New You in the New Year: 5 questions to help you create positive change in the New Year.

new year new you

If you are receptive to the idea of setting New Year’s Resolutions but are undecided which resolutions will contribute real positive change to your life we have outlined 5 questions that we believe frame change that will introduce the most meaningful adaptions into your life in the New Year – creating a New You in the New Year.

startSTART. What one behaviour or habit could you start today that you will be thankful for in two to three years time? Perhaps you might considering undertaking a new area of study. Perhaps start a savings plan for that special vacation that you have been dreaming about. How about trying to eat properly, or commit to an exercise plan. Write down your options and consider which you would be most happy about in a few years time.

stopSTOP. I’m sure there is a at least one behaviour that you would benefit from LESS of in the New Year. Think about it, write about it. Consider something that you might consider to eliminate this year. Some ideas you might consider are to quit drinking, smoking, explore your propensity to explode in anger, feelings of jealousy, comparing yourself to others, procrastinations, over-eating, your addiction to technology, controlling others, or overworking.

Do you believe you CAN stop? If you believe, then what is holding you back? Have you tried to measure the impact your ‘STOP’ behaviour on your life, both in terms of financial implications, but also the repercussion on your personal life, your reputation, or your long-term health.

If you doubt if you can stop, then perhaps it might help to consider help. Sometimes a doctor, a counsellor, or even a good friend can help you brainstorm a way out. Try to visualise what your life might be like, if you can just STOP.

mendMEND. Are you holding onto old hurts or disappointments from the past that disrupt your ability to move forward? Is there a rift in an important relationship in your life that you are grieving?  Ask yourself could you mend some of these rifts or mend some of those hurts? One technique to think your way through these situation is to journal. ( Specific journal prompts might help you.

  •  Who or what event do you find it hard to mend in your mind? What wrong was done to you? Can you see this situation differently from a distance?
  •  Would there be a benefit to recover old friendships or relationships? Do you feel safe with that person? Can you better protect yourself in that relationship in the future?
  •  Are you still angry about events that have happened in the past. Write about that anger and other feelings. Why do those events continue to hurt you after all the time that has elapsed.

Some perspective and review may help you feel better. Always be kind to yourself in these evaluations. Also acknowledge some hurts are harder to heal. If you have experienced abuse, the mending to be done may not be of that abusive relationship but rather your relationship to yourself. If you need help, consider a counsellor.

accelerateACCELERATE. What positive practices do you engage in that you could accelerate, to your benefit, this year. If you want to be an artist, what commitment could you make this year that could make your dream become closer to reality. Perhaps you could commit to completing one piece of work a week. If you recently started your own business what key resources will you need to commit to getting this business off the ground. Are you working on this as many hours as it needs? Contemplate what activities bring you new clients – either directly or indirectly – and how can you pump up the volume on those tasks? Ideally, you are probably doing so many positive undertakings on a weekly basis, what could you DO MORE with real benefit to your goals?

leave behind.jpgLEAVE BEHIND. In the tradition of closing one door, so that another can open, consider leaving something, even someone, behind as the old year ends and a new one begins. Are you involved in relationships that are toxic to you or sabotage your achievement of your goals? Review the people and practices in which you engage, do they hinder or help you? What person or practice could you let go of, in order to let yourself really grow?

If you have detailed a behaviour in response to each of these 5 provocative questions, then you have the beginning of a game plan for a New You in the New Year.  Well done for spending this time reflecting about what will be of benefit to you. All the best for working on these behaviours in the next year. You should be proud of you.

#reddoor #newyear #Newyearresolutions #behaviorchange





The Power of New Year Resolutions.

blank page .jpgThe tradition of setting resolutions at the beginning of the New Year is as old as the New Year itself. In the time of Caesar’s Rome, the Senate decided that the new year would begin on the 1st January in reverence to that month’s name sake – the God Janus – the two-faced God who looks backward to the past and forward to the future at the same time.

And so the Senate, having confirmed when the year would begin also set the new intention for being kinder and more cooperative with each other when the new year began, and thus the tradition of resolutions was created.

In modern times there are some resistance to setting resolutions. If this describes your stance, I would like you to reconsider this perspective.

