Make Your Resolutions Work for Your Element

Use the 5 Element System to Help You Make More Productive Resolutions

Confession time: I love New Year’s resolutions. I find the process of imagining the coming year and writing lists of things I would like to accomplish very, well, fun. What can I say, finding the fun in lists is part of my constitution.
One of the main principles of Eastern Medicine is observing an individual’s constitution and tendencies, which will indicate one dominant Element: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water. We all have aspects of each element in our personality, but by working to create harmony between them, we can live more balanced lives.

When it comes to planning the year ahead, we can use the 5 Elements to keep our resolutions balanced. For example, as a Metal type, I tend to be very organized, love to write out lists, but also tend to be a perfectionist. That often leads me to give up on any goal that I can’t accomplish perfectly. But if I bring aspects of the other Elements into my goals, that helps me to balance out those tendencies.


Take this fun quiz to find out which Element you are.


The Wood Element is very driven and goal oriented. This Element is very determined and benefits greatly from having clear goals to guide its efforts. Wood is all about action and movement and upward growth. Having a roadmap to follow helps this Element use its energy in an efficient and productive way.

This Element is also easily frustrated when they run into resistance. Wood types benefit from having soothing practices that force them to slow down- they need meditation, regular acupuncture, or breathing exercises to stay balanced.


The Fire personality is full of joy, love, and charisma, but easily distracted and discouraged. Include other people in your resolutions and create collaborative goals, especially if Fire is your dominant Element. Everyone should make a point of including joy and connection with other people in their plans. Without enough Fire, life can become dull and uninspiring.

The imbalance that most often afflicts Fire types is anxiety or insomnia. Make sure that rest and relaxation are part of your routine, and include calming practices such as shiatsu massage or languid nightly baths.


The Earth element is full of caring and nurturing. Many Earth personalities will have a difficult time prioritizing their own needs and taking care of themselves. Everyone should make their own health and wellbeing a priority, but those who find self-care to be especially challenging should include this in their goals.

The Earth Element also tends to find change to be very challenging. This type will do better with small, incremental shifts. If you struggle with making big changes, try breaking your resolutions into very small changes that slowly build on each other.


The Metal Element is very organized and particular but may tend towards perfectionism. To satisfy this Element, think about what your end goal is and build flexibility into your resolutions. If your resolution is to get to the gym twice per week, think about what you are trying to accomplish- to loose weight? Manage your stress? To have more energy? Keeping the final product in mind will help you be flexible enough to change your plan as needed but still accomplish your end goal.


The Water personality is an internal explorer who loves to get lost deep in thought, self-reflection, and the spiritual aspects of life. Water gives us deep insight and poignant ideas, but makes follow-through challenging.

People with a lot of Water qualities usually don’t enjoy making resolutions, because they struggle with follow through. Try writing goals in terms of a feeling you would like to embody, such as grace or balance, and work towards bringing that quality into your daily life in the coming year.

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Come in and meet us in person. Learn more about our approach and what we do. The free consultation is an opportunity to review your health history and goals and see if you’re comfortable with our philosophy and recommendations.

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Does it flutter in your heart? Does it wrap around your lungs and make it difficult to breathe? Does it creep up your back and neck, leaving tension in its wake?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The acupuncture point Small Intestine 11, also called Celestial Gathering, relieves anxiety and opens the chest.  This point calms and relaxes the heart and creates a feeling of space in the chest that makes you want to breathe deeply. It releases tension from the shoulder blade all the way up the back of the neck. I will often treat this point with both needles and moxa (a warming technique).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Do you ever struggle with anxiety? Where do you feel it most?
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The health of the sperm is super, duper important. It is every bit as important as egg health and likely plays a role for the huge number of couples who have received an “unexplained infertility” diagnosis (which is not a real diagnosis, by the way). Sperm health is also incredibly variable and sensitive to lifestyle interventions as well as targeted acupuncture, herbal therapy, and many supplements. Sperm counts and quality can improve in as little as a month and can make a huge difference for couples who are trying to conceive.
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From @biolayne on @hubermanlab.
Are you feeling the springtime, Wood-energy disruption? Sleep been off? Muscles feeling stiff and achy? Maybe a bit irritable about how slowly things are moving in your life?​​​​​​​​​
Rebalance that Wood element with these daily practices:

Regular stretching is an excellent way to start and end your day. Adding yoga or tai chi to your daily routine can provide even greater benefits for your joints, connective tissues, and overall health. These practices not only help with flexibility but also promote relaxation and mindfulness, which can reduce stress and increase overall well-being. This season is all about ‘flow’.

Go Outside.
Spending more time outdoors is an easy and effective way to support Wood energies during the spring. Moving around outside can increase your heart rate and keep your blood flowing smoothly. Exposing yourself to daylight, especially in the mornings, helps your body stay in sync with the daily cycles of day and night. This balances cortisol and melatonin levels, supporting deep, restful sleep and energetic mornings.

Understand Your Constitution.
When a person is in complete balance, transitioning from one season to another tends to go unnoticed. However, a person with a strong Wood element in their constitution may experience irritability and frustration during the spring season. In East Asian Medicine, we understand that the Wood phase is being taxed by this season, which can cause feelings of being stuck, frustrated, or angry. People who tend to feel these emotions easily will benefit from extra attention to gentle movement and having dedicated time for rest.
Health is all about cycles. ​​​​​​​​​
Each cycle within our body syncs with all the other cycles within our body. Our body's cycles also sync with the cycles in our environment. 

I always emphasize attuning sleep and wake cycles, especially for my clients with irregular menstrual cycles, fertility challenges, and hormonal imbalances. I also recommend deep breathing practices to anyone who will listen. Cycles are the reason. 

By slowing our breath and living in tune with the daylight, we  calm our heartbeat and regulate our daily hormones (especially cortisol and melatonin) so that our menstrual cycles and monthly hormones (estrogen and progesterone and many others) can regulate as well.

Your Initial Consultation is Free.

Come in and meet us in person. Learn more about our approach and what we do. The free consultation is an opportunity to review your health history and goals and see if you’re comfortable with our philosophy and recommendations.

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