We’re all guilty of entering the new year with the greatest of intentions. We want to turn our lives around and kick-start all these healthy habits we hope will change our lives for the better.

It’s great … in theory.

But then, when we try to stick it out long-term, we fail. But why?


Work from the inside out

Around 60% of us will make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% of us will be successful in achieving them. And this is because we don’t tend to approach them in the right way. Often, the biggest issue with making grand plans for the new year is that we don’t tackle these changes from the inside out.

If you don’t start by looking at the internal factors that got you into the position you’re in today, then you will be relying on nothing more than sheer willpower to change your external life. And willpower is like a battery; it needs to be restored and will eventually run out altogether.

The biggest difference between those who succeed and those who don’t, in anything, is consistency. And expecting to change purely from the outside isn’t sustainable. I always say it’s like trying to polish a turd. You can’t stay consistent that way. If the internal landscape doesn’t change, the external landscape doesn’t change—or at least it won’t change long-term.

The only way to work toward a new you is to take a long, hard look at how you became the way you are now. Now, this isn’t an exercise in beating yourself up. It’s an exercise in looking at what you need to succeed, why you feel a need to change, and what hasn’t worked for you so far.


In many cases, large-scale changes come about when something big happens—a huge internal shift that pushes us forward. For example, the child in school who was told they wouldn’t make it grows up with this big motivation to prove people wrong, manifesting in their hard work and success. Or the unfit dad who smokes suddenly realizes he can’t even play in the park with his kid anymore and decides to kick the habit once and for all.

It’s about suddenly recognizing something about ourselves—a turning point—be that a photo that shocked us, a death, one putdown too many, or an opportunity being waved at us. Something happens and we suddenly see something we don’t want for ourselves or something we want. At that moment, something shifts inside us, and we start doing things a little differently as a result. And it empowers us toward success.


Ask yourself why

Say your resolution this year is to drink less alcohol. It might be easy enough to succeed at this, just changing your weekly schedule slightly. But if you can’t, and you’re finding it more challenging, you need to ask yourself why. What does the drink do for you that you’re not addressing?

When the internal isn’t shifted, the root cause of why you’re drinking more than you’d like doesn’t either, so you can’t expect the behavior to change. Ask yourself why. Is it boredom, emotional needs, a lack of inspiration, or stress? Why have you gotten to a point where you feel a need to change this about yourself? What have you lost along the way?


Sometimes, you can engage in new behavior and feel so good about it that it helps clear this blockage. But usually, you need to unblock it first, uncover the root cause, and change the behavior that way. Your behavior and the result you currently have to live with are only the symptoms. The root cause is what you need to identify to change.

Similarly, we need to hold strong to our goals. We all say “ah, fuck it” from time to time and engage in behaviors we know we shouldn’t. That’s normal. But it’s when we don’t get back on the horse and we allow all the progress we’ve made to come undone that we stay where we are, or worse, go further backward.

If saying “fuck it” means one step forward, three steps back, it’s going to be a long time before you get anywhere, and we’ll have increased feelings of failure to deal with for not succeeding. It’s a way to ensure we feel worse about ourselves, not better. Identify what triggers you to say it. What makes you put off the changes you want to make? It might be a lack of willpower, an overwhelming sensation, or feeling worn out. But whatever it is, you want to get down to those root that created the situation you’re now trying to deal with.

New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to establish better habits and start the new year as healthily and happily as possible. But they take a lot of hard work and internal progress. You can’t just change behavior overnight and expect it to stick. You need to change your internal landscape first. Once you identify why you want or need to change something, your resolutions will become a lot easier to stick to. When the internal landscape shifts, the external one soon follows.


Understanding Your HUMAN DESIGN

This is a defining year for a lot of us. We’re all sitting with ourselves, our vulnerabilities, our resilience, our goals, and our pivots. Many of us are learning a lot about ourselves, while others are seeing where we want to make a change. 

Giving structure to what makes us tick the way we do is an excellent practice for giving these moments clarity. That’s where Human Design comes in. It consists of four types: Manifestors, Projectors, Reflectors, and Generators. There is some fluidity between them, but knowing where we lean can have a great impact on how we approach the next steps in life and understanding how we got to where we are and what our strategy should loosely look like.



