There is a wonderful energy this time of year.  Regular schedules have been in flux, the holiday festivities are winding down, and many people are taking time to reflect on the gifts, challenges, and lessons of 2016 and what that might mean for 2017.  Traditionally this is a time for making New Year’s Resolutions.

But New Year’s Resolutions often don’t work.  I have heard recently that 25% of resolution makers give up by the end of the first week of January, and by the end of the month 92% have gone back to old habits and ways of being.

How can you be part of the successful 8% this year?  I have three suggestions.

Suggestion #1: Set your intention from the energy from “Your Highest Good” rather than “Should.” You can tell your intention is coming from “Should” when your body feels tight or contracted and everything feels like a struggle. Intentions set from “Your Highest Good”, however, come from love and expansion, a place where everything is possible.

Let’s use the popular resolution of weight loss as an example.

Coming from “Should,” the resolution might look like this:  My doctor says I should lose weight, my clothes say I should lose weight, and when I look in the mirror I know I should lose weight.  The message from “Should” is “I am not good enough at this weight, and I won’t be good enough until I lose X number of pounds.”

“Your Highest Good,” however, might word the same intention like this: I am in the process of becoming my ideal healthy weight where I am fit and full of vitality.  I am choosing to lose this weight because I care deeply about my health and well-being.

So, suggestion #1 is to take a close look at your resolution and how you are phrasing it.  Is it coming from “Should” or “Your Highest Good?”  If it is coming from “Should,” and you are clear this is truly important to you, ask yourself how this same intention could come from “Your Highest Good.”

Suggestion #2: If you are serious about your resolution, develop a reasonable action plan.  This may mean reading books on the subject, hiring professional help or joining a group of others with similar goals. The best action plans also have means for getting back on track when you inevitably go astray.

Suggestion #3: Look deeply at what has held you back in the past.  Are there habits you just can’t seem to break no matter how hard you try?  Can you stay on course for a while, but then some trigger causes you to go right back to square one?  If you have been making the same resolution year after year and trying every method out there with little to no success, chances are you are carrying around unhealed emotions or wounds.

In my opinion, this is the number one reason why 92% of all New Year’s Resolutions fail.  Trying to set New Year’s Resolutions to change life-long habits without addressing these old emotions or wounds is like trying to plant a beautiful garden in a bed of prickly weeds.

The part of our mind that controls old habits, unhealed wounds and old emotions is non-verbal and doesn’t respond to our usual forms of communication.  EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques or “Tapping”), however, is a gentle process that works directly with this part of the mind.  By tapping on the acupressure points while holding a strong emotional focus, old emotional wounds can resolve and the roots of these old habits can finally, at long last, dissolve.

If you have set clear intentions year after year and tried every method to achieve your goal but nothing has worked so far, look into EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques or “Tapping.”)  A good EFT practitioner might just make the difference between falling into the 92% of failed resolutions and joining the 8% of successful ones.