Why Your “New Year, New Me” Plans are Failing: Don’t Work Against Nature, Work with Nature

“There is beauty to be found in the changing of the earth’s seasons, and an inner grace in honoring the cycles of life”

Jack Kornfield

In the midst of our winter season society says, “It’s a brand- new year! Celebrate and go H.A.M to reach your weight loss, financial and other goals you have!” And what do we do? We do exactly as we’re told without a second thought. We listen to society; follow man- made rules, seasons and calendars, and completely ignore Mother Nature who is the G.O.A.T when it comes to determining seasons, cycles and how to flow and move through those seasons and cycles.

“Nature is the first tutor. No one remains untouched or unschooled by the earth, seasons, and heavens”

Kay Redfield Jamison

We create resolutions to implement on January 1st every year. We decide we’re going to the gym, going to stop eating meat, fast food, and stop drinking soda. We say we’re going to create and stick with a budget to make sure we reach our financial goals. We’re going to read more books, stop smoking, and start eliminating toxic people from our lives. I’m willing to bet that by now, January 20, 2019, you are struggling to maintain the motivation and drive to stick with those resolutions. But take heart; for the most part it has nothing to do with your work ethic, willpower, or lack thereof. The reason your resolutions are bound to fail is because you are working against nature instead of working with nature.

“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation”

Paul Theroux

Nature is the great equalizer, bringing harmony to Earth and all its inhabitants (I sound like a hippie, right? Just walk with me for a moment). The trees, plants, rivers, oceans and animals all govern their existence based on the universal laws of nature, and flow with the subsequent seasons and cycles. And they thrive because of it. The trees never cease to produce an abundance every single year. The birds never worry for a moment where their next meal is coming from and every spring, we hear the song of their survival. All of this is accomplished without the hard work of making resolutions and maintaining the motivation to stick with them. They simply exist in the magnificence of their being and flow with the seasons and cycles of nature. Let’s look at the trees for inspiration and advice on how to navigate the seasons for success.

During the fall, trees release their leaves to survive winter. In a way, trees are actively “pushing” their leaves off. Photosynthesis requires a lot of energy and water, and during winter there is simply not enough of either to sustain foliage.  During winter, trees go through a process similar to hibernation called dormancy. Everything within trees slows down so they can conserve energy. This is what keeps them alive during winter and allows them to get ready for the Spring season.

All of nature is quiet, conserving energy and preparing for the awakening that will soon come. We should follow the advice of the trees and slow down, rest, and focus on surviving the cold and snow. Now is not the time to go hard at your goals, killing yourself to do something that if you didn’t have the willpower to do in Spring and Summer you will somehow complete now. This is not to say that you shouldn’t make changes and set some goals. This is a perfect time to implement changes that seem small but will really make a very big difference. This is a time to engage in some internal work. Look at your internal inventory. Is there an abundance of anger, bitterness, anxiety, or depression? Take the time to clean house; your internal home, quietly, intently and deeply. Rest and repair. This is a perfect time to prepare your mindset for an awakening.

“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour”

John Boswell

Winter signals to our bodies to slow down. I have found it very difficult to stick with my intermittent fasting and workout routine. Its so dark and cold at 5am, I just want to stay in my bed and sleep rather than get up and go to the gym. I have been craving a nice hot breakfast at 9am instead of my green smoothie at noon. I thought I was lacking the motivation, but really it is nature signaling to my body that this is a time to rest, repair and stay warm. I have stuck with my goals, but it is with the understanding that I can cut myself some slack and be patient. If the trees and animals are taking it easy, so can I. I am also taking this time to prepare myself because when Spring arrives, I am going to go full steam ahead. I will be awakened and alive along with all of nature.

“In winter, I plot and plan. In spring, I move”.

Henry Rollins

The reason your resolutions are failing is because now is not the time. We need to become more in tune with nature and not the man-made clock, traditions or calendar. Go with the flow of nature, not against it, and you will find peace and inspiration to smash all your goals in their perfect timing.

Some resolutions that are easy to maintain in the winter but will make a HUGE difference in your life are the following:

  • Drink half your body weight in water (ounces) daily
  • Drink 2-3 cups of herbal tea daily (I have a great tea I created called “Cleansing Fire” which helps to purify and cleanse the liver).
  • Aim to get 7.5-9 hrs. of sleep most nights
  • Remove social media notifications from your phone
  • Do not check social media first thing in the morning or before going to sleep. Use that time to name three things you are grateful for.
  • Only check email twice a day
  • Record yourself saying positive affirmations and listen to them every morning.

These are “resolutions” that go with the flow of nature and incorporate the advice of the trees to slow down, rest and prepare for Spring. The perfect time to create a “New You”.

Kathleen, “The Nutritional Truth Teller” is a Certified Holistic Nutritionst, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant and a Certified Vaginal Steam Facilitator. She is the owner of Beauty In A Barbell Nutrition, whose sole mission is to optimize the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the Black community through African Holistic Health and Black Radicalism. She carries with her the ancestral knowledge and wisdom of the medicine men, women, healers and warriors she lovingly calls her ancestors.