Generators are as kinetic as they sound. To generate means to create, so generators are hard workers. They are typically creative, energetic, and productive. They love to produce and build, and they usually have a clear, defined goal in mind that they work toward until it’s completed and there is something to show for it. 

Generators are the most common human design, so many of you may be feeling akin to this. However, there are two types of generators—Pure Generators and Manifesting Generators. Manifesting Generators can be super intense and headstrong, jumping into big ideas and projects with an unstoppable force of energy. They need to keep in mind that patience and consideration pay off when making big moves or launching a big idea into reality.

Pure Generators are a bit more fluid. They go with the flow, are patient and resilient, and are deeply connected to nature. They can hesitate to take risks, however, and get stuck in a state of deliberation, dwelling on perfectionism. Pure Generators need to remind themselves to stay present, which includes practicing fearlessness.



Projectors are guides. They help to lead other people both directly and indirectly, by being sources of inspiration via their infectious energy. They aren’t selfless leaders necessarily, as they learn a lot about themselves through their experiences with other people and relationships. They are curious, smart, sensitive, and loving, and are deeply intrigued by others and creating relationships.

Projectors need to be seen for who they are, accepted and loved for it more than anything else. It’s what drives them and their purpose. Like generators, Projectors work very hard to be seen and recognized. However, sometimes this diligent work goes unnoticed by a passive employer or a misunderstanding partner, and it can make Projectors feel exhausted or self-conscious, even annoying. Projectors need to communicate their needs clearly and trust that the universe will invite them on their path, instead of trying to force success and relationships. 



Manifestors are much rarer. They love freedom and typically dislike authority, and like to make the first move, so to speak. They are proactive and energetic, having really powerful energy that either tends to repel people or let them in selectively. Some might describe Manifestors as having a “strong personality,” even if they aren’t loud or forthcoming, just because of their intense aura.

Manifestors have a strong need to communicate their goals and intentions with others, and they must do. Their job is to inform those around them—employers, friends, family, lovers—of their dreams and plans before taking action. This is how Manifestors can flex their powers without stepping on anyone’s toes. 



Reflectors are the rarest human design type of all. They are known as incredibly open and sensitive beings and can be supportive and beneficial friends to anyone, regardless of others’ energy, because they don’t absorb the energy of others. This doesn’t mean that Reflectors are cold—they can be very warm and empathetic. It simply means they have the power to be wise and helpful, unaffected in a deeply personal way by those around them.

What makes Reflectors stand out against the other human design types is that they feel deeply connected with the moon. It is said that Reflectors should wait for a full lunar cycle (28 days) before making important decisions. They benefit from the pause, the cleansing of the situational energy proximity, and the gathering of information before jumping to any conclusion.




None of us is above being triggered. Even the most evolved person in the room—someone with a healthy, trained mindset—will struggle from time to time. We all have moments when we’re tired, we’re drained, and our batteries are running low. And it’s at times like these when we’re most open to being triggered.

Everything goes wrong one day, and suddenly we can fall victim to our situations. Someone says something that doesn’t sit right with us and we get defensive, or vice versa. When we’re triggered, we tend to react as if everything we’re feeling in that moment is the unequivocal truth. In actuality, it’s usually just our one-sided perception of the story, and it’s driven by past hurts.

And so begins our downfall.


Adding fuel to the fire

The second someone feels triggered, their defenses go up. And the reaction will often create an equally defensive reaction in whoever else is involved. It’s like a chain reaction.

When somebody feels like they’ve been made into the bad guy in a situation, they’ll naturally want to defend themselves and justify their actions. During tense moments, those reasons are often at each other’s expense. We say, “You made me so mad,” pushing that discomfort onto them. But they fight back with “Well, I wouldn’t have said that if…,” getting defensive themselves. It’s a deflection of guilt or upset, and we begin the blame and justification dance that has no winners and often leaves all parties feeling sore.

