A New Approach to New Year's Resolutions Just In Time for the Jan 5 Solar Eclipse !

Even as a kid, I didn’t like Resolutions because I was raised to believe that hard work was its own virtue and that as long as we tried, tried and then tried some more that was the key to success and having what we wanted.

So there was never a need for New Year’s resolutions because my continuous way of being in the world has been to put an intense amount of pressure on myself for an extraordinarily long period of time until finally I break out of the pattern and do a reset.  Not always the gentlest of approaches, I’m afraid. And definitely not one I recommend to my clients.

The root of my overexerting nature can be traced to Saturn’s placement in the First House of Self in my astrological birth chart. It’s retrograde, which means I internalize its energies and feel them much more intensely.  And it’s square, or doing battle, with everyone of my personal planets, including the Sun and the Moon. So on top of over exerting, I got a heaping dose of internal conflict, self-doubt and a sense of feeling thwarted from reaching my goals.

Wherever Saturn shows up in our chart it’s an invitation to become our own authority, to let go of restrictions and show us where we need to break out of “shoulds” and replace them with “coulds.” 

Slowly over the past decade, I’m happy to say my over exerting has begun to diminish as I learned to let go of other people’s expectations of me and become more grounded in my expectations for myself. 

I’m really opposed to way Resolutions are “marketed” as seemingly linear and finite, that we only have one chance a year to set them attempt to pursue them, and then move on

Whenever we put so much  pressure on one chance to get something right, it invariably leads people to fail or falter.

And let’s face it; “being happy” is a lifetime goal, not one that gets accomplished in 12 calendar months.

So I still don’t practice them. I practice Second Chances instead.

Second Chances are like a New Years Resolution in that they provide a “reset” and allow us to start over and begin anew.

But they are unlike New Year’s Resolutions in that they don’t just come once a year, they don’t rely on willpower, and they don’t just focus on outcomes.

 The most significant way Second Chances differ from Resolutions is that they invite us to shift our perspective. 

Shifting our perspective allows us to bring a more expansive energy and momentum to our goals that literally provides fuel for our dreams. We can then dream bigger and commit to the incremental changes necessary to achieve the outcome we are focused on whether it’s a career change, a relationship change or changing our relationship with money.

When we can let go of  “micromanaging” outcomes and accept that change doesn’t always happen overnight, something magical begins to shift in our life instead. We are filled with an attitude of a Beginner’s Mind.  A Beginner’s Mind knows that anything is possible and is grateful for the opportunity to learn.

The truth is that change isn’t often exciting because it doesn’t happen overnight. It happens gradually by shifting who we are being and then the doing flows much more easily.

Instead of expecting fast and quick results, we commit to developing the supportive structures and behavior changes knowing there will be bumps in the road and loving ourselves with compassion through them and in spite of them.

It’s about experiencing discomfort and setbacks and even failures and not resisting them or judging ourselves, but making friends with the feelings and continuing despite them.

As a coach I have women come to me desiring desperately to change some aspect of their life.  We generally work together for 16 weeks and during that time I help them observe their resistance to releasing old patterns of thinking while shifting into adopting a beginner’s mind of newness and openness to possibilities. 

Because the truth is that it takes Great Determination to live the lives that fill our hearts with joy, and Great Determination is not our little will.

Great Determination comes through us from the Universe as a reward for showing up and doing the work. And it comes through us when we allow ourselves to be open to the expansiveness and to be carried by something much larger than ourselves that we can’t understand in our minds alone.

There’s an incredible convergence of energies that can happen when we open ourselves up and allow for the possibilities of life.

When we try to understand these things with our brain or our minds it doesn’t usually work. Instead we need to feel it in our bodies and sometimes the understanding comes later.

So, I’m all for the “reset” opportunity that New Year’s Resolutions afford us, I just don’t think they should come once a year.

 What reset are you trying to make this New Year’s?

Where have you been trying to “will” something to happen and encountering resistance?

 Coaching can help shift your perspective and provide you with the tools to move past fears and other barriers that can often be overwhelming on our own. 

 As much as we may “want” to create different outcomes in our lives, receiving support is a key part of reaching our goals.

 And I’d love to help.  If you’re interested in shifting into your goals in 2019, email me at Laurel@Laurel OSullivanCoaching.com to set up a free 30-minute session.


P.S. On January 5 there is going to be a new moon partial solar eclipse in Capricorn that is an invitation from the Universe to give up some self-undoing behavior that is interfering with achieving our goals.

 I am excited about this eclipse, because more often then not what I witness with my clients is not the lack of will or determination, or the intelligence or savvy, it’s a fundamental set of self defeating behaviors, or old patterns and conditionings evident in their chart that are blocking them from receiving their Second Chance.


Find below to see where Capricorn is impacting you and what changes you are being asked by the Universe to make this year.  (Note: To be able to utilize this information you need to know your Sun Sign, Moon Sign or Rising Sign which can be found by entering your birth date into any astrology calculator)


Sign                Area to release self-defeating behavior

Aries               Career; Social Status

Taurus           World Beliefs and Views

Gemini           Shared Resources, Intimacy, Traumas

Cancer           Relationships & Partnerships (Business or Personal)

Leo                 Work, employment, health habits.

Virgo               Love life, self-confidence, creativity or children

Libra               Family life, home life, parenthood

Scorpio          Skills, communications,

Sagittarius    Finances, values and self worth

Capricorn      Whole direction in life, appearance, health, self-identity

Aquarius        Old karmic patterns, addictions, & self-undoing behaviors.

 Pisces Earning and long term goals.