Did you know you could target disaster by trying to avoid it? My gymnastics coach in college had a sky jumping partner who consistently landed exactly where she did not want to go. She would look down from the airplane, survey the landscape and determine the most hazardous object below. All the way down, this determined woman would focus on the spot that she wanted to avoid and repeat to herself, “I’m not going to land there. I’m not going to land there. I’m not going to land there.” In one instance, this strategy caused her to land her parachute in a swimming pool on the top of a building!
For another jump, this woman was flying above a vast Kansas field of grain that stretched about as far as she could see. Of this great expanse of possible landing spots, our highly focussed jumper identified a single truck in the enormous field. She then fixed her steady eye upon it with her usual “I’m not going to land there” chant. Sure enough, with miles and miles of clear, safe landing area around her, she managed to crash through the front windshield of that pickup!
There’s something about our brains, something about the flow of energy, that simply bypasses the word “not” in front of our target. Our mental picture magnetically attracts us the stronger we hold onto it. Imagine if this woman of very concentrated will-power had instead been focussed on the exact spot where she DID want to land! She could become a bull’s eye skyjumper!
So when I’m making my new year’s resolution this year, I will focus on what I DO want, what I deeply desire. I will concentrate my will energy in a positive direction. That’s number one: I will frame my resolution in a positive light.
Next, I will imagine my intent very clearly, with intimate detail: what it will look and feel like to live my resolution, how it will sound and maybe even how it will smell – still leaving room for the unexpected, which is one of my greatest delights in life!
I will ask myself in advance, ‘What could predictably get in my way of fulfilling my resolution?’ I will consider the possible factors that could derail my intention and imagine myself merrily dancing over, around or under any barbed wire I may encounter.
And while I have huge goals for myself, I will set a resolution that is measurable and achievable within a given time frame. I may even start by setting a resolution for a month with the intention of adding on to it from there. As I was reminded in a recent teacher training with Nia founder Debbie Rosas, it’s possible to build up our will power with small successes. The will energy that I build up from the first month’s success can be harnessed to launch my next month’s measurable, achievable resolution.
While stating our intention aloud in front of others does hold us accountable, there’s something powerful about making our resolutions in silence. Studies have shown that our brains can get fooled when we say we’re going to do something into thinking we’ve already done it! Talking about our resolution can fritter away the energy we need to achieve it. I therefore intend to use my energy to achieve my resolution rather than talk about it….
So if you ask, ‘What is your New Year’s resolution?’ I’ll no doubt respond, “What resolution?”
Resting in Stillness and Moving in Joy with you,