I have given a workshop by the above name, and I came up with the idea because I believed that making resolutions is based in resisting or trying to avoid something. In order to make a difference in our lives, we have to see and accept ourselves as we are, and then make a conscious decision to change. For example, if we hate ourselves because of our weight, we might not be successful losing weight because there might be another cause as to why we gained the weight in the first place.

I also believe that a lot of folks think of abundance only in terms of how much money they have, but to base our success and happiness in life just on how much money we have is a hugely unbalanced way of seeing life.

We are so much more than our money. Our lives involve relationships, they involve some form of spirituality, they involve some form of physical activity and health issues in general, our educational goals, our career choices, and various other things as well as our leisure time.

When we work on a conscious alternative to New Year's Resolutions, we must first see and accept ourselves as we are right now. If we are not ok with ourselves, it might be difficult to make a change because we are too focused on one area. There are various ways we can achieve this. In my workshop, everyone writes their major life problem on a card with a ribbon on it and then hangs it on a small tree. Each person is given the option to trade problems and they can take any problem that appeals.to them more than their own. In the end result, each person ends picking his/her own. We then tie the problems to helium balloons, take them outside, and after a prayer to bless them, release them.

During the day, we fill in our journals under each of the aspects where we are hoping to find abundance. All of our goals/affirmations are written as if we already have achieved them, and they are accompanied by pictures that are collaged into the journals.

I think this is the most positive way to start our New Year. We are saying what we want to achieve and we are strengthening it by the use of visual aids. It's important to keep your goals/affirmations out where you can see them every day and act on them. You need to re-read them every day to remind yourself and also this helps you to take positive action to achieve your goals. Keep all your goals within a realistic range. For example, you would not write, "I am a millionaire by June, 2011" Too specific, and also it COULD be realistic for someone with a strong commitment to making it happen, but most of us don't fall into the millionaire range. But we can still have goals - don't give specific amounts, etc. A better way to state the goal is to say "Many exciting and enjoyable opportunities open up for me to make money." This is very do-able, and why put limits on how much you CAN or will make.

Also, there is something about goals and affirmations that is important to be aware of. I always check mine to see what is accomplished each month. Then when I note that one area is not moving at all, I stop to re-evaluate the goal, and most of the time, I eventually realize that this goal is not really a genuine goal or affirmation. It is something I am not at all committed to and the commitment is extremely important. Without it, nothing happens.

This activity can be done in your own home just by yourself. For the problem you have that you want to say goodbye to, you can write your problem on a card and bury it in the back yard, planting an herb or a flower over it. Be sure to give thanks for its blessing and then send it on its way. For the other activities, you need to spend some quiet time. Take a journal book, some scissors, a glue stick, some good photo magazines, and a pencil or pen. Write out your goals for each area of your life, and then follow up with visual images from magazines, etc. You will be surprised how these things will appear to you from day to day. I wrote one once for my financial abundance, and despite my directions to keep it positive, I cut out images of money going from bigger to smaller amounts. But when I saw it again, I saw the money going from smaller to larger. So if you see things differently later on, don't be surprise, and expect that perhaps one of your goals won't happen. The reality is that you are not rvery committed, if at all, to it.

Author's Bio: 

Anne Copeland was graduated from Arizona State University with a B.A. in archeology and a minor in English. Following her graduation, she worked for several small newspapers, a small magazine, Freedom Today, and she served as a construction news reporter.

She met anthropologist Spencer Heath MacCallum in 1975 and they were married. Spencer had discovered some unknown potters in Mata Ortiz, Mexico, and Anne worked with Spencer for eight years, helping him with his work in Mexico and in the United States to promote the potters and arrange for traveling exhibits for them. Today Juan Quezada and the potters of Mata Ortiz are internationally famous, and the village has grown from 8 potters to more than 400 making their living in some form of Mexican art. Although they are no longer married, they have remained the best of friends.

In 1984, Anne wrote and self published a pumpkin cookbook of more than 250 pages including history, folklore, growing hints, nutrition, and of course, recipes. The book was re-edited and self republished in 2009 as an E-book.

Anne became a certified appraiser of quilts in 1993, and in 1994, she and her appraisal partner, Beverly Dunivent, wrote a book and a research paper on the history of the kit quilt industry. The American Quilt Study Group accepted the paper in 1994, and the two ladies went to Birmingham, Alabama to present it. It was published in the AQSG's 1994 journal, Uncoverings. Although the book was read by a number of publishers, it was considered too specialized at that time, but is now in process of being re-edited and may be self published with many photos. Anne is widely published in many quilt magazines, and in the magazine Freedom Today (now out of print). She also lectures on various quilt-related and appraisal topics and gives workshops on quilt restoration and repair, and on putting together old tops and blocks. She has also written several children's stories that are in process.

She has had many successful careers: a graphic design and typesetting business, a quality assurance auditor and quality assurance manager consultant business, an open network, and a creativity coaching business. In 2003 she started a small nonprofit, Fiberarts Connection of Southern California, to provide professional development for physically challenged and emerging artists. In the first year of operation, Anne curated a traveling exhibit of some 127 pieces of fiber arts from all over the world. That exhibit had 10 live venues in California and throughout the U.S. The nonprofit continues to function today. Anne works as a paraeducator for special needs children and is a volunteer with Elder Wisdom Circle, an online nonprofit where elders offer advice for those seeking it. Anne is a practicing professional fiber artist and also works in mixed media, watercolors, and acrylics. She is active with a number of art organizations.