When the clock struck midnight on December 31st and the new year officially began, men and women across the world resolved to change their lives in 2017. For some people, this will be the year that they finally lose weight, meet the love of their life, or get a well-earned promotion. Others set smaller goals such as saving money on their grocery bills, drinking more water, or eating five pieces of fruit and vegetables every day. Whatever your new year’s resolution was, chances are that you may already be struggling to keep it – when it comes to setting goals, the first two weeks in January are vital, as this is the time when you are most likely to give up, lose hope, or get distracted.

Keeping your resolutions requires four main things: motivation, focus, courage and enthusiasm. Motivation is what makes you set a goal for yourself in the first place, and focusing on the benefits that will result from keeping your resolutions helps you to stay on track. Courage, however, is often required to help you achieve your goals (especially if they involve doing something new, or spending time with strangers), and enthusiasm is necessary to stop you from getting bored or distracted.

If you’re struggling to stay motivated and focused, or self-doubt and boredom are getting in your way, then don’t give up yet! Struggling to keep your resolutions at the start of the year is totally normal, and you are not alone. Support and encouragement can come from the most unlikely places such as colleagues at work, members of an online group, and even Mother Nature!

You may not have thought about using gemstones to help you reach your goals, but it’s definitely something worth trying – men and women have relied on gemstones to help them achieve and succeed for thousands of years, and this practice is just as popular now as it ever has been. Gemstones are said to release natural positive and healing energies that can be harnessed by anyone, regardless of how spiritual you believe yourself to be. In fact, using them is easier than you could imagine – depending on what stone you’re using, sleeping with the gem under your pillow or wearing it as part of a bracelet will be enough to allow you to take advantage of their powerful benefits.

For motivation, Carnelian stones are a natural choice. A beautiful red-orange stone, the Carnelian is said to awaken the ambitious side of your personality, helping you to stay positive and clearly see how much there is to gain from keeping your resolutions. As this stone is strongly associated with the Sacral Chakra, keeping it in the pocket of your jeans or jacket as you go through your day is a great way to get the most from a Carnelian.

Lapis Lazuli gemstones consist of multiple powerful minerals, meaning that they are believed to be one of the most effective stones when it comes to providing beneficial energies. Considered a meditation stone, Lapis Lazuli is popular with people who wish to learn to focus their thoughts, mind and energy into one specific goal or task. Whenever you can find ten minutes of peace and quiet, whether that be at night before bed or on a walk in the park during your lunch break, hold this gem tightly in your fist and close your eyes. Think about your resolution, and the change you want to make in your life, and imagine a wave of energy and warmth moving from the Lapis Lazuli up your arm, around your chest, up through your neck and finally reaching your brain. Doing this will not only help you to relax, but will also allow you to spend a few minutes thinking about your goal each day, helping you to feel more determined and empowered

If you lack courage, then an Aquamarine is the gem for you. This calming blue stone, often considered to be associated with the ocean, will help to wash away any feelings of worry or panic that may be stopping you from taking a big new step such as joining a new club or asking for a pay raise. Similar to the Lapis Lazuli, the benefits of this stone can be unlocked through the power of thought and imagination; place the Aquamarine under your pillow at night, then close your eyes. Imagine yourself on a beautiful sandy beach with waves splashing at your feet. Every time the waves touch your feet, think of the feelings of anxiety or worry that are holding you back, and imagine dropping them into the water. As the waves recede and the water is pulled back towards the sea, allow your problems to float away with them. They will be swept out to sea and you can sleep easy knowing that your worries are no longer able to reach you.

Finally, you need enthusiasm. One gemstone that many overlook is the Sapphire, but when it comes to staying upbeat, inspired and eager to succeed, this is the perfect gem to pick. Sapphires can come in a range of colours, but the most common and popular deep blue version will provide you with all the help you need and can be easily found on necklaces, rings and brooches in most jewellery shops. Wearing a Sapphire against your skin as you go about your day will allow its positive energies to move throughout your body and provide you with a lasting mood boost, helping you to stay enthusiastic and cheerful throughout the day.

Whatever your goals for 2017 may be, the important thing is to start each day with confidence in your ability and clear thoughts about everything you can and will achieve. While others may start to give up on their resolutions, you will have the benefit of positive thinking and gemstone energies to keep you going and they will help you to succeed. Additionally, your motivation and enthusiasm may even encourage others to keep working on their goals! Stay strong, and before you know it, your dreams will become a reality. Here’s to a happy and successful 2017!