How To Make And Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

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Jan 032018

by Linda-Ann Stewart

jigsaw_puzzle-Aibr59k8T-smI used to make a list of New Year’s resolutions, such as: lose weight, exercise, organize my desk, eat better, etc., etc., and so forth. However, within a day I’d broken at least half of them. The rest were blown by the end of the week. Since I felt like a failure, I just stopped making them. I figured why should I put myself through the frustration?

It’s too bad, because resolutions are a positive way to improve your life and change old habit patterns. Starting a new year with the intention of establishing a healthier life helps us to wipe the slate clean, to write a better script. We begin with great hopes, only to get sucked back into the familiar rut. Why is it that so many times we fail to attain our list of resolutions?

Think about this. What if your partner brought you a long list of things they wanted you to do immediately? For example, they wanted you to move all the furniture in the house, change the landscaping, paint the house, completely redecorate within a week? You’d groan, crumble and look for the closest hole to hide in. The same is true of your subconscious mind.

Your subconscious mind processes and stores everything you’ve ever seen, done, heard, thought, or experienced. All of this information mixes together to give you the life you now have.

If you resolve to completely recondition yourself within a month, your inner mind falters. “Too much!” it screams, and then proceeds to get you so involved in life that you forget all that silly stuff. An excessive amount of change at any one time overwhelms your subconscious. However, there are some things you can do to maximize your success with New Year’s resolutions.

First, as you might do every year, write down all the things that you want to change in your life. But this time, prioritize them. Decide which are the most important, then select one of these to concentrate on. By focusing on one area at a time, you will be able to improve your chances of success.

Once you’ve chosen which area you want to concentrate on, write down all the steps you need to take to fulfill that goal. For instance, suppose Sam decides he wants to get healthy. To do so, he chooses to quit smoking, eliminate caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, to stop partying, get enough sleep every night, lose weight, start exercising, and eat right. He can’t do all of these at the same time, or his subconscious will rebel. Therefore, he decides which facet he wants to tackle first.

Break your goal down into reasonable steps. Don’t try to change the world in one week. As you accomplish one component, move onto the next one. It may actually take a couple of years to achieve your whole list, but in a couple of years you’ll be so much healthier than you are now.

Once you have your first element chosen, you can now decide on what physical actions to take every day. Taking physical action helps to convince the subconscious that you mean business, and shows commitment to the process.

Visualize yourself acting out your objective. As you imagine yourself living your goal, this gives your subconscious mind the direction it needs. It must follow your envisioning. Mentally rehearse each day, identifying with your new ideal, feeling how good it is to have accomplished your aim.

Write a short positive statement in the present tense that embodies your resolution. Use this affirmation in your visualization to reinforce it. Say the declaration aloud one hundred times a day. Print it on index cards and place them where you see them often. This keeps you focused on your goal and begins to impregnate your subconscious with what it is that you want. Trust that your subconscious is making deep level changes, and knows the best way to help you to transform.

By following these directions, you will be able to successfully make and keep your New Year’s resolutions. You have all the power within you to create a wonderful new life for yourself. Don’t be afraid to use it.

This year, I set reasonable goals of change for myself. After I write down what areas of my life I wish to change, I narrow them down to focus on one. I decide what steps I need to take to make the goal a reality in my life, and begin with a single small, attainable action. As I’m successful, I add another step. I visualize myself accomplishing my goal, knowing that doing so fully involves my subconscious in helping me to transform. I commit myself to making the changes necessary to improve my life, knowing that I’m worth it.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

Sparks of Insight

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Dec 152017

Sparks of InsightWhatever you truly believe, or feel, at the depths of your being, is what you’re going to attract. If you use affirmations for something beneficial, but still feel the opposite, then what you feel is going to what you experience. The subconscious manifests your feelings. For instance, if you’re affirming prosperity or that you’re worthy, but you’re afraid you can’t pay the bills or that you’re still undeserving, your subconscious will follow your feelings. You use affirmations to change those underlying feelings, by repeating the affirmation over and over, with feeling.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

7 Ways You Unconsciously Limit Your Vision

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Dec 152017

“Aim at heaven and you get Earth thrown in. Aim at Earth and you get neither.” C.S. Lewis
Are you aiming high enough to achieve your dream or are you keeping your vision little and manageable? A dream is what you’re working towards. Your vision of it should be out of your immediate reach so it inspires and motivates you and pulls you farther than you thought you could go. You may not get as far as your dream, but you’ll soar higher if you have it as your target. The Universe always wants something greater for you.

But too many people keep their vision small and insignificant, so they can stay invisible and play it safe. If you do that, you’ll never be able to reach much further than where you presently are. You’ll just be playing in the same sand box and never climb out of it to explore what else is possible. And you thwart what the Universe wants for you.

By aiming too low, not only do you limit your potential, you also sabotage yourself by holding yourself back. You don’t take the actions that would lead to success, choosing instead to do what is familiar and comfortable. For instance, you don’t follow through on leads, prospects or customers. In so doing, you’re instructing your subconscious / the Law of Attraction to keep you stuck.

