Imagine yourself succeeding in your New Year’s resolutions

People Post is a space for opinion pieces, letters to the editor and guest submissions from members of the Long Beach community. The following is an op-ed submitted by Dr. Max Tokarsky, a clinical therapist and postdoctoral fellow at The Guidance Center, a nonprofit child and family mental health service provider headquartered in Long Beach. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Long Beach Post.

Bravo! You’ve made resolutions and identified goals for 2019. You’re resolved and ready to act, but your journey is best begun with the correct frame of mind. To settle your mind, try manifesting.

“When one manifests his or her reality, one simply imagines what one wants, believes he or she has it, and eventually brings it into being.” – William Berry, LMHC., CAP., practicing psychotherapist and professor

As a therapist at The Guidance Center, I encourage some of the adolescents and caregivers that I see to simplify their approach to change with the following four tips for manifesting: 

  1. Strive for balance between working toward a goal and loving the part of yourself that is not satisfied with you as you are. This two-tiered approach will help to cultivate real change. Imagine you resolve to meet a fitness goal. Tier one is action-oriented and working on fitness. Tier two is focused on self-image and working on loving your body the way that it is. Each prong of this approach complements your ability to do the other and produces a happier, healthier you.
  2. Think both long term and short. You can have a big goal and find ways to seek small changes in accordance with it. Imagine you resolve to build a better relationship with a loved one. With the long-term goal in mind you can decide to express gratitude a specific number of times this week, to make time for something special the following week, and to listen more the week after that by reflecting their statements and keeping them talking. It’s best to enact one change at a time and to work from easiest to most difficult so that you feel good about what you’re able to accomplish.
  3. Focus on moving forward but give yourself permission to regress. Negative self-talk, shame and doubt are counterproductive to achieving your potential. Imagine you are trying to eat healthier. “I need to eat better because my unhealthy diet puts me at risk of health issues,” can be reframed to, “I am trying to eat healthy because I love myself and want to live a long life.” A positive reframe helps your approach and to avoid giving up when you make the inevitable misstep. Stay positive when you snack on the chocolate from the break room, because you and it are worth it.
  4. Be thankful for the journey. How much a reward truly fulfills you is dependent on how much of yourself you pour into it. Putting in the effort to figure it out may be difficult, but is worth it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t try. Be patient with yourself. Remember you are a beautiful work in progress. You are aligned with the very life you are manifesting.

You can do anything you set your mind to, and that’s what manifesting is all about. More than wanting and doing, manifesting is remembering what you are working toward and knowing that you are taking steps in that direction. Right now is your time to be exactly who you want to be.

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