DEAR READERS: Happy New Year! I am excited about 2015. I am looking forward to a year brimming with prosperity, good health, fellowship and family. I am claiming abundance for this year, because that is what I want for myself and everyone else. I absolutely believe that the universe has enough of everything in it so that we can all be comfortable and live with grace and ease. For that to happen requires that we all become more mindful of how we live and the choices we make for ourselves and others. We have to choose to be conscious and intentional about how we live each day. That is not a simple task, to be sure.
I am fully aware that on this very day, many of us make promises for what we intend to do differently in the coming year. Many of our goals are lofty and ambitious. Most of us find it impossible to stick to those goals for even a month, let alone a year or a lifetime. Have you ever found yourself in that situation? January is known by many as fitness month because so many people pledge that they are going to lose weight, go back to the gym, etc. How many people live up to that goal? It isn't for lack of interest in improving their lives that people fall short. Often, it is because it is extremely hard to change any behavior, large or small. And it is virtually impossible without a manageable plan.
That is why I want to present a different approach. I am a big believer in dreaming. Dreams have fueled my career and my life for many years. And yes, I believe in having big dreams. To make a dream manifest, though, I have learned that you need to identify small steps that lead to the fulfillment of that dream. For example, I have talked to countless people who tell me they want to write a book but have never gotten around to it. If you want to write a book, you have to start writing and ideally write something every day. Through the discipline of writing, you create a chance for your dream to manifest.
Similarly if you want to get out of debt, don't just dream about it, do something. Write down every debt that you have. Create a timeline for paying off all of your bills. Then methodically follow your timeline.
Same goes for weight loss, fitness, getting an education -- pretty much anything you want to do in your life. Claim it, and then create a manageable plan so that you can manifest it. Whenever possible, have a buddy who will support you. Having encouragement when you are attempting to change a behavior or execute a plan can be extremely helpful, especially when you are feeling vulnerable.
And if you share my dream of ensuring that everyone in the world would have abundance and joy just as I intend to have, make sure that you include the welfare of others in your choices. Choose a charity to support financially, through service or both. When we remember that we are part of a bigger world and we include that awareness in our choices, we create space for goodness to reach all of us.
(Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)