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New Year, New Beginning:

According to Jill Suttie, Psy.D, knowing what you want helps you set an intention to work toward them. No doubt, your subconscious will kick in, too, and you will begin to notice opportunities that present themselves to you or to actively seek out information you need. Plus, having a direction to take based on your truest desires, gives you impetus to make hard choices that ultimately change your life.

Research suggests that when you imagine your best possible self, you feel more optimistic and positive about life, which motivates you to apply yourself toward fulfilling goals. And being happier can increase your willingness to tackle social problems, too, meaning it can make a difference in the world, not just for you as an individual. It’s not just for one type of person, either; it has been tried with different populations to overall good effect.

Here’s how to do it:

Take a moment to imagine your life in the future. Ask yourself, what is the best possible life you can imagine? Consider all of the relevant areas of your life, such as your career, work, relationships, hobbies, and health. Then, write continuously for about 15 minutes about what you imagine this best possible future to be. Focus on imagining a brighter future in which you are your best self and circumstances change enough to make this happen. Be specific and creative, letting yourself imagine as much detail as you can and being as imaginative as you want when it comes to your best life. The more creative and specific you are, the more engaged you will be in the exercise and the more you’ll get out of it. 

It might make a difference in how you feel about the future—and that could be a good thing to do going into the year 2022.