Every New Year brings new hopes and dreams for the year to come. Recently I’ve heard everyone talking about their resolutions and what they are going to do to keep them “for real” this time, but it got me thinking, what can I do to keep mine? To help, I searched out Jill Englund, who has years of experience helping people to achieve their goals through guided imagery, creative visualization, and meditation.
NS: What Can I do this year to really keep my resolution this year?
JE: When you want to make a change in your life, no matter how big or small, it is most helpful to support the change with repeated, positive affirmations—visual, written and spoken. Of course, I am assuming that you are setting yourself up for success, first. Let’s use the example of “eating healthy, organic foods more often.” If this were your resolution this year, it would make sense that you would first do the footwork of joining a coop or finding and familiarizing yourself with the natural food section of your grocery store. It would also make sense for you to familiarize yourself with common terms used to categorize foods such as “organic,” “free-range,” or “grass-fed;” to name a few. After you’ve set yourself up for success, then the affirmations can come into play.
NS: What exactly is an affirmation?
JE: An affirmation is a statement (can be either positive or negative, but we want to avoid the negative ones) targeted toward a specific goal or belief, and in our case, for supporting the success of your New Year resolution. You can begin your affirmations at any time, but you will get a little jump-start if you commence them on the new moon. During the time of the new moon (January 4 and February 2 this year), or at least within 48 hours, there are increased energies for new beginnings that are created at this phase. They are best made in the present tense in positive ways, and work best when they are written down on paper and also repeated aloud through out the day. Going back to our example, a good affirmation would sound something like “I now nourish my body with healthy, organic foods” or “I support my radiant health with natural organic foods.”
You want make sure, though, to avoid future-tense resolutions and negative statements such as “I am not going to wreck my body with chemicals.” Say your resolution out loud often during the day; your mind needs to hear the results of what your resolution will create. Practicing visualizations of you achieving your goal is also essential. Your eyes need to see it on paper as much as your mind needs to hear and actually see it happen.
NS: What should I do when I start my affirmation and I feel self-conscious and doubtful?
JE: That’s a good question! When you are trying to replace an old belief system with a new one, quite often your old ideas and beliefs will pop up and try to sabotage you. In the middle of your affirmation, all the sudden you may think, “This is dumb and useless. What am I doing?” Don’t whitewash that idea, and don’t ignore it or push it back into the closet from which it came. Acknowledge the thought and challenge it. Ask yourself, “Do I really believe that? Is that true? Where did that belief originate from?” Then transform it with your affirmation. Ignoring the sabotaging belief system is only a temporary Band-Aid. It will show up later again, again, and again.
NS: But will this really help?
JE: Yes! In the ten years I have been helping people realize their potential & goals, those that do the affirmations have a better attitude and tend to achieve their goals more quickly. Those that don’t only make it harder on themselves, I can see it in their eyes and they second-guess themselves. The more you do it, the more it seeps into your consciousness and your resolution transforms into a part of your daily life. Remember, what you think about, comes about.
Jill Englund has a Bachelor of Science degree in Metaphysics and for the last ten years has helped organizations and individuals to achieve their goals through guided imagery, creative visualization, and meditation in Minneapolis, Minnesota.