I promised Part Two of my “Resolutions – Make them Work” article and as I started to put Part Two together I realized that I should probably have a Part Three and Four as well. There is so much that I want to say and share; you who know me or have had sessions with me, know that sharing information with others has never been a problem of mine. The problem is giving too much information too soon and running the risk of overwhelming you. I promise I will limit myself here to only those points that really truly are important to this subject!

So, to recap just a bit, in Part One we learned a bit of self-hypnosis and an empowering visualization that incorporated some Hridaya (Heart Fire) Yoga. For those of you who would like to work with the Heart Fire imagery a bit more or think you might enjoy being guided through it and taken deeper, you should try my “Anger” downloadable mini session which is actually Heart Fire imagery. It may seem a bit contradictory, but this imagery is amazing for burning away anger and as you all know, anger is dangerous to your body and your mind and encourages all sorts of nasty diseases including Cancer, heart disease and depression.

I promised I’d share the trick of making your resolutions work by using SMART Goals because, remember, a resolution is nothing more than a goal, a goal that is important to you. Even before I go into SMART goals however, it is important to write your resolution and goals down, look at them daily and say them out loud. All this gives you and your goals and resolutions more power.

Smart Goals are:

S Specific
M Measurable, meaningful to you
A As if now, achievable, all areas of life
R Realistic and responsible
T Timed, toward what you want (as compared to away from what you do not want)

I know, this seems basic, but just to explain a bit or perhaps to give you another perspective on what seems a very straight forward process.

S = Specific. Be very specific about what you want. The Universe doesn’t like ambiguity. So, if you want a job that pays you a minimum of $50,000 a year and allows you flexibility with regard to working hours. Write that and say it. If you want a red sports car, write it, don’t leave out the red part.

M = Measurable and meaningful to you. This one can be a bit confusing to some. But basically, it has to be important to you in order to work. If your wife doesn’t want you to smoke but you really enjoy it, trying to quit will most likely not succeed. It must be your goal, not what somebody else wants for you.

A = As if now and in all areas of your life. If you do want to quit smoking, you must write, state and think of the goal as if it is now. Example, I am a non-smoker, not I will be a non-smoker. And visualize how it will affect all areas of your life. Give it power by seeing it throughout your life. To keep the same example, see how much better you’ll feel, how much better you’ll look, how much happier your family will be. That kind of thing.

R = Realistic and responsible. Let’s face it, if you are 50 and decide that you’d like to be a professional basketball player, odds are it isn’t going to happen, especially if you’ve never played before. So, make your resolution and goal something that is actually feasible. Also, it must be responsible. Your goal can’t be specifically designed to hurt someone else. Believe me, Karma can be a really nasty thing and come back to bite you in a particularly sensitive spot. Besides, when we focus on our anger, hurt, resentment and getting even, we just bring more of the same into our lives.

T = Timed and toward. This may be the most important step of all. Give yourself a timeframe, don’t just leave it open ended with a someday and even more importantly, make it to toward something. Let’s use the quit smoking again. Make it toward good health and looking better rather than away from illness. With the job example, make it toward the job that will give you the money you want and the flexibility to enjoy your life rather than away from a job that makes you feel stuck or lacking. If you can think of the goal as being toward something, it’s like walking downhill to your goal. If it is away from something, it’s like hiking uphill to get it, so much harder.

Now, just a few more tips to help you.

Creating a ritual of intention can help you clarify your objectives for the future. Also, it is the rituals associated with our habits that can turn them into an addiction. It is the rituals that we seek and crave. It is the rituals that give us a sense of comfort and security, even when it is a false sense of security. Remember this and you can use the knowledge to create a healthy habit or addiction. Take control of your thoughts and life rather than allowing yourself to be at the mercy of others or your own destructive tendencies.

An addiction is nothing more than a habit that has gained power. Do something long enough and you create a habit, do it longer and you create an addiction. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing; in fact, you can make it a good thing. How about creating an addiction to good health, or healthy eating, or working out or playing with your kids or spending quality fun time with your spouse.

What you really need to keep you moving forward are realistic, doable expectations, and the ability to keep a positive outlook, even if you do make a mistake or fail in some plan. As former First Lady Rosalynn Carter once said, "Once you accept the fact that you're not perfect, then you develop some confidence."

So, understand that obstacles will come up, deal with them, go around or what ever you need to do in order to reach your goal. Be flexible and willing make modifications or adjustments when necessary.

Monitor your progress sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, revising and adjusting as needed when changes occur in your circumstances. Here’s a really easy example to explain. Let’s say you want to lose 30 pounds and get in shape physically. So, you start with a basic work out program. Maybe 10 minutes of aerobics in the morning, a 30 minute walk at lunch and some stretching in the evening before going to bed. After a couple of weeks, that 10 minutes in the morning is pretty easy, so increase it to 15, add in some weight training in the evening, etc.

Something else really important to realize. Stuff has to come up. If stuff didn’t come up there would be no challenge and without challenge, why would you ever strive for anything. Also, regarding manifestation, if we could manifest everything instantly it would be a very scary and boring world. Don’t forget that while you are manifesting so are others. You can’t try to manifest something into your life that isn’t supposed to be there. A good example is with regards to relationships. No matter how much I might think Brad Pitt and I are supposed to be together, I don’t think it is meant to be and wasting my energy attempting to manifest this is just that, a waste.

Remember also that all decisions are limiting by their very nature. Even the good ones. Example, you choose Hawaii for a vacation and you eliminate all the other places in the world. But if you want success and commitment in your life then you have to learn to commit even if it is simply towards your own resolutions and goals.

And now my final and somewhat controversial thoughts. Basically, in this world, there appear to be two theories of thought. What I call the theory of destiny (controlled by forces outside of ourselves) and the theory of manifestation (controlled from within by our own thoughts). Most people would say that these two theories are contradictory to each other and that a person must chose one or the other.

I say that is wrong and if you try to choose only one, you will find yourself living in a world of almost constant frustration and disappointment because, in truth, both are a part of our lives. The key, though, is to really understand yourself, to be open to messages from your subconscious and the Universe and to know the difference between self-limiting and defeating behavior patterns and thoughts AND suggestions from the Universe, God, your Guardian Angel or whatever you believe in. If one can truly learn how these two powerful forces work together and use them, you can accomplish anything.

Linda Simmon, C.Ht.

Author's Bio: 

Linda Simmon, C.Ht., is a highly sought after consultant, hypnotherapist, life coach, and speaker and a graduate of The Hypnosis Motivation Institute, the first nationally accredited school for hypnotherapy in the United States and the creator of New Beginnings. For more information on Linda, her CD’s, downloadable sessions, workshops and radio show, visit www.newhypnotherapy.com