When both parties are triggered and defensive, neither is dealing with the truth of the moment. Neither is accepting the role they may or may not have played. Perhaps nobody did anything wrong, but defensiveness has certainly escalated matters. And now both sides are fighting completely different fights based on differing views of the same situation, and no one is dealing with what’s going on at the moment. Which is that both sides are dealing with some past sore point.

We react like the complaint now is the truth—when we’re just triggered by an emotional echo. Whether one person feels triggered or both people do, we fall victim to our reactions, focusing on the often minor current issue. Both add fuel to the fire, and nobody wins. Before we know it, two people who love each other have just fallen out over something utterly trivial.


Everything links back

In these instances, the exact details of why we became triggered in the first place are largely irrelevant. The point is that, even though a real comment or action might have triggered us, our reaction isn’t about the actual situation at hand.


We’re only ever triggered by the past, and our triggers will always stem back to something from our childhood. For the first 20 years of our life, life happens to us. Then, we spend the rest of it dealing with what happened to us.

But if we’re not aware of this—and neither is the other party—how can we find a resolution? We aren’t walking in each other’s shoes. We can’t know exactly where they’re coming from. We’re two people with different pain points and perspectives. It’s like a conversation where both parties are speaking different languages and wondering why no one is making any sense.


Learning to let go

What has us stuck in these triggered moments is running over things again and again. We’re trapped trying to make sense of truth in the present moment that simply doesn’t exist there but in our past.

So, to move past this, we need to work on our awareness and try to catch ourselves. If someone is consistently talking over us or not listening and it triggers us, we should ask ourselves, who first did this to us? Was it a parent? Or a sibling? When did we first not feel heard or respected in conversations? If we can look back and grow our awareness of what we need at the moment, we can explain to someone what triggers us now, what our sore point is, and what we need to help us feel heard and understood.

Also, it’s worth knowing we will often put ourselves around people who will repeat behaviors we didn’t like when we were younger, so we can continue working out how to handle it and grow past it. This is a subconscious choice, but one we all make. Ever noticed someone dealing with the same things again and again, like repeating the type of significant other they go for? The more we engage with the tense, defensive moments today, the more we are buying into them being real and about us now. They aren’t about now.

Instead, we want to notice the moments when we’re triggered. Or when we might be triggering someone else. It’s no easy feat. It’s an ongoing exercise in strengthening our awareness and ability to detach from what is here, to see what is going on there in our minds and our past. And the more we practice this, the more evolved we become, the more we strengthen this muscle, and the quicker we will let these moments go when they arise.



In high school, I always had a crush on the “older” guy (me a freshman, him a senior—back then, it seemed like such an age disparity), and I never looked twice at the dudes my year or in the grades below me. I had concocted this fantasy that an older man and woman would save and protect me. Some may call it “daddy issues;” I’ll leave that to the experts.

At 18, I encountered my first taste of the ubiquitous older man. The story is so cliche. I worked in this Orthopedic Center and met this 40 something-year-old who worked in the mall I would travel to for my boss. Long story short, we had an epic romance. No, sex was involved. Yes, feelings were. I look back on this tryst with somewhat fond memories, and I know now that it was the beginning of a pattern that I would come to live out for a good portion of my 20s: the older man/younger woman scenario.


Without going into my entire sexual and dating history, let’s say I’ve had more than one dalliance with a (much) older man and woman. I’m not talking two or even five years older; we will leave it at that. What I’m noticing in my early 20s is that I gravitate toward older men/women because I found them to be more mature and stable. They were successful and (in many cases) powerful. They took care of business, in more ways than one. 

And then, one day, as I was rehashing my evening with one said an older man to a girlfriend, she stopped me mid-sentence and blurted out: “Just imagine his a** in five years.” I gasped. OMG. Think Jack Nicholson in the hospital scene of Something’s Gotta Give, and you’ll get the image that plagued my mind from that moment on. I’ve never been able to get it out of my head.  

