Eight Secrets to Creating What You Want in 2023!

by Christopher Kent      (Adapted from his book Staying Off the Wheel of Misfortune)

As we begin another new year, many of us will be making resolutions. Here’s a resolution I highly reccomend: Resolve to get better at creating what you want this year!

When it comes to getting what you want in life, many people just settle for having a vague idea about what they want and wishing they’d end up with it. Big surprise: That approach doesn’t work! If you want to create a specific future event or circumstance (finding a partner, getting out of debt, finding the perfect job, owning a certain house, etc.), you have to actively use your energy to make it become real.

Here are eight secrets that will help ensure that you get where you want to go in the coming year!

Secret 1: Figure out what you want, specifically. General goals rarely produce worthwhile results. Making it your goal to be rich or successful, or wishing for world peace, won’t produce results because there’s nothing concrete and detailed about the goal. Make your goal specific—the more specific, the better. Wishing to get out of debt is OK. Planning to pay off a specific credit card is better. Planning to do so by a certain date is even better.

Secret 2: Don’t think about this just in terms of what you want to end up with; think in terms of picking an enjoyable journey with a great goal at the end of it. Ending up with something you want will involve a journey, and depending on the nature of the goal, that journey may take some time. If you pick an enjoyable journey, you’ll have a good time on the way to getting what you want. If you want to become a success in some area, that will probably mean spending some time studying, practicing or adding to your level of experience. So, pick something that you’ll enjoy becoming good at.

 If you’re miserable on the way to your goal, achieving it will be a mixed blessing at best. On the other hand, if you pick a goal that involves a fun journey, then even if something ultimately prevents you from reaching your goal, you will at least have had a good time!

Secret 3: Declare your intention to reach your goal to one friend you trust. This takes your intention from being a nice dream to being a journey you’re committed to taking. Sharing your plan makes it real, and that will increase the likelihood that you’ll achieve it. However, announcing your intention to the whole world can backfire. Keep the announcement among one or two people close to you!

Secret 4: Come up with a plan of action, but plan on being flexible. You need to have a path to follow to get what you want, because without some kind of a plan, nothing will happen. (You know the old joke: If you pray to God to win the lottery, God will tell you to please go buy a ticket…)

As you follow your plan, life will throw surprises and obstacles into your path, so you’ll have to revise the plan as you go along. However, that’s the way the process is supposed to work. You still need to have a plan. Just expect to be adaptable as you move forward.

Secret 5: Spell out specific things you’re going to do to move toward your goal, and exactly when and where you’ll do those things. Studies have shown that people who plan this way, specifying not only what they’re going to do but when and where they’re going to do them, actually do the things they’ve planned to do. For example, saying you want to exercise more is fine, but you’re far more likely to actually do it if you specify the day, time and place you’re going to do it every week. In contrast, people who don’t specify what things they’re going to do and when they’re going to do them seldom actually follow through. That’s a recipe for not ending up with what you want.

Secret 6: Plan for potential obstacles you’re likely to encounter. If you think about this ahead of time, you won’t have to stop and figure out what to do when an obstacle appears, because you’ll already know what to do. For example, if your desire is to end up with a certain type of job, you might apply for that job only to find that you get turned down. The trick is, if you’ve planned for this possibility, you won’t get flustered or angry; you’ll already have rehearsed how to behave in a way that might get you invited back later when there’s another job opening.

Secret 7: Take one small step toward getting what you want every day. This may sound like a cliché, but it actually produces great results—and it helps you avoid a lot of problems. For one thing, if you’re moving a little bit toward your goal every day, or almost every day, you won’t miss opportunities when they appear (and they will appear!). Furthermore, it’s easy to get discouraged when it takes some time to reach your goal, but you’ll be less likely to get discouraged if you take a small step every day, because you’ll see yourself making progress every day.

Also, taking small steps on a regular basis is a far better idea than being impatient and trying to make huge leaps toward your goal. If you take a big leap and you fail, you can end up falling on your face, which can lead to embarrassment and giving up. And even if your big leap succeeds, it may backfire; it’s much harder to deal with really big, sudden changes in life than gradual changes. That’s true even if the changes are leading you where you hope to go. (Just ask people who get very famous very suddenly.)

 The bottom line is that the best way to get where you want to go is to take it slow and steady—one small step toward your goal every day—and be very persistent. This approach really does work.

Secret 8: Set aside a few minutes every day to sit quietly and imagine yourself in the situation you want to be in. Some call this visualization. You may be skeptical that it will make a difference, but social scientists have done experiments that prove it makes a big difference. For example, consider a study done in the 1970s (described by Ellen Langer in the book Mindfulness): At a retreat for men between the ages of 75 and 80, the men were divided into two groups. One group was asked to vividly imagine themselves in the year 1959—about 15 years earlier. To help them visualize that time in their lives, they were shown pictures of each other as they looked at that time. The other group was simply asked to talk extensively about what 1959 was like.

Within four or five days of doing this, physical changes began to be evident in the first group that was actively using visualization. The men in this group became more active and independent; furthermore, their finger length and sitting height increased and their manual dexterity improved, along with their vision. None of these effects occurred in the other group. In other words, visualizing themselves as younger men changed them physically. So, even if you’re skeptical that visualization can alter events directly, vividly imagining yourself as successful in your field can make a significant difference in your physical appearance and demeanor. Even without any other impact, that could have a significant effect on your chances of actually ending up as the version of yourself you’re imagining.

One caveat: You’ll be wasting your time doing this if you make one amateur mistake that most people make. When you’re imagining having what you want, don’t think about how much you want it. Instead, imagine being the future version of yourself who is already in the situation you want. The reason for this is simple: You don’t get things in life because you want them so badly; you get them because you imagine yourself already having them. If you repeat the thought that you want something, you’re essentially telling the universe—and yourself—that you see yourself without that thing. Otherwise, why would you want it? In essence, you’re inviting the universe to keep you in the position of being a person who wants to achieve your goal. Instead, tell the universe that you see yourself as the person who has already reached the goal. Visualize yourself already having what you want!

These eight secrets will have a profound effect on helping you get where you want to go in 2023. So, choose your goal wisely, and enjoy the journey!

Copyright 2022 by Christopher Kent. All rights reserved.

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