Eight Ways to Achieve New Year's Resolutions, MASSAGE MagazineCan one transform ideas into achievements? Of course! In nature, a seed does not analyze why or how it will turn into a tree. It simply converts nutrients from the soil, water and air to transform into the tree that’s embedded in its DNA.

Humans can do the same thing, but unlike the seed, we can achieve the results we want consciously, using the power of our mind. Whatever you’d like to achieve in the coming year, here are eight steps to help you succeed.

Be for something, not against it

A statement such as, “I want to quit smoking,” doesn’t contain any positive ideas you can build on. The first step to achieving your resolution is to convert your statement into positive ideas. What are you striving for? To live a long, happy, healthy life? To breathe deeply, and to taste and smell everything? To free yourself of addiction? Focus on being for those ideas, instead of against them.

Tap into desire, which creates energy

Desire is an emotion that attracts success. Consider what you want and what you’re working for. Now ask yourself, “How much do I want this? Why do I want it so badly?” Connect to that strong feeling of desire and you’ll generate a new sense of urgency and motivation.

Believe in your success

Belief is a critical aspect of achieving success; it’s what helps us surmount obstacles. When we strongly believe we’ll succeed, it’s easier to take baby steps, or pursue small successes along the way, without getting impatient or becoming discouraged. Small, incremental change is a terrific way to get to your destination.

Strive for a sense of knowing

Knowing something is achievable is a higher level of thought than believing something is achievable. We arrive at a state of knowing by taking the same steps repeatedly until they become second nature, easy and automatic.

Set an intention, not a goal

Instead of setting a goal, which is something we don’t have that we aim to get, set an intention, which is a goal but with all the doubt about its attainment removed. State your intention as if you’ve already achieved it, with lots of specific details. For example, “After a year, my beautiful, new massage practice in the best part of town is swarming with excited clients. I’ve repaid all my startup loans and I’m making a nice profit.” Speak your intention out loud.

Be flexible, open and imaginative

One of the keys to succeeding at what you want is to be open to surprises and serendipity. Perhaps your resolution is to get out of debt this year, but when someone offers you a lucrative job that entails moving to another state or country, you automatically say no. When you’re trying to transform ideas into achievements, help and solutions in many guises may pop up all around you.

Think bigger than what you desire

If you want a raise, imagine instead that you get a promotion and a new office, too. If you set your intentions much larger than your core desire, the more modest desire starts to feel extremely attainable. This is a psychological trick that helps you accept and invite success.

Remain self-interested

Most of us are familiar with the standard warning given by flight attendants to put on our own oxygen mask first before attempting to assist someone else. Self-interest is placing one’s own needs above the needs and desires of others. It doesn’t mean being unkind or selfish. However, in order to achieve success, you have to focus on controlling your own behavior and destiny.

Serial entrepreneur Trevor Blake (www.threesimplesteps.com) has donated more than 8,000 copies of his New York Times best-seller, Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life (BenBella, 2012), to libraries across the U.S., and all profits go to cancer treatment research and development.