Soon after, my love affair with the older man ended, and as I approached my mid-20s soon, I noticed a new trend emerge: the younger man. To be fair, this seemed to be a trend that exploded in pop culture too: Madonna, Janet Jackson, JLo—they were all fans of the younger man. And the 30-somethings are starting to bore me; even the 40-somethings now wanted the 20-somethings, but the 20-something dudes? Well, let’s just say they were very eager to accommodate. After a rather tumultuous breakup with a boyfriend of two-ish years, my ego yearned for some serious boosting, and the more I hung out with guys my age, the more I remembered what FUN was all about. Sure, perhaps it was all a bit more no strings attached when it came to partnering up, but for a flirty fling, the younger man had me at “you’re hot.”


So, yes, I’ve sampled both younger and older partners. I’m in no way a dating pro, but here are my pros and cons to each.

NOTE: I am not generalizing age groups here. OK, I am slight—but these are my experiences, and if even one of them rings true for you… take it, comment, and feel free to leave the rest.


PROS â€“ They know what they want. They’ve had enough time to test the dating waters and—unless they cannot commit, which could certainly be the issue—the older man is laser clear on what he’s looking for.

CONS â€“ They know what they want, and they’re less malleable to change, which likely means that if they are inept at communicating or if they don’t remember important dates like your birthday or anniversary, chances are they never will. That ship has sailed, to keep with the water metaphor.

PROS â€“ They have their sh*t together. At least when it comes to a job, a place to live, a means of transportation—and if they don’t have these things… run, don’t walk, away. 

CONS â€“ They come with their fair share of baggage (and I’m not just talking about the bags under their *slightly* older eyes). The older you date, the more baggage your partner will have. It just comes with the territory. Think exes, kids, business failings, insecurities, etc. 

PROS â€“ They tend to provide the compelling conversation. If you’re one who likes talking politics, international relations, distilling whiskey, etc… the older man can be a veritable teacher of sorts. 

CONS â€“ They have a schedule, which isn’t necessarily a con for everyone—for some this may even be a pro. But I’m not into the 10 p.m. lights out, 6 a.m. rise and shine, and can’t even meet me for an impromptu lunch because… he doesn’t take lunch, and work comes first—how do you think he can afford that nice house and those pristine wheels? YAWN.



PROS â€“ Confidence. They haven’t been burdened by as many rejections, or it just hasn’t bothered them yet. So they barrel in at 65 miles per hour… with the compliments, the texts, and the kisses. The dating rules? Not in their vocabulary. 

CONS â€“ The thing about an overly confident male is that you’re likely not the only one he’s DMing, sexting, or even kissing. Protect your heart (and your other precious parts).

PROS â€“ They’re spontaneous. Think of a weekend jaunt (whatever town is drivable from where you live) at a moment’s notice. Sex in the hotel lobby bathroom. Showing up at your place in the middle of the night because you were on their mind. Spontaneous gestures are exciting and, for some, a great reminder that your partner doesn’t just talk the talk but can also walk the walk. Aka: actions speak louder than words.

CONS â€“ They can be immature. Like the younger guy who invites you to the house in Miami that he rented for the weekend. You show up, only to find that a dozen other youngsters are milling about, smoking weed, drinking, playing video games. You just wanted some sexy time, so you manage to pull your dude away from the keg and find a random room with a futon and an overflowing ashtray. The next thing you know it’s 5 a.m., your back is killing you from the futon mattress, and some half-naked guy just walked past you to puke in the bathroom. And your guy has slept through all of it. 

PROS â€“ They speak the language of flirtation—and they’re damn good at it, too. This complements the confidence pro above, but in my experience, younger men are just so much less intimidated with what they say and what they do to their lover.

CONS â€“ They’re less serious about everything in life—and that includes you. When the BBD comes along, you’re lucky if you even get a “sorry, we’re done” text. Much more likely he’ll ghost you and you’ll find out about his new girl after some blog writes about him and his new girl. Don’t try to have a “closure” conversation with the younger man, it’s not his “vibe.” 


FINAL THOUGHT: As people love to say, age is just a number. But it truly is… (as long as everyone is 18 and older) what matters most is timing and compatibility. What you want will change at different stages in your life, so go for the person who makes you feel like the best version of yourself, regardless of their birth year. Older guys ain’t shit either so do what makes you feel good ladies and gentlements. Just be careful though because soul-ties do exist.