shortly…

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Winter Wellness Workshop Thame Rhiannon Griffiths Acupuncture

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So, why would I adamantly suggest that you shouldn’t make resolutions for the new year? After all, I am a coach & massively champion change & growth & positive movement forward in life, emotions & personal development… And I used to make New Year’s resolutions (that often failed in the first week of January!), so what changed?

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Well, first & foremost, I’m also an acupuncturist who has lived a “Five Element Life” for the last decade, so I know the importance of honouring the seasons & living in alignment with the energy of the associated Element. It’s like living in sync with the phases of the moon, or being mindful of the different parts of your menstrual cycle & how varied the energy & emotions & actions can be. It is living out of rhythm of nature that creates more disharmony & dysfunction in our bodies, minds & emotions.

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Winter is the season associated with the Water Element. My own Element is Water, so it is even more important for me to be mindful of what this Element needs; it is integral to my wellbeing. But it is important for ALL of us to honour Water, whatever our own Element personality type is – even nature slows down during Winter, everything retracts inwards and retreats under the ground, animals get cosy & rest & hibernate. Winter is nature’s season of REST, preparing the roots & seeds below the ground, for the energetic growing time of the following Spring. There is very little ACTION at this time.

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This time is for:

+ reflection, like the still, peaceful lake that you can see your face in

+ diving deep into your emotions, like you would in to the depths of the sea

+ pausing, being still – like the animals hibernating during Winter

+ ask the questions, gather the wisdom – the Water Element is renowned for its ability to do this

+ plant the seeds, READY for growth when the Spring arrives – the BIG POTENTIAL is in the seeds hidden underground in Winter

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Spring is really the start of the New Year in Chinese Medicine, it is when we have the RIGHT & APPROPRIATE energy to tackle New Year’s resolutions, change things in our lives, start new things, take action. In January, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are still in the depths of Winter, that is hibernation time, time to be still, time to reflect. The ENERGY of the season just does not match New Year’s resolutions or big bold new beginnings. It is not the time to be planning and doing, we need to wait until Spring for THAT kind of energy to rush in!

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So yes, do your journalling NOW, do take time to be STILL, to pause, to reflect; get the vibes you want to take over in to the new year, identify the feelings you wish to have, & plant the seeds, set the scene READY for 2017, but now is NOT the time to ACT, or expect yourself to DO heaps of things as soon as the clock strikes midnight & we tip over in to the new year… Water & Winter are about BEING, waiting for the potential to blossom into Spring!

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Possible questions to reflect upon:

+ what amazing things can I celebrate from 2016?

+ were there things that didn’t go according to plan in 2016?

+ what could I have done differently in 2016?

+ how do I want 2017 to FEEL?

+ what word(s) will set the scene for 2017?

+ does 2017 have a different colour / logo / mascot to 2016?

+ who do I need to be next year to make 2017 amazing?

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And this blog post isn’t intended to be about MY reflections of 2016, it is supposed to be encouraging YOU to pause & reflect, though there has been some pretty cool stuff for me this year:

+ ran my in-person Spring Health workshop, here in the UK, it was super fun

+ featured in publications including The Guardian, Healthy Magazine, Woman’s Weekly (twice), Women’s Health (three times), Woman & Home

+ went to the Maldives to write my first book, about the Five Elements, & made some little videos for you

+ trained as a Yin Yoga teacher (look out for workshops, classes & online stuff coming in the Spring!)

+ launched my first online course for you, Winter Wellness Wisdom

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You can learn more about the Water Element & how to live in alignment with the season of Winter in my brand new online course, Winter Wellness Wisdom, for physical & emotional wellness HERE, plus the Spring version will be hot on it’s heals in a couple of months, with exercises designed to REALLY get you going & moving forward with resolutions! So put any BIG actions on hold until then if you can…

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As for you Southern Hemisphere dwellers, you guys CAN afford to be more ACTIVE in your intention setting, as you are currently in the season of Summer, with it’s associated Element of Fire. It has busy, upwards & outwards Yang energy – if you choose to make plans & implement them as soon as 2017 starts, you WILL be more aligned with what the season is doing. Therefore you are more likely to make plans stick & be successful in your resolutions, as the energy of the time is supporting you in your endeavours!

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And if you don’t know what Element you are yet, you can download my FREE ebook here: https://goo.gl/NTmEF9

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Wishing you all a VERY Happy & Healthy New Year, wherever you are in the world – I’m grateful you’re here with me!

Sending heaps of goodness

Rhiannon xx

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© Rhiannon Griffiths 2016

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