How Manifestation Can Help You Have Your Best Year Yet

By Erin O’Neil, LCSW

You’ve probably heard about manifestation or the law of attraction before, but does positivity and asking the universe for something actually make it come true? When we think about manifestation, we often think about visualizing something we want. Put the desire out into the universe with a positive attitude, and it will appear. However, manifestation is not the conjuring of a desire out of thin air. Instead, it requires a combination of skills and qualities to manifest those things that we want. These characteristics include imagination, motivation, problem-solving, goal setting, patience, mindfulness, determination, persistence, emotional attunement, and action.

Manifestation starts with awareness of our own thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, and values, and how each of those impact our experiences and actions. Visualization is an important next step, but it is not enough to visualize what you want in order to make it happen. At some point, you must DO something, whether what you want is money, love, to take a dream vacation, a healthy mind, and body, or a relationship with a higher power. Even those who have been lucky enough to win the lottery and solve all their financial woes had to buy a ticket first.

Simple Steps to Help You Manifest Your Goals

Some of us might have a process for identifying and achieving what we want. For those of us who don’t, a valuable starting point can be to use SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Sensitive. It is a process of breaking an idea into smaller steps that can lead to its achievement:

S = Specific.

Being specific about a goal means being able to answer the who, what, where and why of what you want. Who does this include? What is it exactly? Where do you have to be to achieve it? Why do you want it? If you want to manifest a healthier physical body, then what does this look like to you? Does it mean you will be stronger? Does it mean you will reach a goal weight? Does it mean you will be able to run a 5K for the first time? It’s hard to manifest what you want when the vision isn’t clear in the first place.

M = Measurable.

Being able to measure a goal means you will know how you are going to achieve it and when you’ve accomplished it. Staying with the example of a healthier you, making it measurable means answering the question, “How will I know that I’m healthier?” Is it by weighing in at certain intervals? Regular checkups with the doctor? Being able to measure progress helps us stay in an action-oriented state and motivates us to keep going.

A = Achievable/Attainable.

Really examining whether your goal is achievable is an important part of making it personal and answers the question, “How will I achieve this goal?” It outlines and specifies the actions, steps, and milestones necessary to reaching your goal, increasing the likelihood of success.

R = Relevant.

Making sure your goal or desire is relevant means considering your environment, opportunities, and constraints. If we want to be physically healthy, and our vision of healthy looks like becoming the next model for Gucci as the manifestation of that goal, is that really attainable? This does not mean that the goal to be physically healthy is out of reach, it just means that the specifics of how you view that goal being achieved may need some alteration.

T = Time Sensitive or Time-Bound.

Giving yourself a timeline to achieve a goal may increase the likelihood that you will act. Even if you don’t manifest your desire in the time allotted for yourself, if you’ve been following this process, you’re likely to be closer to achieving it than you would be if your timeline was open-ended.

Manifesting Love

When we think about manifesting desires, love is usually at the top of the list. We all want to be loved. And while we cannot control anyone else, manifestation can help you achieve love if by helping you ask the question, “How do I ready myself for a specific person or love?” In other words, what is the work that you need to do yourself to be more open and able to connect with others? For some, this could mean individual, couples, or family therapy. It could be about increasing their ability to be present at the moment with their emotions. For others, it could be about joining online sites to meet others. We must manifest the conditions for possible love. Unless we do the work on ourselves first, we will not be ready to receive love even if it’s right in front of us.

Manifesting Money

Manifesting money is synonymous with making money. For most of us, making money means working for it. Using the SMART goal process outlined above, start with getting specific. Does manifesting money mean a retirement plan? Paying off an expensive vacation, kids’ college funds, or student loans? Once you have the specifics, you can then outline a plan for how to get it.

The fastest and easiest way to manifest anything is going to look different for everyone. But you will not get what you want by standing still, metaphorically speaking. You need to start moving — visualize and dream, make decisions, establish your goal, and outline the steps it will take to achieve that goal. Then go and get it.

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Erin O’Neil, LCSW

Erin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose specialty is helping those who struggle with substance use disorders and trauma. At Mountainside, she works with clients one-on-one to help them set and achieve their recovery goals.Erin also assists her clients with practicing effective communication so they and their loved ones can heal from past setbacks as a unit and continue moving forward.