Are you starting the new year with this type of resolution/affirmation? "In 2018. I'm going to stop eating jelly donuts."
To change our habits, we need to get both the conscious and subconscious mind on board - and the words we choose are powerful. When setting intentions, be aware that your subconscious mind doesn't hear the word "stop" or "not."
So by saying "In 2018, I'm going to stop eating junk food," your mind absorbs "eating junk food" and sets up images of glorious goodies that taste delicious but usually have empty calories or artery-clogging fat.
Your result is often extra pounds you don't want and a feeling of defeat when your intention was to eat healthily, look good and feel good.
Here's what happens: your mind takes words and translates them into pictures. When you read a novel, your mind actually makes mental pictures from the words. And when a comedian tells a story, the audience "gets it" by transforming ideas being told into humorous images that make them laugh.
To illustrate what I mean, let's test your inner vision. Try NOT to think of an elephant. Can't do it, right? Your mind will automatically visualize an elephant even though you understood that you were not to visualize it.
To make your intentions powerful and set healthy, youthful goals for 2018, say exactly what you are intending. "I eat healthy, nourishing food." "My skin is smooth and firm." "My body is strong and buff." Say your affirmation in the present tense as if it's already so. Your subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between real and imagined. To help your subconscious mind absorb your affirmation, write it seven times: four times with your dominant hand, twice with your non-dominant hand and one more time with your dominant hand.
Affirmations were introduced more than 100 years ago by French psychologist and pharmacist Emile Coue. Early in his career as an apothecary, Coue noticed that his patients got a better result from medications that they believed in. Seeing the power of suggestion, he praised medications' effectiveness as he prescribed them to his patients.
This discovery later came to be known as the placebo effect. Coue then discovered that medications weren't the only avenue for suggestions to positively affect healing. He prescribed patients to repeat affirmations, his most famous being: "Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better."
Have fun visualizing and creating a better, happier, younger you for 2018!
Ellen Wood of Questa is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of "Think and Grow Young: Powerful Steps to Create a Life of Joy." Her new book is "Joy! Joy! Joy! 7 Mind Body Spirit Self-Help Practices to Relieve Stress and Anxiety, Reverse Memory Loss and Live Happy." Contact Ellen at email@example.com.