We are about to enter a new year, and with that comes high expectations and intentions to change. Lose weight, workout more. Eat healthier, stop making bad food choices. Do a juice cleanse; go to bed earlier. Stop drinking; work harder to get that promotion. Start a meditation practice; end toxic friendships. We make these resolutions year after year, but how come they never stick? Why do we always seem to come back to the same place with the same resolutions?
We have incredibly high expectations for ourselves, which is great, but the truth is, we are who we are for a reason. We at any point can decide to be who we want to be, so what is it that stops us from being the person we want to be, and from living the life we want to live?
This is the question that we must ask ourselves in order to start walking down the path to manifesting the life we want, and to becoming the person we know we can be. Because if we truly want to make a change about who we are, then we must uncover the root reason that is preventing us from getting there, and most importantly staying there.
The fact that we are who we are, and do what we do is no surprise since we are the ones that got ourselves here. We are the ones that decide not to go to the gym and to enjoy couch time instead. We are the ones that decide to stay in toxic relationships instead of making the break. We are the ones that despite how guilty we feel, choose wine over water, hamburgers over salads and Instagram over meditation.
So where’s the disconnect?
Most of us see ourselves as being happy if we only lived up to the dreams of who we wanted to be in our heads. But how do we get there? Or more importantly, are these so-called dreams really what we want?
I really want to explore this topic since I believe every one of us is faced with the same inner battle. The battle between want we want to do and who we want to be, and what we ARE doing and who we are NOW.
If we truly want to make a change, we must unravel and get to the root of our desires. Through this process we can solidify our intentions and motivations for wanting to achieve a certain goal or to become a certain version of our selves. We can then manifest. It is all about creating fortitude behind our intentions. Fortitude is created by the understanding of our true self. The more we understand our self – our motivations as well as our fears behind our desires – the more strength we create to manifest.
On the other hand, it is important for us to decipher between the goals and dreams desired by our true self, and those that are imposed on us from outside forces. We live in a world where so many expectations and right ways of living exist, that from birth they become ingrained in our minds. So much so, as we grow older and develop our own sense of self, it is near to impossible to know if these expectations of ways of living are born from our own thoughts of who we want to be, or are merely programmed presets. For many of us, chasing these programmed dreams and goals are at the root of our failure. We vow to become this certain person or to achieve these model goals, but never get there for the simple fact that they are not born from us, from our true selves. So we keep sabotaging ourselves, since these societal, per-programmed goals go against who we really are and who we really want to be.
This post is all about breaking that cycle and untangling our selves from these false goals. Then discovering who we really want to be and how to create a discipline to get there – how to discover your true resolutions and how to achieve them.
This New Year our resolutions are going to be different. We are going to create a discipline to live the life we want. A discipline that is born from our true inner desires and an honesty of who we really are. This is exactly why this will work for good. Here are the tools to get there.
Discover your True Resolutions and How to Achieve Them
1. How Determine what your True Desires are
The first, and most important thing is to analyze what we want and what we are doing. We have to make sure that what we think we want, is what WE REALLY want. This means that we clearly see our wants as our own desires, not the desires of society, our family, our partners, or our ego. Because I will tell you, most of us are falsely led to believe that we want things, when in fact our authentic true self really does not want them at all. In most cases, this is the sole reason why we never fulfill these desires.
The best way to determine your true desires is to constantly ask yourself, do you REALLY (deep down) want this? Would reaching that goal truly make you happy? Do you really want (and will do anything to get it) those six pack abs? Or would you actually be happier spending that quality time with your kids? Would that extra 10,000 dollars a year really make you happier? Or would saying no to the extra work hours in turn for more time spent decompressing make you happier?
Start to envision yourself living the end goal of your actions, and once there, see if it will make you happy. Take the time to really live that experience. Close your eyes and imagine what it would be like. And don’t just imagine the good parts; imagine the less comfortable parts and the sacrifices as well. At that moment, you can get a taste for what that would be like, and clearly decide if this is something that you want. If so, you can take a step forward to creating that dream. The good news is that most of us have past experiences to draw from, since we tend to revisit the same goals over and over again. For example, one of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight. But did you know that most everyone who wants to lose weight in the New Year has already been through the process of losing weight? If we stop to take time to evaluate what it was like to lose weight, we can remember the pleasures of feeling lighter and feeling more confident in our clothes. We also might remember how we felt stronger and more agile we felt, or how much more energy we had or how much better we slept. These memories can help reaffirm our goal to lose weight and solidify our intention to do so.
