Forget Resolutions: Go For Your Dreams!

by Marcia Wieder

Why don’t resolutions work or typically last very long? Consider this: Your dreams and desires have more power than your doubts and dislikes, so it’s easier to move towards what you want than it is to move away from what you don’t want. “I want to feel healthy and alive” is much more powerful than “I’m so fat; I need to lose weight”.

The critical question becomes whether you’re more committed to remaining where you are or to getting where you want to be. The difference between the two is what will propel you forward – or keep you stuck.

Positioning Yourself

List where you are in each of the areas of your life compared to where you want to be. Be brutally honest; you can’t know where you want to go until you know with certainty where you are now. Don’t judge; just write it all down, in this format:

Area of Life     —     Where I Am Now     —     Where I Want To Be

Breaking Through Barriers & Beliefs

In the early phases of a dream there is often no evidence that your dream is a good idea. There may be no evidence that this is the right time to execute it. But it is your believing in it, talking about it and acting upon it, that will make it real.

As you become aware of what you believe and what is stopping you, you can make better choices. The process looks like this:

Your Attitudes & Beliefs
Your Thoughts & Feelings
Which Determine
Your Choices & Decisions

Attitudes and beliefs are at the core of how you react in the world. If you want to change, yet you don’t do it, there’s a gap between where you are and where you want to be. This gap is comprised of your attitudes and beliefs. The bigger the negative beliefs, the wider the gap. Perhaps the voice of your doubter has gotten louder than the voice of your dreamer.

Attitudes and beliefs are never neutral. They either move you forward or hold you back.

Thoughts and Feelings

If you want to become aware of your attitudes and beliefs, pay attention to what you’re thinking and feeling. If your dream is to establish a new career, but your belief is that it’s not possible, what do you think and feel about that? Do you feel futility, and resigned to the idea that you can’t have your dream? Or, do you think you can have what you want because you deserve it?

Changing your belief can shift your internal conversation from thinking of your dream as impossible to seeing its possibilities. To change a belief: (1) choose a belief that is positive over your old limiting belief; (2) practice believing it by; (3) acting on it. And (4) acknowledge that you believed in your dream and acted on it, and celebrate your success each step of the way.

It’s all up to you. You decide whether to believe or not by acting on it. That’s how beliefs work. One more very important point. If you are not managing your thoughts by choosing positive beliefs, what you will get by default are your old limiting beliefs.

You Choose

This is the most important point. We choose what we believe. Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet said, “Doubt is a feeling too lonely to know that Faith is its twin brother.” You choose.

One belief will move you towards what you want and the other away. Which do you choose? Just remember, if you choose a positive belief (which I urge you to do) you must be willing to demonstrate that you believe in your dream BY TAKING ACTION.

Sabotaging Your Dreams

People frequently sabotage themselves by putting their attitudes, beliefs, or fears into their dream. If you’re putting your concerns into your dreams, your fears will become bigger and seem more real as you move closer to getting what you want. Your concerns don’t belong in your dream; they’re part of where you are now, not where you’re going.

Let me make this essential point very clear. The number one way we sabotage our dreams is by projecting our fears, doubts and concerns into our dreams. They do not belong there. If and when you have them, they are part of your current reality. You can deal with them by simply getting clear about what they are, designing a strategy for managing them and by asking for help.

Are you more committed to remaining where you are or to getting where you want to be? The evidence is in the action you are or are not taking.

Facing Fear

If you were not moving away from your current identity, if you were not seeking to change your life, you would not be experiencing fear. Because we think of “change” as filled with murky unknowns, the ultimate fear may feel like death. However, the experience is actually the old you dying away, and allowing you to be transformed.

This is good news. By trusting what you want, often you will be able to release the part of you that was afraid of making your dream come true. By shedding the pieces that no longer fit, you can create a new dream to move toward.

Fear is actually a measurement tool; it means that you’re leaving the old behind; it’s a gift that indicates you are closer to your dream. Fear can be seen as a healthy and natural mechanism, a sign of vitality, and evidence that you are in process.

Sadly, unless you learn to use fear as empowerment, it can also stop your progress. Rather than just blanketing your life by saying “I’m afraid,” practice being more specific. Afraid of what? The more clarity you have, the easier it will be to get the support you need to go through your fear.

Take Action

Your dream begins to take on life as you envision it, speak about it and act on it. As you open yourself up to unlimited possibilities, many things can start to happen. Follow through on your commitment: walk your talk.

And every day prove to yourself and to the world that you are going for it. Remember to use these daily check-ins: Are you more committed to your dream or to your current reality? Are you believing in your positive belief or your old limiting belief? The answer is in the action you are taking. Every day do something (at least one thing) to move your dream forward.

Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer to you.


Reprinted by kind permission of the author. More of her writings can be found at




About the Authors

Renascent Alumni
Members of Renascent's alumni community carry the message by sharing their experiences and perspectives on addiction and recovery. To contribute your alumni perspective, please email