12/26/2012 05:53 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Make New Year's Resolutions That Work



Most New Year's resolutions are built upon a foundation of guilt, lack or fear. You think you need to fix what's broken about you, and hence focus your mind on something you're doing wrong, something you want but don't have, or something you fear will happen if you don't change. These are all states of mind that hold you back, not move you forward. You may start with enthusiastic commitment, but that "can do" attitude is quickly followed by waning interest. Eventually you give up your goal and end up on a big fat guilt trip.

Try looking at resolutions in a new light. Instead of thinking about what's wrong with you, imagine what it would feel like to be exactly the way you want and have exactly what you want. This is best done in a very relaxed or meditative state. If you've never meditated or don't have a clue how to relax your mind and body, there are plenty of relaxation CDs or programs that are readily available. You can also see a hypnotherapist, who can create a personalized CD that encompasses your goals.

Once you can imagine (in a totally relaxed state) exactly how you want to be in your life, hold that image in your mind and feel how happy and appreciative you are with your new self. Write a positive affirmation about this state. For example: "I feel so vibrant and healthy at my new weight of 145 pounds." Then practice imagining this visual and reciting your affirmation (with feeling) multiple times a day. Believe it has already happened. You will naturally start doing things and attracting the right people or opportunities to make it happen.

Resolutions created out of a state of relaxation and joy are much more likely to come to fruition than those created out of guilt or fear. Instead of focusing on your limitations, meditative visualizations give you what you want immediately, even if it's just in your mind. And, once something is firmly planted in your mind (particularly your subconscious mind), it will eventually become your reality if you believe it to be. Yes, you still need to do the work, but from a different frame of mind.

So, when making a resolution, create what you want in your relaxed and uncluttered state of mind. Write it down. Imagine and feel the joy as if you've already achieved it, and then become it. Remember to be patient and loving with yourself. If you stumble along the way, so what! It's your life and your creation. Just keep trying. Make the journey as fun as the destination.

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