The calendar again creeps toward that time of year. Renewal, resolutions and change always seem to surround the New Year’s holiday. New beginnings, self-improvement, casting aside old habits keeping us from happiness are on our “to do” list. Well, it’s time to move them to the “done” list.

You’ve tried to change before, tried to break old habits or establish new, healthier ones. What went wrong? Why was improvement short-lived or never realized in the first place? The answer is simpler than you might think and requires little.

To succeed at beneficial change, we have to admit a few things that we already know. First, acknowledge that there are two basic parts of the mind: the conscious, analytical, data-driven part of the mind and the subconscious part that actually runs the whole show. We know there are two parts of the mind because we experience that dichotomy every day. Secondly, we have to admit that the subconscious is the part of the mind that really learns how to do things and keeps us doing things that are complex and amazing. That point isn’t open to discussion. Just try walking, driving a car, typing a word or any number of bodily functions without your subconscious controlling the event.

Habits are based in the subconscious, maintained and ruled by the subconscious. If you want your body to change, your habits to change, your outlook to change, your behavior to change, you have to engage the subconscious mind.

So recognizing that the subconscious is the part of the mind we must use in order to really learn or make substantial change, that’s where we must give our attention.

Goal vs. Means Trying to micromanage change is futile. It’s bigger than the sum of its parts, so working on the small parts isn’t effective. The way we get somewhere in life is too complex, involves too many seemingly random (though actually not random at all) events and occurrences for our puny analytical minds to accomplish. Our best thinking and planning pale in comparison to events apparently beyond our control but nonetheless affecting our desired outcome. Chance meetings, realizations, opportunities and acquisitions often pave the path once we set our goal. If you want an airy-fairy, metaphysical description of it, here it is: The Universe hears our commitment to a goal and provides all manner of support that would not ordinarily come our way without our clear, expressed goal. Set the goal. Leave the means up to God/Universe. Just make sure you pay attention when solutions emerge. (Goethe, et al.)

Do the work. Recognizing that the Universe is on your side in making change does not mean sitting on your bum, stuck on your thumb and saying, “It’s cool. The Universe will make it happen.” No, the Universe provides a clear path with all manner of assistants and assistance but you must walk it. Part of that is providing the subconscious with thoughts to use.

The subconscious is a willing worker and readily accepts training. It learns and is accessed in a number of ways: repetition, high impact emotion, imaging, special techniques like hypnosis. You’ve trained your subconscious mind thousands of times since the day you were born. So now do it with intent.

When you first learned to drive a car, for instance, using your conscious, thinking mind you were terrible at it. After repetition and practice, your subconscious mind took over the primary skills of keeping the car straight between the lines, knowing how much pressure to apply to the brake or accelerator, how to turn or observing traffic. Same goes with any athletic or musical endeavor. While your conscious mind controlled the action, you sucked. With training and practice, your subconscious takes over the heavy lifting and runs the show. Think less. Perform better.

Dawn patrol. We spend all day in our conscious mind. At night, we let it go and the subconscious mind is up front and center. The minute you wake up — before jumping into the conscious-mind gibberish of the day and its mundane plans — make a brief, positive statement of the day you want for real. Maybe it’s “Today I will breathe clean, fresh air all day” if I want to stop smoking. Carve your own statement to suit your goal. Just keep it positive in syntax. When you tell the subconscious something like, “I won’t smoke today” all it hears is “smoke today. Choose positive statements.

Affirmations Writing positive statements works, too. Maybe something like, “I enjoy the taste of wholesome, nutritious foods,” if I’m trying to cut out sugar. Writing engages the physical and the subconscious. How many reps? I was told “seven times seventy.” At least make it a couple hundred a day. Get to where your mind is doing it quietly.

Visualize Used by virtually every successful athlete, visualization is best when the mind is quiet.

Learn more ways at

Using some tricks to access the subconscious can help you turn New Year’s resolutions into new realities.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit

Subscribe to The Reader Newsletter

Our awesome email newsletter briefing tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on in Omaha. Delivered to your inbox every day at 11:00am.

Become a Supporting Member

Subscribe to and become a supporting member to keep locally owned news alive. We need to pay writers, so you can read even more. We won’t waste your time, our news will focus, as it always has, on the stories other media miss and a cultural community — from arts to foods to local independent business — that defines us. Please support your locally-owned news media by becoming a member today.

Leave a comment