There are all sorts of reasons and ways you undermine your dream. Most have to do with the past or fear of the results. Once you recognize how you’re keeping yourself small, you can turn it around and aspire to something greater. Here are 7 ways in which you may be keeping yourself grounded and how you can cut the restraints.

1. Habit.
You’ve created a habit of creating easy goals to achieve, so you have a feeling of accomplishment. But they’re haphazard, don’t take you in any particular direction, and you don’t make any progress.

Choose goals that lead in a specific direction, each one building on the one before. This takes you out of your comfort zone and creates a new habit of success.

2. Past disappointments.
You figure it’s easier to keep your dream reachable, especially when you’ve been disappointed in the past. So you focus on manageable goals, but don’t get very far towards your dream.

Create a vision that’s just out of reach, and set manageable goals that can take you there. As you accomplish them, it will encourage you and build your confidence to aim higher.

3. Doesn’t fit your self-image.
You want to be a leader in your field and make your mark, but you can’t imagine yourself as that person. The person you want to be has qualities you don’t have and are alien to the way you perceive yourself.

Decide what characteristics you need to cultivate so you can become the person you want to be. Take one at a time, and practice incorporating it into your life.

4. Fear your dream will take over your life. You’re concerned about what achieving your vision would change. For instance, you may have to work longer hours and not be able to spend time on other activities you value.

Reaching your vision will change your life. But you always have control over how much time and effort you put forth.

5. Fear you won’t be able to handle success. Reaching towards your vision stretches you and takes you out of what you’re familiar with. So you try to stay in your comfort zone and safe.

You can always develop the new skills, abilities, and characteristics you need. When you do, you will grow and expand to fill your new role and responsibilities.

6. Fear of being criticized.
You’re afraid of people disapproving of the changes you’ll be making. To avoid this, you make sure you stay invisible, under their radar, so you don’t get hit with their condemnation or rejection.

The person you most need acceptance and approval from is yourself. When you’re pursuing your dream, you’re on purpose and fulfilling your highest potential.

7. Guilt about how it will affect others. If you commit to your vision, you may not have as much time for friends or family. Or you’re concerned that you’ll be taking advantage of others if you get ahead.

Ask yourself, “How much more can I offer if I reach my vision?” Playing small doesn’t help you and doesn’t give you the greater opportunity to help others.

These issues need not concern you any longer. You have gained wisdom, maturity and understanding and can now handle the challenges your vision brings. The Universe will always support you on your path. Use your vision as your destination, and establish goals like rungs on a ladder to climb to new heights. You’ll be able to accomplish your goals, while staying on track to your vision.

The Universe wants something more for me. I now have the wisdom, maturity and understanding to aspire to something greater. Any old issues are now dissolved in the light of peace. With the support of the Universe, I can handle any situation that arises. I am always Divinely guided and directed to make the best decisions.

Watch the accompanying video, Give Yourself Permission to Dream.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

Sparks of Insight

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Dec 082017

Sparks of Insight“The Universe wants only the best for me. I trust the process of Life to bring only good to me. Only right action takes place in my life. ”

You are an individualized expression of the Infinite. How could the Universe want anything but the best for Itself? When you recognize that and trust that It is at work in every area of your life, you open the channels for incredible miracles to take place. The actions that then take place may not be the ones that you’d choose, but the Universe has a much broader view of your life. It can only give Itself the best outcomes that you can accept.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Nov 102017

Sparks of Insight“I focus on the good in my life. What I give my attention to expands. Therefore, I experience greater good manifesting.”

When you give your attention and power to fearing some conclusion, then you’re attracting that into your life. The same is true when you direct your energy to what it is that you desire to manifest. Your focus simply gives your subconscious mind the direction, “This is what I want more of,” even if it’s what you don’t want. The subconscious cannot make that distinction. It’s just giving you what it thinks you desire.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Nov 032017

Sparks of InsightWhen you have something challenging happen in your life, bless the situation. It may not be the way you’d want it to appear, but if you curse it or resist it, you’ll just give it more energy to get worse. Instead, if you affirm that somehow, someway, something wonderful will come out of the situation for you, you’re directing your subconscious mind to put its juices to work to create something even better than you could have imagined.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Conquer the Distress of Overwhelm

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Nov 022017

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I used to create a long to-do list that would have been impossible to finish in three times the allotted period. Not only did I constantly overestimate my capacity to complete my list, I would underestimate the time the tasks would take. In addition, I’d have several creative projects under development at once. I’d dart between them, working on one then the other. None of them got any quality or quantity of my attention. As a result, I always felt like I was falling behind. And I was. I felt stressed and my to-do list consumed my thoughts.


Do you have this problem? In today’s world, most people take on too much. People try to compensate by multitasking in an attempt to get more done. But multitasking for increased productivity is an illusion. In actuality, less gets done. Research shows it’s an inefficient use of time and mental resources. It failed massively when I tried to work on several projects at once. But because we’re overwhelmed with everything we have to do, we grasp at straws. And those straws won’t keep us afloat.

