by Karson McGinley: It is human nature to change, grow, and expand, and something about a new year brings all your desires to light…
Whether you want to improve your nutrition, ditch your desk job, or finally write the book that’s been buried in your private journals for all these years, now is the perfect time to make those dreams a reality. With some imagination, a good plan, willpower, and self-love, putting the following strategies into place can help you to manifest your desired reality in this New Year.
1. Identify What You Want and Be Sure You Really Want It
The first step to attracting what you want in the new tear may seem obvious, but it is crucial to your success. Get clear about what you want. This isn’t to say you must know the details of how you’ll get there, but you must know the destination on your metaphorical map.
It starts with a feeling you yearn to embody. From there you can figure out the steps necessary to feel the way you want to feel. For example, if you feel stagnant and long to feel vibrant and alive, those feeling words can point you in the direction of what exactly needs to change. The gap between where you are now and where you want to be will be filled in with whatever goals you identify. Moving from the city to the desert, for example, might be just the thing that helps to shake up your life and gets you feeling more alive.
As you check in with how you feel and identify the changes that need to take place, be sure to let your inner calling take precedence over societal expectations. Sometimes a goal comes up because you feel culturally pressured to “fall into line.” If you want to lose weight, be sure you want to lose weight for your own reasons, not because you feel the pressure from your mother or what you see on social media.
And finally, when you are clear on what you want, ask yourself how willing you are to do the work to make it a reality, on a scale from 1–10. Anything less than a 10 is not worth your time, and will only lead to disappointment.
2. Visualize Your Future Self Doing What It Takes to Get There
The key to is not only to imagine what it will feel like when you have the thing you want, but also to visualize yourself taking the steps necessary to getting there. By visualizing yourself prepping your healthy meals, setting your morning alarm, and writing in your home office with a cup of , you simultaneously amp up your energy to do the necessary tasks, and attract the experiences to you by lighting up your awareness of exactly what needs to be done.
Focusing only on the outcome can be lovely for daydreaming, but isn’t enough for manifestation. Focus on the steps you need to take, and taking them with a smile on your face, and you are that much closer to living the life you imagined.
3. Believe That You Can Do It
Minister and positive thinking expert Norman Vincent Peale said, “People become really remarkable when they start thinking they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.” Self-confidence is a necessary ingredient in achieving your goals; however, it is a difficult thing to just “turn on.”
If believing in yourself doesn’t come naturally, start to create a list of previous successes—times you accomplished something great—and connect to the skills and strengths that led you to victory. No matter how large or small, you have moments you can be proud of. It is time to connect to those qualities that will fuel you to face the challenges that come with creating change.
4. Clarify Your Intention and Give It Your Attention
Knowing what you want is obviously important, but crafting your intention with positive language is crucial to attracting what you want. Your intention should be mindfully crafted, and should light you up when you read it, hear it, or speak it. Rather than something curt and soulless like, “I will stop eating processed food,” try something like, “I will place more value on the health consequences of the food that I eat than I do on the taste, since the taste only lasts for a few moments, but the consequences impact every area of my life and last a lifetime.”
Affirmations can create a huge shift in how you approach your life. The more you focus on the state you wish to attract, the closer it gets.
5. Prepare for When the Slope Gets Slippery
Failure is an inevitable part of the journey, and there are myriad things that come up in life that can derail your greatest intentions. Planning for obstacles to occur is a realistic and wise step in attracting the outcome your desire. If you intend to wake up to meditate every morning at 5 a.m., for example, perhaps you put in a clause that if you are sick or if your child disrupts your night of sleep, you will forego the earlier wake-time, and meditate at lunch instead.
Happiness author Gretchen Rubin shared a great example that it is her intention to work out every day. Her caveat is that she can take a day off from working out any time, but never two days in a row. This way, when something comes up, or she simply doesn’t feel like it, she has a prepared clause in her intention that keeps her on track.
It’s all too easy to throw in the towel the first time you make a mistake or fall behind on your plans. By considering ahead of time the possible excuses and challenging scenarios, you prevent yourself from falling into a shame spiral or giving up all together. Accept that the road to success is never a straight line, and you will be that much closer to your goals.
6. Hold Yourself Accountable, but Be Gentle with Yourself
Know yourself well enough to anticipate your excuses. If you know you tend to get distracted with hunger every time you sit down to write at the computer, be firm with yourself and set limits on uninterrupted work time. If you know you tend to hit the snooze button, move the alarm across your bedroom to prevent self-sabotage. At the same time, however, beware of negative self-talk. You can beat yourself up for being the way you are, or you can treat yourself with love, understanding, and patience. You’re bound to mess up sometime, so be kind to yourself when you struggle.
7. Practice Gratitude Every Step of the Way
Gratitude is a magnet for everything your want. There is a saying that when you thank the Universe for something, you are essentially saying, “Yes, please, more of that!” So celebrate your wins, bless your failures as stepping stones toward greater strength and resilience, and thank this life whenever possible for whatever is in your experience. Make gratitude a way of life, and you will attract far more than you could have ever anticipated.
Don’t let yourself become a statistic as you tackle your goals for this year. Change requires clarity, mental effort, and internal fortitude to rise up, fall, and rise again. Whatever your heart is calling for this year, do what it takes to make it happen. As self-help author Marie Beynon said, “We only have this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand… and melting like a snowflake. Let us use it before it’s too late.” You can do it!