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New Year's Resolution? Here's a winning formula to work through setbacks & resistance.

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

When we resolve to make ourselves better, at any time of year, it doesn’t always happen how we envisioned, or at all. It’s so easy to fall deeper into the same old patterns that we're trying to change after we “fail” time and again. If you’re thinking about changing a behavior, starting something new, giving something up, etc., I want you to ask yourself these questions first:

1. Is this my true desire, or is it something I think I should do?

2. Am I doing this for me, or am I doing it to make someone else happy, avoid potential conflict, etc.?

3. Do I get a little bump in energy thinking about it, or do I feel a sense of dread?

4. Is this something deep down that I really want?

Now, let’s reframe how you look at setbacks. Instead of looking at setbacks as failure, you can look at them as clues to help you detect the real, underlying saboteur behind whatever it is you’re trying to do.

Remember, the ego really doesn’t like it when you try to change, even if it’s change for the better. The ego’s like a kid throwing a temper tantrum when it doesn’t get what it wants. When my ego behaves like this, I usually feel like I’m spinning my wheels and can’t get anywhere. When you take the time to examine what’s behind your resistance or setbacks, it can offer you a glimpse into how you can move forward with greater ease.

Fear can be a big block when it comes to change, so can self doubt, not trusting your intuition, putting other’s needs before your own, worrying about the role that other’s expect you to play, judging yourself or worrying about what others will think, not getting support from friends or family, and even fear over greater responsibilities that may come with your growth.

Usually, we all have one main saboteur. For me, it’s crippling self doubt and feelings worthiness. Every time I teach a class or offer a workshop that I’m not fully satisfied with, I dwell on it for days or even weeks, telling myself over and over again what a terrible class it was, how no one liked it, that I should stop teaching, other teachers are so much better, etc. If you think about it, you too may identify a recurring theme in your life that holds you back. In the eyes of astrology, this is your Chiron effect.

Chiron is a minor planet that can have a major impact in your life. If you know your birth chart, also called a natal chart, you can see where Chiron’s placement is. The placement (mine’s in Aries, 1st house) reveals your core wound that can take a lifetime to work through. In a nutshell, Chiron asks us where we hold ourselves back, and where we are destructive or rebellious? Part of our life’s work is overcoming these wounds in order to heal ourselves. Since Chiron takes about 49 years to move through all 12 zodiac signs, we all go through a Chiron return around age 50. Your core wounds may rear their ugly head around this time; but you may also be called to do deeper healing around them.

Read here to learn about your specific core wound. The article also links to a chart for you to identify where your Chiron is according to your birth date.

Try to resist judging yourself on whether or not you stick to a resolution, etc. in the new year. Instead, take a more objective look at this phase of your growth. Once you can identify what’s holding you back (this may include journaling, meditation, quiet contemplation, and/or being more aware of your own behaviors), you can begin to work with and around those blocks.

When self doubt or feelings of worthiness come up for me, I can now take a step back and recognize this familiar pattern. I created a little formula of sorts to help me through these moments. Recognize. Acknowledge. Wait. Trust. Proceed. The first step is to recognize the intruder. I usually say to myself, “Oh, it’s you again.” Then the situation becomes far more clear with exactly what’s going on. Then I acknowledge it by taking a moment to remind myself that this lesson is part of my life’s work. That chances are it’s going to continue to come up again and again. So once I see it as a roadblock, I’m more capable of finding a new path around it. Sometimes I have to be patient and let its tight grip begin to ease up just a bit. Then I remind myself to trust my intuition, and to trust my deepest inner knowing and belief that I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do. All three of these steps give me confidence when I’m not able to generate it on my own. Then, I keep on keeping on, working in full alignment with who I was created in this life to be.

Sticking with a New Year’s resolution doesn’t necessarily create a better you, even though of course it absolutely can. But seeking out, uncovering your blocks, and working through them will open the door for a whole new level of self discovery and understanding.

This ultimately will fuel your growth and evolution beyond any short-term goal you may achieve. It takes time, patience and dedicated, consistent effort to move into the best version of you. So don’t worry if January comes and goes and you didn’t lose 5 pounds, clean out your closet, or quit eating sugar. Meeting yourself with compassion, love and understanding is a far more valuable prize.

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