Have you ever wondered why some people seem to flow through life achieving their dreams steadily, almost effortlessly, while for others it always seems like things just don’t end up the way they planned it? Many of us start the year after a nice period of reflection and come back ready with fresh energy and our goals and plans firmly set along with a list of designated steps that we believe should get us there.
Yet sometimes, after only a few weeks, the vision we had seems to be fading into the background after being bombarded by the usual challenges that come with everyday life. It’s hard to stay focused on the things that we were so clear about achieving. The good news is; you are not alone!
Did you know that out of the 45% of people who set New Year’s resolutions, only 8% have a chance of being successful according to the University of Scranton’s Journal of Psychology study?
Believe it or not, this has something to do with our ability to access Hope!
According to Positive Psychologist C.R Snyder, who researched this topic for many years, hopeful people differ from the rest of us in a number of ways. He claims that, firstly, they have the ability to envision a broader range of goals than most people. Secondly, they have greater will power and energy in pursuing those goals. And thirdly, they have the skills to generate a greater variety of routes to reach their objectives1.
Based on all this it makes a lot of sense to start off the year by writing your own hope letter. This will help you connect to your goals, look for ways to achieve them and expand your ability to implement them.
- Get it on paper
Create some time to imagine yourself in 12 months from now. What precisely would you like be experiencing differently at that time? Take time to imagine all your desires for your life without limiting your hopes and dreams. It’s important to consider all aspects of yourself when doing this: Emotionally, mentally, physically (for your body as well as material circumstances) and spiritually (as in expressing the true spirit of you) “A good question to ask yourself is “Who do I hope to be in these areas in one year from now?”
It’s important to also identify your commonly negative attitudes and ask yourself if you truly want to hold onto them. Do you prefer staying as you are and feeling that it’s all to hard? Are you going to continually believe that things are never going to go your way? Do you really want to become a more confident, effective and happy person?
These choices you make about who you want to be are to become templates for the future you. It’s vital that you write the answers down, address it to yourself and date it. This this makes it real and you can refer in exactly one years’ time.
- Now it’s time to empower your hopes and dreams!
Reaching your goals has one more very important step, the capacity to feel the emotions that will accompany the changes and to let your body join in. Therefore, whenever you decide you want to change something important, it is worth taking the time to visualise it as a living experience.
In other words, sit quietly and imagine that you have been magically transported into the future and all your hopes and desires have come true. Really settle into how that would feel for you. How would that change your life? How would it change the lives of others around you? Why does achieving these things really matter to you? For me it’s so I can reach my true potential in this life and help others to do the same and so I can respond to my kids in a way that I am proud of and give them the best version of me. Your reasons will have their own personal meaning.
This step is really important as it embodies your hopes and dreams, draws energy into action and acts as fuel for your goals. Dreams are not luxuries, but pointers to the joy your soul wants you to have. Having dreams supplies a wonderful stream of energy from the unconscious to the conscious mind, which ultimately is made available for concrete actioning and manifestation.
- Build your awareness
Get into the habit of remembering what you wrote in your letter at certain times when you need to make small daily decisions, act in a certain way, or find yourself at cross roads for any reason. Ask yourself “Is this decision or behaviour bringing me closer to who I want to be or is it taking me further away?” It is these small decisions in the moment, that result in your actions that make up each day, each week, each month and eventually each year.
- Make a choice to change and ask for help if needed
The capacity to change your current patterns of thinking, emotions or blockages is something that can be fostered. It is only by first dissolving the default negativities that underpin your daily actions and responses that a firm and buoyant mindset can be created. This will hold up your ability to create a positive, new and different future.
I urge you to jump in and nurture your hopes and dreams with both hands, reach out for the guidance you need and do whatever it takes to empower your ability to achieve the life you fully deserve. How far will you go and what are you willing to do to get where you want to be?
- Don’t give up hope!
Seal your hope letter in an envelope and give it to someone you trust who is going to keep it safe and remember to give it back to you in one years’ time. Knowing that this letter is somewhere out there is very powerful, as your subconscious knows that it is there and that you are serious about changing your life in these areas. A year from now it will be interesting reading. Don’t be surprised how many things you achieve, because where there is intention, actions follow. Some things you won’t have done, and that’s fine, as life’s journey is ever changing and evolving. Just celebrate the steps you have taken in the right direction, the successes you have had and learn from what you haven’t achieved (and why). Be kind to yourself, never lose sight of your dreams and get busy writing a hope letter for the next year!
- Feb 6, 2015 Senia Maymin, Margaret Greenberg, Live Happy Magazine