Forget New Year’s Resolutions This Year! Instead, Follow These 3 Steps to Reconnect With Your Already Awesome Self

AND manifest what you need in 2016!

My loathing of New Year’s resolutions is probably in direct proportion to my consistent lack of success with them in the past—the distant past.

I haven’t avowed any new year proclamations or transformations for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I have developed my own rituals for celebrating this time where big people get to silently scream, “Do over!” and we allow ourselves to hit the reset button.

I feel some alliteration coming on . . . so, instead of “resolutions,” my rituals involve reflection, re-focusing, renewal, remembering, reclamation, reconnection and revision. It’s an “R” thing I guess. I’m not sure I resolve anything, but I have found that taking time out each year to reflect helps to set a positive tone for the next 365 trips around the sun.

Here’s how it goes most years . . . 

[6 Tips for Starting a Successful Journaling Habit]

1. Reflect

I take a week or two at the end of the year (which is easy to do because of the other holidays that precede the New Year’s stuff) and do a deep surrender of everything—all my petty plans and earthly goals. I consciously try NOT to make plans about work or travel or family or personal goals. I stick to healthy routines as best I can and pick up my meditation time a LOT. I ask for additional spiritual guidance on what I need to focus on for my highest good, rather than try to dictate what I think it should be.

A higher perspective always yields far more insight than I could ever possibly achieve in my physically-focused, ego-driven mind. I find that writing reveals even more interesting surprises, and I highly recommend doing some serious journaling during this type of reflective timeout.

When my mind wants to “figure it all out” and starts to plot and plan (which it always does), I have to pull it back and gently remind it (my mind, as if it were a puppy on crack sometimes) that we aren’t doing that right now and give it something else to chew on. My goal is to be as present as possible between bouts of reflection—thus staying out of the future (planning).

[Weekly Meditation With a Bit of Necessary Humor]

The world and the people in it sometimes try to convince me that this is not a good idea and I need to “strategize” and plan and visualize and all kinds of important things. And my answer is, yes, but not until I’m done with the reflection bit. I have to gain some clarity on where I’ve been and get a higher perspective on what’s next before I can do any type of effective strategizing, visualizing and/or (ultimately) manifesting. Patience, grasshopper.

How do you practice reflection?

2. Re-Focus

Once I’ve given myself the gift of time and space to reflect and gain some perspective on my current reality—that tricky beast that’s enhanced by spiritual practice and mindfulness, or warped by being too embedded in the earthly drama—it’s a constant battle of balance and the cliche of keeping my feet rooted here on this earth and my mind in the proverbial clouds of higher perspectives. I fail frequently, but I keep at it, and wallow as long as I can in the balance when it happens. I suspect that in some cruel spiritual scheme we decided it would be no fun to be in balance all the time. Heavy sigh.

Regardless of my state of perfect balance, I’ve learned one thing about manifesting anything—whether a change in behavior, shift in perspective or creating cash flow—whatever we focus on tends to become reality. I’m not going to try and explain this one as there are those that do a far better job than me—Abraham HicksThe Lotus and the Lily, The Secret and many other variations on this theme.

[Identify Your Inherent Traits… & Learn How to Embrace Them]

So, once I get some clarity on what is, I can begin to visualize what’s next. What do I want to manifest in this coming year? Probably not sickness, debt, drama, etc. In order to avoid manifesting these fun challenges, I have to constantly re-focus my mind (remember the puppy on crack?). I have a tendency to get caught up in the rat-wheel of worry, doubt, anxiety and fear, which leads NOWHERE, but exhausts me. My biggest challenge is to say “no” to these thoughts and replace them with positive concepts like gratitude, joy, love… and when all else fails, just shut it all down and be present with WHATEVER is going on and invite spirit to help shine some light on the moment.

It helps me to create some simple affirmations based on my recent reflections that re-direct my puppy mind from destructive thoughts to more productive thoughts like the stuff I want to manifest. I can say these little affirmations or mantras quietly in my head or out loud or write on sticky notes and decorate my little world with them until they become new neuropathways to change. I do this until I’m spending far more time in my mind on what I want to see and create rather than all the crazy rationalizations why I can’t. Stuff is like magic. Really. Try it on something simple for 30 days and see what happens.

What helps you re-focus your attention?

3. Remembering

As I skim the surface of this world trying to get it all done (whatever “it” is), I tend to forget what’s important. My heart mission seems to be blotted out by the gravity and density of this planet. I forget what I’ve learned over the years about who I am, what makes my little light shine bright. I need to remember and get deeply honest with myself about how well I’m taking care of this true self.

[Read Maria Shriver’s latest ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ essay]

This of course is different for each of us. We’re all at varying stages of understanding our true selves and what our mission—should we choose to accept it—is here in this particular earth plane. Wherever you are in this soul-searching-knowing, learn more, go further and expand on this human experience. Then, as you remember what you already know, it will become clear where you need to place your attention to grow or change or take action or whatever.

Meditation, nature, journaling, laughing, yoga, reading something meaningful or well-written, experiencing great art, holding babies, playing in the garden, talking to animals, a tender kiss, a tragic moment, sappy movies… these things evoke remembering for me. They bring me to the present in a way that reminds me of what’s real, enduring, love… and the rest—the fear, the doubt, the drama—drifts into the fog.

Whatever works for you. Do it. Take stock as you remember, and you’ll know what you need to do to make this next year rock.

What helps you remember what is important at your core?

Read part 2 of this article for the next 4 steps:  Renewal, Reclamation, Reconnection and Re-vision! 


This article by Megan McWilliams originally appeared on



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The Green Divas share low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green through a weekly radio show, podcasts, videos and blog posts... and now the first green and healthy living global radio network, GDGD Radio. Working with the best shows in this category and other talented partners and credible sources, the Green Divas produce and share content on a variety of topics relating to a healthy green lifestyle. Visit The Green Divas website to learn more and tune in to GDGD Radio for 24/7 programming, and get social with The Green Divas on Facebook & Twitter too!

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