Are your thoughts and imagination sabotaging or supporting your desires? How often do you imagine mediocre or bad outcomes? How often do you imagine positive results? We aren’t necessarily what we think, but it doesn’t hurt to keep your eye on the ball rather than on the space around it. But who can blame our negative focus - we noticed the X's on our marked tests before the checkmarks; we count the number of parking tickets instead of the many days without fines. Our culture is used to seeing tragedy and disaster on the front page and relegating happy announcements to the classifieds.

With our pessimistic norm, advocates of positivity seem like misfits. You may recall Stuart Smalley, the fictional character invented and performed by Al Franken on Saturday Night Live in the early 90's. His “Daily Affirmations” such as "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me" highlight why generic affirmations are ineffective for most people: they don't resonate on a personal level.

When imagining your goals, you can follow a handful of simple rules to optimize your chances of achieving them. The most important rule is to Keep It Positive. This doesn’t just refer to sunshine and lollipops, but rather stating your goal in terms of moving toward something rather than away from something. For example, instead of saying "I eat less junk food", imagine that you “choose healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, and seeds.”

The emphasis on moving toward the goal can produce some awkward sentences, but the corresponding mental image is more important. When your subconscious mind sees a bag of chips with a red X over it, it can't help but reminisce about those crunchy, salty chips; if you visualize colourful fruits and vegetables, there is no mistaking the key subject of the image.

Of course you have to really want to make the change because so far in Canada, no one can make you do something you don't want to do - not even you! And certainly not a hypnotist: motivational hypnosis offers suggestions that the client is quite welcome to ignore. Therefore, all hypnosis is self hypnosis. Self hypnosis is essentially thought, feeling, and imagination. And what the subconscious mind experiences, the body believes — just as your heart beats faster during a scary scene on the silver screen, the body and subconscious mind naturally play along and get caught up in the action or story we present.

Take a minute in the morning and evening to recall a few things that have gone well recently, no matter how small. Placing some emphasis on success empowers your subconscious mind to keep up the good work.

Author's Bio: 

Tanya Pillay is a Certified Hypnotherapist practicing in the Annex. In addition to private sessions, she offers self-hypnosis workshops for groups of all sizes. For more information, please visit