Sunday, December 28, 2008

Five Steps for Guaranteed Success to Achieve Your Dreams in 2009

As 2008 draws to a close, the promise of a New Year is in the air. A fresh slate, a time for reflection, time for planning, time to set your sites on accomplishments for the New Year. What is it you want in 2009? What would bring you happiness, peace and harmony in life?

Forget about New Year's resolutions. Many people set New Year's resolutions and treat them like a wish list. That is, something they would like to do if they were only strong enough to stick with it. There are other much more effective ways to help you reach your goal, attain the success you desire, find that perfect relationship, and free yourself from the grip of addiction be it drugs, alcohol, nicotine, eating disorders or any other type of destructive path you might currently be on.

  • First create a list of what you DON'T want.
  • Then make a list of what you DO want.
  • Take some time and get into the feeling of what it would be like to have what you want right now! What would it feel like to be free of your addiction and live life "normally"? What would it feel like to have that special someone in your life? What things would you do, where would you go, what characteristics does this person have?
  • Spend 5-10 minutes a day creating a new script about what you want. Visualize it and feel the feeling of having it right now! You get what you focus on whether your time is spent stressing about the lack of what you want, or having what you want. Two good times to do this are when you first wake up and right before you go to sleep at night.
  • To help you with your visualization and feeling exercise create a goal or vision board. The local discount store has poster board which works great for this. Pull pictures from magazines or print them from the internet and paste the pictures on your board. Keep it simple and not overcrowded. Symbols work well too. Use a picture of a watch to represent spending more time with your lover, significant other or friend. If your wish is to remodel your kitchen or bathroom collect pictures of the granite, tile and cupboards you will use. How does it feel to cook in your new kitchen? Put a picture of that sports car you always wanted and when you look at it feel what it feels like to sit in the seat, touch the steering wheel, feel the wind in your hair as you drive. Make it real! If your goal is to lose weight or recover from an addiction find a picture of yourself at a better time, or paste your head on on a picture of what you want to look like - make it realistic! What does it feel like to live life without being a slave to food, alcohol or nicotine. How do you feel when you wake up in the morning, how has your energy changed? How is your outlook on life different? Be in that place and feel every little detail you can. Bask in the new you.

If you follow these simple steps and keep your focus on what you want instead of obsessing and worrying about the things you don't want or want to change you will succeed. Focus on what you want with the same intensity of emotion that is evoked by the fear and worry of what you don't want. Instead of worry about money and the "downturn" in the economy, keep in the feeling of having the money you need to pay your bills and having some left over.

By reprogramming your subconscious mind you will attract what you want in life. Whatever input your subconscious gets it takes as a command. The trick is not to let your conscious mind take over and cause conflict by doubting. You have to believe, what you believe gets plugged into the subconscious and it will bring it to pass. It's the Universal Law of Attraction.

If you have ever played golf you witness live examples of this. A golfer hits a shot into the water or sand and says "I knew I was going to do that." It happens all the time. If that is the last thought before the shot, the subconscious mind makes it so.

On the flip side, during the NFL playoffs it's the teams that have the most belief in themselves that win. By watching the sidelines you can tell who believe and who is losing the faith in their abilities. Why is home field advantage such a big deal? Because of the energy of all the people in the stadium that believe! Our thoughts and our mindset are very powerful on the outcomes we get in life.

So as you head into the New Year take the time to think about those changes in life that would mean the most to you. Then decide to bring it into your reality and follow the steps above to make it happen. When doubts creep into your mind, immediately shift your thoughts to something positive, something that makes you feel good. Think about a favorite place, person or event that makes you smile.

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Happy New Year! In peace, balance and harmony,

Monday, December 8, 2008

Celebrate the Holidays With Your Inner Child

The holidays can stir up lots of emotions. Maybe as a kid the holidays hold fond memories for you. Or perhaps your memories are some you would rather forget. Most people I know have strong feelings connected with the holiday season.

It can be a mixed bag. The season comes with classic holiday movies, great music, an overload of Christmas specials..and my favorite the promise of a New Year. In many families the joy of the season is mixed with a huge serving of drama. It's difficult to get excitied about activities that you know will be enveloped in bickering, fighting, gossip, maniupulation and potentially embarrassing incidents brought on by certain family members.

My childhood memories are filled with pleasantries of being at my grandparents house in Michigan. Grandma saved money all year and gave it to me to buy gifts for all the aunts, uncles and cousins. (Back then it was actually affordable, even if it was only a pair of sox!) I remember being allowed to open one gift on Christmas Eve which made it extra special. My Grandpa was a big tease and always made it difficult for me to choose which gift I should open. On Christmas Day the house was full of relatives. The day was full of laughter, opening gifts, music and food. I don't remember a lot of drama as a kid. But as I got older that quickly changed.

My mom had high hopes for our family to all enjoy each other ("Can't we all just get along?") Only problem is with five siblings and 18 years between oldest and youngest we are all very different. I noticed that once significant others got introduced into the picture the dynamics became increasingly strained. So the holidays then became a challenge. A carefully orchestrated event so as not to piss off this sibling or that significant other. I always felt caught in the middle.

But, I know it's not just my family. Every year the morning shows run segments on how to deal with "family". I have friends who are torn between in-laws houses and wanting to have festivities at their own home with their children. Many people have a visitation "schedule" to follow on the holidays and are worn out vs. being able to enjoy it.

Why is it so difficult? Why can't we all just get along? What I've observed through the years is that with seven members of my immediate family we don't all necessarily have things in common. So you put seven people with their significant others and kids in one house for a day and anything can happen! I think National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation captured the painful experience of trying to spend holidays with relatives best! Just love those white shoes Clark got from cousin Eddie!

In spite of all the emotions stirred up this time of year fortunately I still have many wonderful memories. Growing up in Chicago and going downtown to see the sights including my favorite, the decorations in the windows of Carson, Pirie, Scott. And through the years my rituals developed: watching White Christmas, It's A Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and other movies that no matter how many times I see them still enjoy and can get carried away in the story. We had a Christmas album we used to listen to when I was in grade school. It was a variety of musical groups and songs. How I loved that album! But somehow in all the moves my parents made the LP got lost. (I've looked for many years but haven't found it.) The advent calendar comes to mind too. What a great way to build the anticipation till Christmas!

So why all the reminiscing? As adults so often we fail to stay connected with our inner child. That part of us that isn't shaped by what we "should, can't or won't be allowed to do". As young kids we know nothing more than to feel and express our excitement, anticipation, disappointment and achievements. We aren't hampered by what is or isn't politically correct. We have a fresh, healthy perspective of the world filled with curiousity, exploration and a great collection of life experiences. As kids we knew how to keep it real. As adults we need a dictionary to remiund us what "real" is because of all the conditioning bestowed on us through our life experiences.

So as Christmas approaches, take a few minutes to remember what made you giggle with delight as a kid. And share it with someone! It doesn't cost a thing and is guaranteed to put a smile on someone's face.

In peace, balance and health,

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