by Steven Sonmore, L.Ac., Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)
Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
– Japanese proverb
People have been making New Year’s resolutions since the year 153 B.C., and you can be sure they’ve been breaking them for just as many centuries. So, why are New Year’s resolutions so difficult to keep? Vision, or rather a lack of vision.
“Vision” is the ability to see something so clearly in your mind that you can manifest it in physical reality. What you conceive is what you create. When you bring your consciousness to your vision, the invisible forces of your subconscious mind and, indeed, the whole Universe go to work to bring your new vision into reality.
The Top Ten Resolutions
It is no surprise that many of the top ten New Year’s resolutions are related to better health. Number 1 is to “lose weight,” number 2 to “quit smoking,” with “exercise more” and “eat healthier” also among the top ten.
But no matter how committed you may be to your new health resolution, it is much too easy to become sidetracked. We are all constantly bombarded with commercials that make the least healthy foods look and sound irresistible. Smoking is promoted as something that makes you look “cool” and calms you down. This is where your vision comes in:
- Define what you want to change – lose weight, quit smoking, etc.
- How will this change fit into the health vision for your life? Will you feel better, have more energy, worry less about your long-term health?
- Give your new health vision power. Write it down, share it with others, find images from magazines to make a collage that represents your new vision. Hold images of yourself in your mind achieving your goal, feeling better, and having more energy. Imagine exactly how it will feel to take excellent care of yourself. Picture yourself walking through your life feeling confident about your health. Write all of this down to review whenever you feel tempted to quit.
- Activate your new health vision. Take the first action toward your goal. Don’t fall into the trap of needing immediate gratification. Think of each step that you take as one step closer to your ultimate goal. Whenever you feel tempted to give up, go within and connect with your vision.
Your Plan for Better Health
In order to stick with your New Year’s resolution and see it through, you need to have a plan, and you need to have ways to deal with temptation when it hits – because it will! Here are some tips to get you through the rough spots:
- Create a detailed plan to reach your goal. If you’re not sure how to reach it, do some reading, or find someone who can help you. There are numerous diets and recipes available for healthier eating, as well as many strategies to help you stop smoking.
- Find a great exercise professional to help you with your health vision. Exercise helps detoxify the body and makes you feel more alive. This can be a yoga teacher, Qi Gong master, and/or personal trainer. Do whatever you need to nurture your body and mind through the process.
- Remind yourself that YOU are in control of your life and your health. Your cravings are not in control. If eating better is your resolution, keep a log of everything you eat. This will not only prevent you from cheating, but it will help you discover which foods make you feel best.
- Find one great person who completely supports your new health vision. This will be someone you can call if you are struggling to stay with your resolution. Make sure it’s someone who will hear you without judgment and offer gentle but firm encouragement to keep going. In other words, find positive influences to counteract the negative influences that come from the media.
- Work with affirmations and images. Write positive affirmations to keep you focused on the goal and to saturate your subconscious mind with your intention. “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better” is a simple and classic affirmation. Another possibility is “I draw people to me who support my smoke-free lifestyle.”
- Find an experienced, licensed acupuncturist to help you quit smoking, lose weight, and reduce cravings. This time proven system of Oriental medicine has worked for thousands of years.
Don’t forget that healthy living is an ongoing process. It’s a lifestyle that is evolutionary, not fixed. So, make this the year that you devote yourself to greater health. Live longer, increase your energy, and enjoy your life more!