On the other hand, revisiting the memories of actions past might reaffirm that a certain goal is NOT actually want we want at all. We might just keep going after a certain goal because of a society stigma or external pressures. Let’s use the example of losing weight here as well.
In my personal experience, as a young woman, losing weight and being quite thin has always been the goal. For a long time I never realized that this goal was not really mine, created by my true self, but rather a society pressure. In order to come to this realization, I have to revisit my experience of pushing myself to lose weight and to move from a realm of healthy to borderline too skinny. During that time, I did feel good about how I looked, especially since I received so many positive reactions from my peers and society, but I did not feel good on the inside. I was hungry all the time, I was scared of eating, I was constantly tired, my hair was thin and brittle, I was abnormally cold and my digestion was a mess. On top of that, I always had this inner intuition that what I was doing to myself – that is not eating enough – was not good for my body. My body was telling me that I was not nourishing and protecting it, and I always had that nagging feeling.
Revisiting these thoughts, and putting myself back into that time period helps me to reaffirm that losing weight and getting to that very thin place is NOT what I want. That is not where I want to be despite feeling good about how society saw me. So in this case, when the pressures from society to be a certain weight comes to mind, I only have to imagine what the process of being skinny and losing weight is like to remember this is not my dream, this is not my goal, and not who I want to be. I want choose to feel healthy and strong, over deprived and skinny. This is how you can use this mental exercise to determine what you really want, and who you really want to be, versus what is a society pressure or goal.
2. Examine your Actions
Examining your actions is all about discovering why we do something when we know we want to do something different. Most of us live a better part of our lives in this state – walking through actions that do not lead us to where we want to go.
Why do we keep drinking multiple glasses of wine at night when we want to be alert and refresh in the morning? Why do we always choose to go home after work instead of going to the gym when we want to feel healthy and strong? Why do we never break up with our abusive partner when we want to be in a loving relationship? Why don’t we dedicate just five minutes a day to stretching when we know it will ease our pain?
The answer lies inside each and every one of us, and it is essential to find that answer in order to break the cycle. For most of us, the answer is fear. We fear being successful or fear failing. We fear being powerful and strong while we also fear not living up to our dreams. We fear receiving love because we believe we don’t deserve it, or worse yet, we fear what we would do with that love if we had it. Fear leaves us paralyzed. Fear prevents us from moving out of the known – what we are currently doing – to the unknown. The craziest part is that most of us would rather be unhappy, sad, depressed or hurt in a place that we know, rather than make a change and venture out into the unknown for the hope of happiness, love and joy.
The goal then is to get crystal clear about why we are not being the person we want to be, and taking the steps to get there. In the end, we are all capable of being the person we want to be, it is only a matter of breaking the chains that we hold ourselves back with. The act of determining WHY we are doing what we are doing, and NOT doing what we want to do is the how we are going to break the cycle. Be honest with yourself. Allow yourself to recognize the fear, the weaknesses, and the insecurities. Let them rise to the surface. Shed light on them. Only then can we weaken their power, giving us the strength move past them.
3. How to Break the Chains
Another way we prevent ourselves from manifesting the life we want, or becoming the person we want to be, it by putting the blame on something or someone outside of ourselves. This is so common because it is easy and less painful. It is easier to justify not being the person we want to be by putting the blame on something outside of ourselves, rather than taking responsibility. If we take responsibility that means that we will have to DO something about it. We will have to make that change, break certain ties and take action. As we have discussed before, this is not always easy to do.
I am not denying the influence our circumstances or situations have over us, but putting the blame on those things are not going to get us to where we want to be. We all have our stories, our pain, our injustices and our abuses. This is the story of life. But it is what we do this those stories that make us who we are and get us to where we want to be. These circumstances are our power. They are our gifts if we chose to see them that way. And the only way to start using them to our advantage is to take responsibility.
