Manifesting for the New Year: What is Manifesting and How Does it Work?
Should You Manifest for the Upcoming New Year? A Simple Break-Down of Manifesting and How it Can Help Meet Your 2023 Goals
By Autumn Grey
When you think of the word you almost immediately think of the growing new-age trend of influencers and self-proclaimed spirituality coaches touting the benefits of positive intentional thinking, but what is manifesting and can you actually benefit from it?
The term manifesting has been around for quite a while, however it reached explosive popularity when the book, The Secret, reached bookshelves in the early 2000's. The book itself was criticized heavily as being "pseudo-science" and not backed by any significant claims, however it soon became one of the most sought after self-help books of all time. Once the afterglow faded over the book, the rise of the manifesters began and now a simple Instagram or YouTube search will produce thousands of modern day hippies and crunchy influencer-types voicing their opinions on why you should incorporate manifesting in your life.
So, what the heck is it?
Broken down, manifesting is the act of visualizing your intentions so clearly that you're more likely to see your intentions become reality. Think of it as the power of positive thinking. When you clearly focus on your goals and desires the pathway leading to your desired outcome seems less ambiguous.
But how can just thinking about your goals and desires lead to them actually happening? According to Miami psychotherapist, Denise Fournier, PhD, LMHC, “Manifestation is about creating a vision for the future, putting energy and intention into making that vision a reality, and then aligning your thoughts, emotions, and actions accordingly so that your vision can come into fruition.”
Essentially it's like having a vision board for your brain. The idea is to thoughtfully and purposefully think about the life you want to have, whether it be a certain job or living in a certain area, and then augment your thoughts to correspond positively with your intentions. The clearer you can visualize that new job or that new area to live, the easier it is to work towards practically. It's the old "fake it 'til you make it" trick for your brain dialed up to eleven: Manifest your heart's desires and they'll become your reality!
But does that actually work or is it just a bunch of hooey? The answer might surprise you. According to therapist Julia Bartz, LCSW, self-exploration practices like manifestation can help us hone in on ourselves and what matters to us most. Although manifesting alone can't magically give us our deepest desires, "it may increase your odds of success by working similarly to a self-fulfilling prophecy." According to Bartz, when it comes to manifesting what you want in life, focusing on the goal you want to achieve and what it will take to make it a reality could be the key. “Basically, taking the time to envision what you want and how to get it can help you take the steps to make it happen,” she says.
So what can you do right now to start manifesting your desired 2023?
The first step in manifesting your desired new year is mindfully reflecting on the current one. What were some desired outcomes of 2022? What were some undesired ones? Break out your writing instruments of choice and make a list of desired outcomes and undesired outcomes and reflect on why some things made one side of the list over the other. Making lists such as this can often help us more clearly illuminate our values as a person and can help point us in the right direction to our overarching desires and goals.
Once you've reflected over the last year, it's time to consider what goals you'd like to set for yourself in the new year. It's important to focus on actionable goals that you can likely achieve in a year's time as opposed to penultimate goals that may take several years or more to achieve. For instance: breaking out into a new career field over the course of the new year is an actionable goal for a year's time as opposed to going from a junior marketer position to a director of marketing which may take much more than a single year to achieve. There's nothing wrong with having lofty goals but it's very important to be realistic too!
Once you've decided on what your desired new year should look like, your next step is to clearly and deliberately focus on your goals. This could look like writing them down somewhere you can see them over the course of your day or it could mean saying your goals out loud in the mornings as you ruminate over your first hot beverage of the morning. Whatever you feel works best for you will suffice as long as you make it a daily practice to keep it fresh in your mind. “Effective manifestation relies on us keeping the intention and vision consistently in focus so that we can align ourselves with it in our thoughts, emotions, and actions,” reiterates Dr. Fournier.
There you go! Now you're manifesting! But don't stop there - manifesting without actionable intent is just wish making. Make sure you take steps towards your new year's goals even if they are just baby steps. Whatever your new year's desires are, make sure you're not only clearly focusing on your intentions but also taking small steps towards reaching your goals, no matter how insignificant they may seem in the beginning. After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step as Lao Tzu once said!