Posted 14/01/2021 in Category 1 by Dr Sara Gibbons

How to Make New Year Changes That Last

How to Make New Year Changes That Last

We all know about New Year's Resolutions.  The beginning of a New Year feels like the right time to make changes and start afresh, but let's be honest, they rarely last long. That can be because they are not taken particularly seriously or because they are in the 'too hard' box, or perhaps both! This year perhaps more than any other, and after the roller coaster we have all been going through, the dramatic changes to our everyday lives have led a lot of folks to give deep thought to their priorities in life. 

At this time of year there are always lots of articles on 'New Year, New You'.  I have written a fair few myself! So, why is it still so difficult, despite all the advice and motivations, to make the changes we want to and also to keep them going?

Maybe it's because we set unrealistic targets instead of focusing on more manageable micro-steps. Perhaps it's because it's something we feel we ought to do – but in reality, it feels like a punishment.  It could be because of a lack of information about how to make the new change work for you. Yet again it might be because of lack of support, or even lack of awareness that it takes at least 6 – 8 weeks to instil a new habit.   Maybe we feel inside ourselves that we've probably given up even before we've started.

All of these are valid reasons we can feel stuck, but there's another that we're likely not even aware of. We need to retrain our subconscious and clear out some of the old stuff before we can make space for the new. 

In my childhood home, we had a drawer in the living room cabinet that was jam-packed full of things that either didn't have a proper home or no one could be bothered to think about where to put them. It was supposed to be for stationery, but inevitably this drawer became so full that not only could you not get anything more in it, but also no one really knew what else was in there. 'Has anyone got a pen?' was a constant cry! Now and again my mother would remove the drawer, shake out the contents, throw out the rubbish, broken bits, old dusty bric-a-brac etc. and then put it back together more neatly so there was some space again. Until the next time, and it all built up once more.

What we want to do is clear out the old conditioning, thought-forms, beliefs, opinions, and judgements that like old bric-a-brac are sitting in our cellular memory and affecting every part of our lives. This clearing out will not only make you feel lighter, but it will also make space for the new. It is the old patterns that don't serve us that keep us stuck; if we clear them out we can be more consistent in our approach to creating newness for ourselves. Not only do we want to clear out the rubbish, but we also want to do it once and not have it build up again and then have to go back and do it again!

In ancient Chinese understanding, this time of year is perfect for this process to take place. From now until the Chinese New Year, this understanding informs us that the earth energy is more open to help us clear. Also, individually, we can benefit by allowing ourselves to be open to clear these old patterns and habits that are not of assistance to us.  If we do it thoroughly, and not just with the mind, then once it's done, we don't have to do it again.  Yes, there may be more layers to the proverbial onion to peel away, but you won't have to go back to that layer again! Of course, this clearing process can be done all year round, but it's easier done at this time of year.

How best to do this?  I've spoken about fast writing before. This is where you write everything down that is bothering you. (Maybe we often have more access to people who press our buttons at Christmas time to help us focus on this – just a thought! ???? ) It is important not to stop until you feel you have written everything you can and have expressed everything. Don't worry about grammar, if it is legible or contains swear words! Just write it all out as fast as you can. Don't reread it (i.e., don't put it all back in again!) When you have finished, tear it up, shred it, or burn it. It's important to note that this way of writing is entirely different from journaling. With fast writing, you write freely without any judgement and don't go back over it.  You are likely to have a lightbulb moment, a new understanding.  It can be useful to write insights down in a journal to help keep your realisations in focus.

Another tool for clearing out is known as the microphone technique. This is where you take yourself to a quiet and private place and imagine you have a microphone in your hand and start speaking about everything you are feeling. Speak out all that is frustrating you, everyone who is annoying you, anything that has happened that is still bothering you, or whatever it is that is causing your mind to be working overtime.  You will feel that once you have started, it is easy to keep going until things quieten down again, and you have a sense of release and peace.  If not, then keep going.

Don't underestimate how profound these simple looking tools are for your wellbeing. By doing them, you're making space for all the new year has to bring you. This is self-love. By clearing out the old, you are giving yourself the gift of life because more pure life-force can reside in you.  Then it really will be a New Year New You! For keeps!


Dr Sara Gibbons is a best selling author as well as a health, lifestyle, and wellbeing coach specialising in sharing how people can have a better relationship with themselves. You can see her bio here:

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