Yesterday my brother was telling me about Chinese Bamboo. Turns out this plant takes 4 full years to sprout! Yup, farmers fertilize and water the seed for all that time before they see any sign of a plant. In the fifth year, when the bamboo does emerge, it grows like the beanstalk in that story about Jack.

With New Year resolution time upon us, the Chinese Bamboo holds some important wisdom:

1. Leave your seeds where they are. Uprooting and moving seeds every other day, searching for more fertile soil or optimal sunlight, is a surefire way to delay growth. Translation: Once you’ve mindfully set your intentions (your seeds), avoid the temptation to displace those dreams.

2. Stick with the seeds you’ve planted. It’s easy to feel discouraged when you don’t see growth in areas of your life where you’ve dedicated energy and focus. When this happens, you might be tempted to forget about those seeds (ditch those dreams) and plant others instead, thinking maybe you’ll have better luck with apples or pears. Just like uprooting your intentions, however, this requires starting all over and rarely accelerates growth. So: Trust your original intent and remember to…

3. Keep nourishing your seeds. What consistent actions do you need to take to keep your intentions healthy and vibrant? We’re looking for specific “care instructions” here (the equivalent of watering and composting). Instead of yearly resolutions, the focus needs to be on daily resolutions (another insight from my big bro). Break down those big ends into much smaller means, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering your plans.

Now, as Marie Forleo always says, insight without action is useless. So… before the year’s up, grab a pen and paper and answer this question: “What do I need in 2016?” Answer it over and over again until you’ve exhausted your desires. Write them all down.

Don’t overthink this process. Just close your eyes and ask the question. And trust in whatever emerges for you. These are your seeds.

Now take those seeds and apply unfaltering FAITH and consistent ACTION and soon you’ll be living your New Year resolutions. In the meantime, let me help keep you accountable: reply here and let me know what you’re planting first in 2016!

P.S. If you’d like more New Year inspiration, head on over to this interview with the amazing Marie Forleo.