Getting a Head Start(ed)…

There is less than a month to go before 2015, yet what’s the big deal? “New” as in new year, implies something different. Imagine a new home, a new baby, a new car… and all the changes that accompany those changes. But we get a new year every 365 days or so, what’s the big deal?

As you may know, our perception can become our reality within the powerful subconscious mind and the meaning of ‘out with the old and in with the new’ is multifold. Even though many are anticipating to, yet again, ditch their new year’s resolutions by February, let’s take an early look at the next big number on the calendar with the mind in mind.

Clean Slate?

Do we start the year with no lingering history? Obviously not. We can’t just set the record to zero on January 1st and go from a size 18 to a size 8, or not have done this or that which resulted in where we are now. We carry the results of past actions (and inactions) and revel in or suffer the consequences of our earlier decisions and deeds. However, while this may appear to be a doomsday prediction that the future will be a continued sentence from the past, this is not the case. In fact, that we had a history with ups and downs is a very valuable feature, and can serve as a springboard for our years to come.

How do we do this? First let’s look at history in context. It’s already happened and there’s nothing we can do to undo the past. Many of us fill our days with powerless regret which stops us from actually spending our energy in our present reality. It’s not to say that you wouldn’t have liked for things to go differently – there are many conversations, relationships, business transactions that, theoretically, could have gone in a different way. It’s not to say that we would have liked to have made different choices, yet for all our reflection and post-game critiques, there is a lot of information that wasn’t available to us at the time – we didn’t know how things would turn out. We can beat ourselves up for not being prophetic or we can swallow that pill of belated knowledge and turn our attention to the now and dealing best with our choices and directions happening in the moment (with all the information and insight we’ve gained from the wins and losses in our lives).

Because starting with the closest thing to a clean slate begins with us. We need to let ourselves be freed from the disappointment or repentance of our earlier mistakes. But what about others in our lives – what if they can’t see that we’re aiming to start fresh for a new year? Fortunately or unfortunately, there’s not much we can do to change how others feel about us simply because we intend on changing. So worrying about others accepting or rejecting us based on things that haven’t happened yet is another leak in our energy. While we can sit our loved ones or closests down and share our plan for the next year (more about that additional benefit later) and ask them to realize and support us during our transformation, we can’t control their response or reaction. Knowing this puts us into a position of self-responsibility which may place the shift more squarely on our shoulders but also puts the ball of change in our own court.

Old Dog, New Trick

So we’ve got the new year in context, but can we actually change ourselves? Having been a witness for many years, I’m happy to say that I truly believe that people can alter their current way of being and doing for the forthcoming year and beyond. Just because it happened in the past doesn’t mean that it has to in the future – history outlines a trend, a forecast but doesn’t predict an absolute certainty for a time that has not happened yet.

So why does it feel so hard? I know that many people give themselves the suggestion that they are __ years old and haven’t been able to change so it’s unlikely. While it seems reasonable, it’s actually a reinforcement of a suggestion, just a thought, that tends to compound itself, becoming more believable to the subconscious mind, which makes it harder to shift. If I could do one thing it would be to suggest to others to eliminate sayings like “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. I’ve seen people in their 70s and 80s make significant and positive transformations with their own minds and lives. Do kids have the advantage of having fewer fortifying experiences that make us think, ‘same old, same old’? Possibly – yet think back to your youth when the school year would go on forever, and that pimple would never go away… Young people are amazing in hypnosis for change, and they don’t even have the depth and breadth of challenging and mind-expanding experiences that adults have.

The way I see it is that if you’ve tried and failed at something, you’ve at least tried. You’ve learned what doesn’t work, you’ve continued on, you’ve survived through it. That means that you’ve got tools that you can use, and with the right support (from your subconscious) you can probably learn a couple new tricks.

What do you – really – want?

In the end it tends to come out to what you really want. Not what you’re supposed to have, not what others expect you to do – it’s that internal motivation, that internal fire that tends to move us forward towards our goal.

I often caution people to remember that going away from something you don’t want doesn’t mean that you go closer to what you do want. They are not necessarily in the same spectrum. So it may be helpful to write down the changes you’d like for next year and discovering where you’ve just thought as far as what you don’t want, and then go a little further with it. For example – not hating your job, might mean looking for a new one, developing strategies for working within the existing one, or winning the lottery and moving to your very own island (the last one you can write and cross off as an option that you have no control over).

The benefits behind the want are very important to the subconscious mind. “Because my doctor wants me to” may be compelling but generally enough for the deeper part of the mind to get into. “So that I’ll live to see my grandkids” has a lot more emotional oomph. Take a few minutes to see what’s backing the need or want for change, what you’ll get out of it, and the path tends to open up much more. Same goes for the blocks. Knowing the potential or actual set-backs or impediments can help you to navigate the shift much more carefully and compassionately.

Increasing the Odds

Are there some relatively simple tips to help you get prepared for 2015 which could be the best year of your life so far? Yes – here are a few ideas:

Review and learn from successes: Have you ever done something you were good at, or were proud of? Dissect the attributes, strengths and lessons from these past experiences to add to your toolbox of skills for your next year goals. Also spending a few minutes to think about all the accomplishments you already attained this year puts you in a more positive mindset for creating new aspirations for the future.

Look at what you DO want and the benefits/blocks to getting there: Remember to move your goals from what you don’t want to what you do want, and then figure out the positive benefits that will materialize from the change, and take a look at the things that may get in your way, rather than pushing them under the carpet and tripping over them later.

Make your goals or resolutions SMART: specific/simple, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely are aspects that tend to up chances of success for goal-setting. I’d add putting it in the positive (what you DO want) and in the present (the future never comes in the mind) and you’ve got something to aim for.

Share with others: Studies show that telling others about your goals and changes increases your chances of achieving them. Yes, you might have to share with others that you didn’t quite make the grade, but the multiplied likelihood of your success by enlisting others in your change statement seem to be a calculated and constructive risk.

Create a ‘picture’ and use bedtime to preview your change: Once you’ve got your resolution or change in mind, imagine your life already with it in. To make this more powerful, bedtime – when you’re drowsy and drifting off to sleep – it the closest to hypnosis and can be the most powerful message time for directing the subconscious mind. It also makes a great TV replacement where you’re the star of the show!

Start a self-support practice and get help where you need it: Learning self-hypnosis or other practices like that can really boost your ability to help yourself make changes in your life. If you need the support of someone else, that’s great too – you’re smart enough to know that the benefits of your positive shift are valuable now and into the future.

Start it now! Today is a great day to start setting your intentions and directions for next year. Sure, you could do it tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow… but aren’t you worth focusing on today? You’ll give yourself additional time to figure out what’s really important, get the support you need, and get a head-start before the bubbly is popped on December 31st.


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