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Why you should set your New Year’s resolutions in spring

Along with January 1 being the start of a new year, the day is also synonymous with making resolutions. Whether it’s to lose those extra holiday pounds you packed on or to start bulking up your savings account, our culture is obsessed with making this the time to start anew. But Gregorian calendar and mainstream advertising aside (ahem… guilt-inducing gym commercials), is the middle of winter really the best time to be goal setting?

Springtime is a much more appropriate time of the year to wipe the slate clean — when the heavy coats are put in storage and the wintery wonderlands have melted.

“People feel too much pressure to change on New Year’s — it is very cliché,” says Melanie DewBerry, author of the newly published book The Power of Naming: A Journey to Find Your Soul’s Identity.

Springtime is the time for new beginnings. The days are longer, the earth is blooming, literally, and everything awakens. The pace of life becomes faster.

“It’s the best time of the year to initiate change and make adjustments to the way that one lives their life — their health habits, spiritual habits, exercise habits, relationships and overall lifestyle,” adds DewBerry.

More: 30 Health rules for every woman in her 30s

Taking into consideration Mother Nature, it only makes sense to align our own lives with her mood. “The energy that surrounds us at springtime provides the perfect opportunity to set our intentions, to start the process and achieve the changes we want in our lives,” says Los Angeles-based energy healer Leigh Gordon.

So, before you beat yourself up for not following through on the goals you set over three months ago, here are five steps to take advantage of the season and achieve your goals.

1. Look at where you are now

With no judgment, define your reality. Take a snapshot of your life right now. Figure out what is working, what’s not and assess areas like career, personal care, relationships, finances, diet, etc. Break it all down, and be honest with yourself.

2. Look at where you want to be tomorrow

Following assessment of the snapshot, “Clearly, honestly and unapologetically define your goals,” says Gordon. And along with defining the goal, include what the end result will look and feel like.

3. Identify the blocks

If you’re trying to make real changes, you must identify the limiting beliefs that are holding you back. If your goal is to have six-pack abs or a six-figure savings account by June 1, but you’ve never stepped foot in a gym or have negative funds set aside, take a step back to reevaluate.

More: Two huge ways you’re sabotaging your energy every day

Total awareness of the first three steps is key to achieving change.

4. Take action

This is the time to bloom. As opposed to January 1, when it’s cold and wintery (depending upon where you live, of course), hibernation is a natural state and usually includes inner reflection. But, goals require outward action. Although the new springtime seeds have been planted, you must commit to nurturing, cultivating and watering your goals.

5. Enjoy what you’ve created

Now that you’ve become a good gardener, figuratively, it’s time to enjoy the harvest. This last step can be easily forgotten, considering the mentality of our workaholic society, but part of any goal should include a pay off.

More: 15 Quotes for every woman who hates her body

“By harnessing the springtime energy,” says Gordon, “you provide yourself a natural springboard to make the changes you want in your life a reality.”

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