New Year’s resolutions? Not again! Don’t you remember what happened last time? I don’t know about you, but for me, New Year’s resolutions always come with a big bat: I resolve to do something, I stop doing it, and I beat myself up about it. In fact, the vast majority of people deviate from their resolutions sooner or later, usually sooner. And most of the rest are probably lying or kidding themselves. Of course, there might be a FEW hardy souls out there somewhere who actually stick with their resolutions. Good for them! For the rest of us, though, I would like to propose an alternative. And no, it’s not too late. See, that’s the beauty of alternatives: They don’t have to follow the same rules as resolutions. Which means that you don’t have to start (or make) them on the first day either! Here’s what I’d like to propose: Instead of “resolving,” let’s visualize, project, envision, allow, and, yes, even dream. I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions in years. Instead, I tend to sit down and spend some quality time dreaming up what I would like to happen in the coming year. I try to be somewhat within the realm of the possible, given ideal circumstances, but I make sure not to aim too low. So let’s not make resolutions. Let’s not say “Next year I will ALWAYS blah blah blah and if I fail to do so, I’m a loser!” Instead, let’s try this: “Next year, I see myself meeting …. and creating ….. and….” Put in the spaces whatever it is you would like to do or have happen for you. Whom would you like to meet? Is there a business you’re trying to get off the ground? Visualize it up, running, and thriving. Visualize your many happy customers or clients. Or readers, if you plan to write. Is there a personal goal you would like to reach? Yes, the same kind we usually make resolutions for. Instead of the usual resolutions, though, say something like this: “I see myself enjoying moving my body regularly and feeling full of energy. I love fresh and nutritious food, and I enjoy creating tasty meals and eating them.” And so on. You get the idea Here’s one I need to envision for myself: “I really enjoy getting enough sleep and feeling well-rested!” You can also envision specifics: “I see myself writing [X number of] pages most days, and as I add page after page after page, my [novel/book/other project] is getting closer and closer to completion. I see it completed before the year is over.” Oh, and why not see it accepted by an appreciative agent and/or publisher too. Now what happens if you don’t make it? Well… there is always that little addendum to visualization and manifestation exercises: “This or something better…” Imagine the oft-rejected “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book proposal had been accepted by a publisher right away who had bought all rights and printed just a few thousand copies, only to let it go out of print. You know what happened instead. Of course, knowing the authors, you also know that they would have made their book a success no matter what kind of conditions they would have had to work with. Still, an interesting thought to keep in mind. We don’t always know what’s best for us in the long run. We may think we know. We may kick and scream as things don’t work the way we want them to. But how many times have you failed to receive what you wanted and realized later that you were oh so much better off without it? Happened to me lots of times! Or that because you didn’t get it, things developed in a way that brought something to you that was so much better than what you had wanted originally that the very thought of not having that in your life could make you weep? So this year, let’s not make New Year’s resolutions. Let’s do something different. Let’s visualize. Let’s project. Let’s dream! And let’s have an absolutely amazing new year.