Why New Years resolutions (and herbal consultations) don’t work

Its the New Year, folks.

And with that comes the “resolutions.” You might have some of them written down already. Drink more water. Go the the gym. Take your herbs. Eat better. Be less of a stressball. Start meditating. Et cetera, et cetera. I bet you anything that these resolutions were the same ones on your list last year. Because if you’re anything like me, you are super gung-ho about all of this for exactly 2 weeks, at which point something happens and you fall back into your old habits. And then feel like absolute crap about yourself and your ability to actually do the things you know would be good for you. It doesn’t have to be this way. In a similar vein, as a clinical herbalist I have matched up countless clients with the plants that would be so, so good for them, and given people nutritional and lifestyle recommendations to boot. And while most folks are super excited to get started and follow the protocol, and might even start to feel something shift within them, by the time they came back for a follow-up, I would often hear the same story. “Well, I only remember to take my tincture every other day,” or “I ran out a few weeks ago and need more,” followed by “I don’t know if this is working, I still feel terrible.” For a minute, I thought I was just a crappy herbalist. But I had enough personal success with herbs and had actually seen success in many other clients so I knew that wasn’t really the issue. And I knew it wasn’t a personal failing on the part of my clients — after all, if I was seeing a pattern then that meant the issue was larger than any one person. What I realized was that there were some big pieces often missing from a stand alone consultation (as well as from those New Year’s resolutions) that a lot of folks actually really needed. Things like accountability, real empowerment, connection with the plants, tools and techniques for habit change, and a deep exploration of the client’s motivations, visions, and fears. That’s when I discovered cannabis coaching, and began to craft a program that took my existing skills in herbal medicine to a place where the impact of the plants got way bigger, and way deeper. That’s where the Rise Up Rooted 90-Day Transformation program came from.

I’m super excited about this program (which you can learn more about through a complimentary 60-minute Discovery Call with yours truly), and that’s why I was drawn to write about it this month. But I don’t want this piece to just be a big long promotion for my (awesome) new offering. Instead I wanted to take a minute and actually give you one piece of the puzzle, something that might help you put one of those New Year’s resolutions into action.

I want you to think about one of your health goals for 2019. Maybe it’s to lose 10 pounds. Maybe it’s to cut out gluten and dairy. Maybe it’s to sleep better at night. Why?

What will achieving that goal actually do for you?

And why is that important? How will reaching that goal affect other areas of your life? Other people in your life? I want you to sit down with yourself, make a cup of tea, and maybe bring some cannabis along for the ride, and really ask yourself these questions. You might find that they’re a dead end. Maybe you can’t think of a good reason to lose 10 pounds, and you’re just doing it because you think you should (or somebody else told you that you should) — if that’s the case, that’s a very good indication that this resolution is actually just a product of some messed-up cultural conditioning and will likely fizzle out after a few weeks. But doing this might also reveal something deeper. Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds because you just haven’t felt the same in your body since you had that baby. And that makes you feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself in the process. And so it’s important to you because not only will it help you reclaim that part of you that was pre-mom, but it will also help you feel like you have some control and sovereignty over your body again. And once you’ve accomplished this, you might feel a little less resentment towards others making requests of your time and energy. And hell, once you start moving your body more and eating differently in order to get back into shape you just might have more of that energy to give. Maybe in the process your resolution shifts slightly, to be less about losing a certain number of pounds, and more about prioritizing and scheduling in things that make you feel good about yourself and have more energy. Now doesn’t that make you want to follow through a little more?

This might not be your story. But we all have a story. Sometimes we have to dig a little to find our true goals and the motivation to keep going. But once we find it, there’s strength and perseverance there. Oh, and plants can totally help us with all of this, by the way (is there anything they can’t help with?). When we take plant medicine into our bodies, especially nervines and adaptogens, they often help us find an inner strength and resilience that we might not have known was there. They can give us the boost of vitality that we need to sustainably create change. And not only that, some plants (namely Cannabis) can actually help us rewire our neural pathways so that habit change becomes not only easy, but fun. I hope the beginning of the New Year is exciting for you, and you can harness the New Moon energy that coincides to set some strong intentions and make this the best year possible. As always, feel free to get in touch if you want any support around this!

All the best,

Stephanie

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