Setting resolutions may seem unrealistic. In 2017 the team at RED DOOR, together with CSG (Consumer Search Group), a leading regional marketing research firm, researched resolution set by 900 Chinese adults in Hong Kong and China. Over 50 percent of people set the same resolutions year after year. This might imply that they ‘failed’ last year to achieve their goal. So perhaps they should quit whilst they are ahead. We disagree.

proudofeachstep.jpgRather than seeing repeat resolution as a failure I feel it expresses determination to keep trying. As is often quoted (and attributed to several authors), it does not matter how many times you fall down, but rather how many times you get back up.

The only thing in life that is constant is change. It would be unrealistic to expect things to always stay the same. Resolutions allow you to invite change into your life on your terms. If you are going to experience change, why not accept that and invite the change that may create the biggest new opportunity, heal old hurts and invite the momentum that you have been searching for.

What happens if you fail in your resolution? You start well, but then your commitment tapers off. Don’t worry. Start again. If you slip up once or twice, or even twenty times. IF you stay committed to what you want to accomplish, you’ll be proud of yourself in the end.

If you don’t’ know what resolutions to set, our next blog, New Year – New You, might help you frame some interesting changes to invite into your life. Additionally, I have included some of the results of the CSG/RED DOOR research in order for you to understand what goals other people set.

Happy New Year.


Summary of some of the research by CSG and Red Door in 2017.

We conducted a survey with 400 Hong Kong affluent individuals and 500 Chinese affluent regarding the resolutions they have intend for 2017, and their commitment to achieving these resolutions. From the survey, 61% (Hong Kong) and 59% (Chinese) affluent adults has made resolutions for 2017.

  1.  65% of women in Hong Kong made a resolution relative to only 57% men
  2. The top 2 resolutions that women in Hong Kong made are:  Health & Fitness (68%) + Money (63%)
  3. 80% of women in HK have concrete goals + timeframes
  4. Only 44% of these HK women made a new resolution
  5. To achieve their resolution, they plan to do the following:
    1. Chart their success (43%)
    2. Make a change in their career (36%)
    3. Change a regular habit (35%)
    4. Change their look (32%)
  6. They are making the resolution for themselves because 72% believed that they would be most impressed with the achievement of their resolution
  7. 62% of the women in HK have made resolutions that involved a financial commitment
  8. They are willing to spend an average of HKD5,210 in the first month

Data suggest that HK women are making more resolution than men and are committed to achieving their resolution with financial investment.

  • There are some really good data for Chinese women that shows up a nice contrast to HK women.
  • We have also provided data for different age groups which have interest trends for female who are 35 – 44 years old

#reddoor #CSG #Newyearresolutions #positivechange #Newyear

Fighting Fair

fighting fairDisagreements are to be expected in any relationship. No two people see situations the same, or have completely the same goals. Resolving conflicts in a positive manner will make your relationship stronger, whilst unresolved battled and long-term contempt can erode your relationships’ chance of survival.

Are you fighting fair when you disagree? We outline the best recommendations given in therapy and highlight the work that we do with couples to help them move from belligerent brawling to fighting fair.


Agree on rules of engagement.

A set of rules will help keep an argument on track and less confrontational. Common recommendations might include:

  • Set a time to argue – don’t just ambush an argument onto your partner
  • Argue by mutual consent, and delay your discussion if you are tired or sick – a fair fight requires two able bodied members
  • Set a time limit to discuss a topic. If you don’t reach consensus in your time frame either agree to disagree, or take a break to allow each party to consider all of the points.
  • Physical violence is a no-no.
  • Remember words are weapons – stop hurting the people you love


Know and own your feelings.

When you are upset try to avoid to blame others for your feelings and experiences. You would be better to say “When you do …”, “I feel …” rather than label the behaviour. For example, “You are always late; you are so selfish” Rather say. “When you are late, I start to feel nervous”

Your feelings are yours. It is common to hear “You made me mad”. This phrasing attempts to deflect responsibility for your reaction off yourself, but your feelings are yours. That isn’t to say this supports legitimacy of your partners behaviour. People don’t make you mad, you get angry. It is your anger. I would challenge you to consider if you get angry in other situations, outside of your personal relationship. Use feeling words – I feel angry, sad rather than “you are so selfish”, “no wonder I’m angry”. Use I statements – “I feel angry …” rather than “You make me…”


Kitchen Sinking.

