How to Score on Your New Year’s Resolutions
Habit: the best of servants and the worst of masters
Each year, when we celebrate New Year, it is natural to recognize that time is passing and to ask ourselves if we are living our lives the way we really want to. We are reminded of the power we have to choose. We do this by setting an intention, often referred to as a resolution, to better ourselves.
Most of us would choose to lose those extra pounds, cut out unnecessary drinking and smoking and develop more rewarding behaviors like deepening relationships with our spouse, family, and friends. Here is how to get started…
– Become aware of your spiritual center, and some of the things you feel sincerely grateful for – the love of people you love, your skills and talents, the roof over your head and the food on your table – whatever awakens the feeling of gratitude. Now really feel
– Remember that you are not an accident, that you have a purpose, that your life has a mission, that you have a duty to the deepest part of yourself and while you may not owe others anything, your purpose includes not standing in the way of other people’s happiness.
– Now think of one of the patterns in your life that you would like to change – a behavior that is not serving you. Come on! Choose just one harmful vice that you want to exchange for a wise response pattern. Your thoughts, emotions, and attitude all affect behaviors as well as things you say or do: Which would you like to change?
Empower Your Creative Imagination
“First we make our habits – then our habits make us.”
– Again, remember that feeling of gratitude, and feel the joy, happiness, power, spiritual renewal, and love it puts you in touch with. Relax deeply, empty your mind of distractions, and focus intently on the emotional quality within. Take the time to really feel. Take a walk somewhere that inspires you – perhaps somewhere in nature.
– Now, while you are feeling inspired, strong, and open to changing behaviors, think about the negative behavior you have had in the past, be aware that it is not a permanent part of you, that you can live very well without it, and it is possible to remove it permanently. Now, in your mind, replace that harmful behavior with what you want. In other words, picture yourself behaving differently in response to the same triggers.
– Concentrate, picture it in your mind. Imagine the same inner feeling of joy, happiness, power, and love that spring brings about each year. Reflect that joy, happiness, power and love linked to this new behavior. Your unconscious is very goal-oriented and this sets that goal and provides the emotional motivation.
– Finally, visualize yourself taking the steps that will bring about these changes. If you want to change eating patterns, visualize yourself eating very slowly, with complete mindfulness of each bite, deeply enjoying, and feeling satisfied with a small portion. Or you might imagine yourself proudly refusing that second drink or that cigarette, and focus your intention on something positive and life-affirming.
– Practice this routine for 5 minutes twice a day and witness your own magical transformation.
Remember, as Mark Twain reminded us, “Bad habits cannot just be thrown out the window but gently coaxed down the stairs step by step and then out the door.”Author Profile:
Emmett Miller, MD, physician, musician, scientist, and co-creator of Holistic Medicine and Guided Imagery, earned the nickname “Valium Voice” for publishing the first meditation/guided imagery recordings (1972). He practices Mind-Body Medicine and Psychotherapy in Nevada City and Los Altos California, and publishes Healing Times eNewsletter and free resources at www.DrMiller.com