We are the ones that create our life plain and simple. Despite the circumstances we have been born into, we are the ones that have the power to change. Once we realize that it does us no good to blame our parents, our partners, our obligations and our circumstances for where we are or who we are, we take back the power. With the power, we regain control. Control to create where want to be and to live the life we want to live. Because for every terrible, horrifying and unjust story out there, there are countless examples of people rising from those ashes and becoming a model for how extraordinary we can be as humans. This is our gift. Despite where we came from or what we have gone through, we as humans have been given the gift to transform and to transcend. To become who ever we want to be and to do what ever we want to be. Need proof? How about the countless survivors of genocide and war, of shipwrecks and plane crashes? And one of my favorites, the young homeless girl who made her way to Harvard University. We are capable of amazing things if only we can take back our power.
4. Manifest your Desires, become who you want to be
Now that we have uncovered what are true goals are and who we really want to be, we have to manifest it.
Decide and declare.
Decide Who you Want to Be and declare it. Over and over again, every day, multiple times a day until it becomes a part of your very essence. Be that person, see them in your mind. Close your eyes and watch yourself being that person, living that life, and believe in it with all your might.
Announce to yourself the following:
I am ______ (strong, healthy, safe, powerful, joyful, peaceful, loved…)
I have ______ (a healthy family, a job that I love, financial security, time for relaxation…)
See yourself there. Believe you are there. Create a statement and know it to be true. This world and your life is waiting to be created and you are the creator. Nothing exists yet and there are endless possibilities. Mold your world to your desire. Believe in those dreams with all your might and train your brain to stop doubting them. You are in control. You create your life and who you are. You can be and you can do anything, you just have to believe it to be true. Like a painter that creates a painting out of imagination, imagine yourself to be where you want to be. See it in your mind and live it. Keep on living that dream in your mind and experience it with your imagination. Feel how it feels, experience its sensations, live it as if you were there.
Practice this as often as you can. Make it a part of you. Say your affirmations. Believe your affirmations. Use this power and pure desire to fuel your actions. Take the actions to manifest this dream and the doors will open to you. Even if you have no idea how you will get there, and even if the impossible must happen in order for your dream to manifest, stay fervent in your desire. The stars will align.
Daily Tools for Creating a Discipline to Live the Life you Want
Creating the life that you want takes discipline. It takes a dedication of the mind to manifest, and that dedication is a daily practice. Just like you must go to the gym and regularly work your muscles to change their form and function, you must regularly work your mind to change your thoughts and your life. This is the practice.
Once you have worked through the tools above to help you uncover who you want to be and what life you want to manifest, apply the tools below to move you towards its creation.
Create + Recite Affirmations
Reaffirm daily who you want to be, what you need to do to get there. Say these out loud to yourself. Recite them in your head through the day.
I am _______
I have ______
*If it does not feel comfortable to say you are or you have something yet, simply add “will” into the statement. I will be, I will have.
**Do not use the affirmation I want. It will only give you the experience of wanting of something, not the something itself.
Make time for a Daily Spiritual Practice
Carve time into your daily schedule for a spiritual practice. Even if it is just 10 minutes first thing in the morning, or 10 minutes in the shower before bedtime, make the time. This will keep you on point, your mind and intention focused. A spiritual practice can be anything from prayer and meditation, to reading a spiritual or motivational book, or even talking to spirit while on a nature walk.
Stop, experience, see where you want to go. Stay conscious. Think beyond the moment. Train your brain to stay conscious. When you are going to make a decision, even a small one like what to eat for lunch, stop and think. Reflect on how that decision is going to shape who you are. We are not only what we think, but we are the long string of actions of what we are doing on a day-to-day basis. Remember who you want to be and decide if that decision is in line with who you want to be or not. Remember your past experiences and how you felt when you made this decision in the past. Recall the joy that you felt when you acted in a manner that supports who you want to be.
Enjoy the Wins
When you make a decision or take part in an action that gets you where you want to go or is in accordance with who you want to be, enjoy how you feel. Make a memory of this. You will recall back on this feeling when you come to this crossroads again. This memory will help strengthen your resolve and help you to act in accordance with who you want to be. For example, when you go to the gym take a mental snapshot of how good you feel after you work out. How proud you feel of yourself. How it was not as bad as you anticipated it to be. How good your energy is and your mood is afterwards. How you actually ENJOY going to the gym and exercising. How WRONG your thoughts were that you don’t enjoy it and that it’s a chore. HOLD ON to these thoughts. These will become invaluable tools.
I truly hope that this offers you some guidance in helping you to achieve all that you deserve. Each one of us is capable of more than we know if only we would believe in ourselves. May this year bring you undreamed of possibilities!