Keep any argument to the topic you have outlined to discuss. Kitchen sinking occurs when you pull old hurts and disagreements into the current topic under debate. If a number of issues have been accumulating, tackle them one at a time.


Point scoring is for bullies.

Your objective isn’t to WIN a fight. If one person wins, the other, even more importantly, the relationship loses. Allow your partner to save face. The purpose of fighting fair is to improve your experience within the relationship. Fighting fair, and resolving disagreements amicably and respectfully strengthens your relationship in the long term.


It takes two

Keep your fights between the two of you. Leave family and friends out of your argument. Poor relationship boundaries around your personal issues will have a negative impact on the quality of your long relationship. There is nothing more annoying than having others opinions included in a discussion. Imagine the scene where a partner says to another “Your mother agrees, we should have never gotten married” In particular DO NOT involve children in your arguments, that is deeply unfair to them. Obviously if physical aggression is involved privacy and boundaries are no longer sacred


Kindness is king.

Being kind and respectful is extremely helpful in a disagreement. Name calling, bringing up critical confidences in order to hurt another, swearing, making threats are distructive to your relationship. If you owe your partner an apology, then provide it. Some goodwill can go a long way. Issues which involve personal perception and opinion may be impossible to resolve. Agree to disagree if you can and respect this. I’ve seen many couples continue to fight after they’ve agreed to disagree, and that situation, rarely ends well.



Even if you have a bad fight you can start again without completely resolving the conflict. Sometimes if you start your day taking shots at each other, one of you can ask, “can we start this again”. You don’t need to continue a fight just because you started it. Respect the possibility to start again, but also commit to have the discussion again at another time. Control-Alt-Delete can’t simply be used to stonewall discussions.



If you are in the wrong, apologise. Even if you weren’t in the wrong, but behaved in a hurtful manner apologise. Also, if you are given an apology, accept it. Sometimes in counselling we see couples who do accept their partners apology because it covers only 8/10 things that they believed their partner did wrong. Accept an apology, even if it is incomplete. Once peace has been restored, discussion on areas of dispute will be more likely to be successful.


“Fighting fair” cannot involve abuse.

There is a difference between having disagreements and being in an abusive relationship. Abuse can be physical, financial or psychological. Physical abuse includes not only scratching, kicking, hitting and biting but also coerce your partner to have sex, putting your partner into a headlock or holding them against their will. Financial abuse and emotional abuse are less difficult to identify and confirm.

Its worth talking about what emotional abuse is not. It is not emotionally abusive to break up with a partner, or argue with your partner. It is not emotionally abusive when someone reacts to what you have done by stating that they are hurt. It is also not emotional abuse to speak one’s mind with honesty, perhaps more tact could be used, but it isn’t necessarily abuse. Partner’s fight, and often even yell. This doesn’t constitute abuse, unless it is done for the purpose of controlling another person.

Researchers Jacobson and Gottman have a questionnaire that can help you determine if you are being emotionally

While less commonly understood than other forms of abuse, financial abuse is one of the most powerful methods of keeping a person tied to an uneven or even abusive relationship. Financial abuse involves controlling a victim’s ability to produce or manage financial resources. Rarely do they have complete access to money and other resources. When they do have money, they often have to account for every penny they spend. If one partner is shopping for groceries and suddenly finds all cards have been cut off in response to a recent argument, this may be an indication of financial abuse.


If you get stuck, get help

If you find yourselves going around in circles on a topic you could consider couples counselling. Couples counselling will help you understand if the issue is the one you are arguing about or is actually a proxy for other unresolved issues, then help the couple work on those challenges.


Disagreements are to be expected in any relationship. Resolving conflicts in a positive manner is an indication of maturity and commitment. The next time you fight with your partner, reach for this list and keep your fight fair.

#fighting #relationships #arguments #fightfair #couplescounselling #abuse #reddoor