It’s almost 2011 and everyone is talking about New Year’s Resolutions.  For each of us, 2010 represented a variety experiences and ways of being.  Some things we like about ourselves, but typically there is something we want to improve upon.  So, we look to the next year as a fresh start, a time to bring in a new habit pattern and make it stick.  Sometimes it does, but often it doesn’t.  Visit a gym the first week in January, then again in April.  You’ll find in January it’s packed but after a few months pass, invariably those New Year’s Resolutions about going to the gym fade away and life goes back to the way it was in 2010.  Why is that?

For years I’ve used affirmations instead of resolutions and they work.  You may be wondering, what exactly is an affirmation? It’s a phrase written in the positive present tense combined with visualization as if you already had what you want.  For example, “I am confident” or “I am healthy” or “I am a non-smoker” are wonderful affirmations because they are written as an “I” statement in a positive, present tense as if they were already true.  Even though these things may not be actually what you feel, upon hearing these words your subconscious mind (which is very literal) cannot distinguish between what’s true and false.  The opposite is also the case.  For example, if you are repeating negative thoughts in your mind “This is so difficult” or “I can’t do it” or “I’m not good enough” or “I am fat,” your subconscious mind will go to work to bring about whatever it is that you say to yourself, whether positive or negative, true or untrue.

On the other hand, resolutions are often a phrase such as “I want to lose more weight” without being specific about how much weight, or details about how it’s going to happen.  Often we say our resolutions over the course of a week around the turn of the year, then the resolution ceases and we go back to our original habit patterns.  Furthermore, when you say to yourself “I want” something, your subconscious mind considers it as only a wish and does not have the same effect that an affirmation does.

So, my challenge to you is to think about your New Year’s Resolution in the form ongoing positive affirmations throughout the year.  For example, if your New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight, create some positive affirmations that support weight loss.  If you want to lose 20 pounds and you now weigh 175 pounds, you could affirm “I weigh 155 pounds.”  It’s even more beneficial if you supplement it with affirmations such as “I enjoy eating healthy foods” or “I can sense when I am full and I stop eating” or “I enjoy walking two miles three times per week”  That way, your subconscious goes to work bringing about motivations for these to be true in your life, sometimes in ways you never thought of.  In addition, try to visualize the positive thoughts as you think about and write them down as if it’s already happening, and believe that it is true.  You will be surprised how quickly you bring about true change in your life using the power of affirmations.  And, the more you write it down, think about and visualize your desires, the faster it will bring about change.  You can have dozens of affirmations, short or long-term.  Make one of your affirmations to write affirmations daily in a journal.  This will bring about true, lasting change in your life.

As Napoleon Hill once said, “We become what think about.”  Remember that your conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time, whether it is positive or negative.  You get to make the choice what you think about.  Because whatever you believe, with feeling, becomes your reality.  The beginning of 2011 is the perfect time to start.