Yup. It’s that time of year again. Fresh starts, new beginnings, an opportunity to recreate ourselves anew. . . I love welcoming a new year with hope and optimism. I love to set out a game plan for the upcoming year. The New Year’s resolution is a concept devoted to self improvement and I am relentless about self improvement.
We all do it. We make our lists. . . mental or actual, and we so fervently ‘hope’ that we can stick to it. We resolve to learn an instrument, work out daily, stop smoking, start spending more time with our families. We resolve to drop twenty pounds, get our finances in order, give more to charity.
In years past, I didn’t really get how to do it. I would make an annual (also a daily, weekly, monthly) resolution to lose weight, but it never ended up happening. Why? Well, there were definitely blockages of the mental variety. There was also the physical addiction to sugar, (which I’ve heard is harder to kick than heroin-not the severity of the symptoms, but in the addictive nature. Also not helping matters is that sugar is in nearly everything.) But there was something that just didn’t add up. Wanting is not the same as doing.
Well, as I’ve written in previous articles, I’ve started to discover the key to this lifelong struggle. And I’m very excited about continuing to shed pounds and improve myself on all levels.
So how can we turn this ‘fervent hope’ into tangible results? Well, the first thing to do is take time for reflection. The beginning of the year is a great time for this because the weather is gray, it’s warm inside, we may have a little down time. Start by looking inward and write out exactly what you want in life from 2008. Frame these wants in the affirmative and present tense, as if they are already happening for you. This will begin to train your brain to understand that all things are possible. (‘I am shedding unnecessary fat at a healthy rate and will continue to do so until I am at my ideal weight.’)
Another important aspect is to truly understand what is draining you. Maybe you have friends or family who are sabotaging you. With weight loss as an example, maybe your brother sends you chocolates or tries to get you to go for the old comfort food. Well, your brother, while he most certainly loves you, is not really on board with your resolution and you have to set some clear boundaries.
Connecting emotion to what you’re doing gives you an added depth and strengthens your resolve. By focusing on what you will have when you achieve your goal (for example, the happiness you will experience when you have that new career, or the good feelings you will experience when you start doing volunteer work), you will anchor these good feelings to the task at hand making it more probable that you will succeed.
And lastly, the power of visualization is highly underrated. Imagine yourself as the size you want to be. Visualize your bank account increasing. This is the very core of intention and self actualization.
And lastly, be grateful for what you already have, and for what will come to you as a result of your conscious effort.
Happy New Year.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland