Making New Year’s Resolutions Heavier

What is the best way to welcome a New Year?  Obviously, it is an excellent occasion to celebrate the end of one year and beginning of the
next.  Popping a few corks, dancing, cheering and congratulating each other seems most appropriate.  However, we cannot forget the
importance of making resolutions about important things to change in the New Year.  

This is the start of something fresh since 2009 never existed before, it will give birth to countless new events that otherwise would remain only
potentialities.  That is one of my favorite words: “Potential” something that could become a reality under the right conditions.  Well, what sort
of potential changes, advances, goals or dreams to you have?  We all contain incredible potential, yet most of it is never manifested.  The New
Year is an ideal opportunity to identify those special possibilities that you want to see become real.  

Resolutions is another good term that we seem to reserve mostly for the beginning of a year, but this concept can and should have impact
through all 365 days.  The idea is that you have made a commitment to yourself (and perhaps others) to invest your energy to transform your
potential into manifested realities.  These good intentions often are forgotten after a few days or weeks and join the trash heap of lost fantasies.  
What can you do to turn your resolutions into trophies of achievement?

Most resolutions never leave the etherial safety of the mind.  You think about what are your intentions, but how do you solidify them?  After all,
how much does a thought weigh?  How can you make your infinitesimally light thoughts a billion times heavier?  

It is never too late to start making resolutions, or reworking the details of what and how you are going to achieve.  First of all, you must
concretize your resolutions.  Write down the list in a positive tone of goals you have already achieved.  For example, “I am proud to have
become a non-smoker and will never surrender to the urges my body might have.”  

The second step is to explain your motivation, why you are doing this.  Include how you intend to reward yourself for success or punish
yourself for failure.  Raise the stakes as high as possible.  

Create a time line of success, what specific goals you intend to reach and by when.  These should be realistic goals to facilitate achievement and
positive feelings.

These steps are fairly common, to make your resolutions permanent you must put in an extra effort to give your intentions greater weight.  
Start with passion, energy and enthusiasm.  If you have a significant other, or close friends, share your commitment with them and gain outside
support.  Next, you can further concretize your ideas with symbols, pictures, statues, whatever may work that you can see and touch which
represents your resolutions.  Some people make vision boards, where you cut out pictures from magazines to create a collage reflecting your
goals.  Those of you that are computer savvy can make a video vision or multimedia presentations that inspire you to take greater initiative.  A
powerful motivator can be something a bit more dramatic like placing a tree stump in the middle of your room representing the obstacles you
intend to overcome.  A cement block may also be used and easier to find.  You may hang a very large heavy chain that partially blocks access
to some part of your room, until you achieve your resolution.  After you succeed, you can remove these items, or if you slip, bring them back.  

The main question is how can you make your resolution have the greatest impact?  The key is to create the most dramatic, visually bright, loud,
intense and obvious effects that will definitely help motivate you to reach your goals.  Equipped with these powerful tools, your resolutions will
certainly avoid the trash and join the trophies of your life!

Wishing you great success in the New Year!

John Ryder, Ph.D. is a psychologist, a mental fitness expert and author of Positive Directions.  He has a private practice in New York City.  For
more information visit his website    or

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The New York Optimist
February 2009