Few would dispute that positive thoughts make us happier, and negative thoughts bring us down. So it would make sense that visualizing a positive future would help us create it. And to some extent, it does. Yet research has shown that those who only think about what they want to manifest stand a poor chance of doing so. Is this why our New Year’s resolutions so often fail?
Psychology professor Gabrielle Oettingen of New York University was determined to find out what was missing. And in the process, she formulated a powerful, effective strategy for manifestation called Wish Outcome Obstacle Plan (WOOP). Here’s how it works:
- First visualize your goal or intention in great detail. This tells your brain what to focus on.
- Then visualize and feel all the benefits you’d get by achieving this goal. This stimulates the motivational circuits in your brain to become more conscious of your desire.
- Next – and this is essential – think of the obstacles you’re likely to encounter and imagine strategies to overcome them.
- Formulate a plan to move you toward your goal. If you can’t come up with one, ask for help or change your goal – it may not be in alignment for you, or the timing might not be right.
Oettingen’s research revealed that people who did this process for four months were able to double their amount of exercise, improve their diet and lose weight, reduce chronic pain and improve their relationships. They also deepened their spiritual and social development.
So there you have it – a scientifically-proven formula for achieving what you want in the New Year! To help you get started, we have an incredibly focused, determined Capricorn New Moon (Jan. 5, 5:28 p.m. PST). This New Moon is also a solar eclipse, giving it extra impact. As the Moon overshadows the Sun, even at a partial eclipse like this one, it symbolically thrusts the feminine principle into power. So 2019 should be a year in which women become even more organized, influential and determined to develop practical strategies for change (Capricorn Moon is nothing if not determined!). And, with Saturn nearing Pluto in Capricorn as the year wears on, all of us need to stay focused on the long game – and to reward ourselves for small steps in the right direction.
At the New Moon, we have a powerful stellium in Capricorn (Mercury, Saturn, Sun, Moon, Pluto and South Node). Warrior Mars just entered his home sign of Aries on New Year’s Eve, and will be egging on all that Capricorn energy by throwing squares to it through mid-February. This may not feel very comfortable, but it’s bound to get us going. Also, change-agent Uranus turns direct in late Aries on Jan. 6, the day after the eclipse, throwing kindling onto the fire. Uranus has been inciting personal and societal change while in that feisty sign since May 2010, and it’s determined to finish what it started as it charges through Aries until March 6, when it shifts into earthy Taurus (territory that it briefly visited last spring). So think about what began brewing for you in mid-2010, as the same energies are coming back around for completion.
This may sound a bit overwhelming, but we’re in a pivotal time that requires a clear head. Your true work is to stay focused on your eternal self – the strong, prosperous, loving and joyful you that has always existed and always will. Commit to mastering one area of your life that’s been holding you back, with the help of this laser-like Capricorn eclipse. Develop the discipline you need to keep going, even when things get hard. Discipline simply means being a disciple to yourself. So bow to the divinity within you – and have a fabulous New Year!