Being overwhelmed means that you’re stressed all the time. When you’re stressed, you can’t think clearly and your productivity drops. Because you’re distracted by what’s stressing you, your decision making ability is diminished. All your resources are being used to deal with what’s going on right now. You’re in a fight or flight mode, just trying to survive. Haven’t you felt like this? It means you’re reacting to circumstances, rather than being proactive, innovative and creative about how to get things done. Overall, you have less emotional resources to deal with life’s issues. You’re just trying to tread water and progress floats away.

Overwhelm, and the stress it causes, impairs spiritual progress. Think of your mind as a glass that filled to the brim and overflowing. It doesn’t have room to add anything more. Your subconscious is simply handling too much and you can’t address anything else. You can’t focus, because your attention is split into so many different directions. And without focus, the Law of Attraction can’t work effectively. Stress and overwhelm means you’re out of alignment with inner peace.

Fortunately, there are some strategies you can use to reduce the feeling of overwhelm. You’ll have to concentrate on implementing these strategies, because it’s all too easy to get dragged back into the old pattern.

1. Distinguish between what’s immediate and what’s important. The immediate would be a coworker calling you for advice. They have your attention right now, but you could actually call them back later. Something important would be working on the report that’s under a tight deadline. Put off the immediate until after you deal with what’s important.

2. Eliminate what’s not working. What chores or tasks aren’t actually necessary? What’s keeping you from working on what’s truly important? Certain chores may have become a habit, but aren’t helping you anymore. For instance, we all need to check our email periodically. But if you have it open all day, it’ll lure you away from your important projects and to check it frequently. Instead, check it only three times a day.

3. Create a strategy to make sure you don’t get overloaded.
This could be cutting back on your to-do list (like I did). Or you could set a timer to deal with email, easy tasks or a project. Delegate what you can. Don’t micromanage others. These all mean that you have to let go of some control.

4. Focus on one thing at a time.
This is the opposite of multitasking. When I began to focus on one project at a time, I was able to complete it much faster. It doesn’t mean that you have to focus on one project or task and do it to completion. It means that when you’re working on it, you eliminate all distractions and it’s all you pay attention to.

5. Schedule things. For an ongoing project, set aside 60-90 minutes at a time to focus on it. Keep that appointment with yourself. With all other tasks, put them in your calendar and expect them to take twice as long as you expect. That way you have plenty of time to work on them, and if you finish early, you may actually have time to fit in others.

6. Take time for self-care and self-development. When I was overwhelmed, meditation and self-development were the first things I abandoned. Referring back to #1, this item would be something classified as important. Not only will self-care reduce your stress, but it will give you mental and emotional resources to handle your tasks better. Meditation, reading, exercise, taking bubble baths all contribute to your spiritual progress and peace of mind.

Over time, I learned to reduce my to-do list to a few items. I would include a few extra each week, in case I actually had time to work on them. But if I didn’t, I moved them to the following week. I never got everything done. No one ever does. We’re all human beings, not human doings. Reduce your load so you can cultivate more ease, peace and happiness.


I am Divinely guided to make wise decisions in taking care of myself and my life. I release what doesn’t contribute to my life’s purpose and peace. And I accept things that contribute to my purpose and peace. That means that I take care of what’s important, including myself. When I do, I open the way for more abundance and joy to come into my life.

Watch the accompanying video, Make Yourself a Priority to Reduce Overwhelm.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

Sparks of Insight

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Oct 272017

Sparks of Insight“Everything and everybody that come into your life are there for one of two purposes: either to heal you or to be healed by you of some wrong attitude of mind, body or affairs.” – Catherine Ponder

I’ve known some people who wondered why they attracted certain difficult people into their lives. Even after they’d examined all the issues, nothing seemed to resonate as to what they needed to learn. However, they noticed that the other person seemed to react strongly (and sometimes negatively) to things they said or did that were helpful or benign. Sometimes the situation isn’t about you. It’s about the other person. Your lesson may be to not take things personally and remember that you’re a teacher as well as a student.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Are You Putting the Cart Before the Horse?

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Oct 052017

by Linda-Ann Stewart

“Action without planning is the cause of every failure.” Alec Mackenzie, time management expert


Last year, my husband and I hiked a mile-and-a-half down the South Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon. We planned and trained for almost a year. When the day arrived, we had the right boots and equipment, and enough food and water to sustain us. Unfortunately, many people on the trail hadn’t had the same foresight.

There are warnings all over the park and at the trailhead about how much water a hiker needs. But sadly, many hikers we saw took only a fraction of the water they needed. We witnessed several people in distress due to dehydration: weak, tired or dizzy. A family fought over their child’s small bottle of water, because they’d already drunk their allotment. Two women hiked the dirt and rock trail, that was hundreds of feet above the canyon floor, in high heels. One turned ankle in the wrong place could have been disastrous.

These visitors let their enthusiasm overrun their common sense. Instead of thinking ahead, they impetuously jumped into an experience and suffered for it. Fortunately, most Grand Canyon visitors survive with just blisters, sore muscles and a headache from dehydration. But they could have avoided those consequences if they’d just heeded the warnings and considered what they’d need for a safe hike.

Unfortunately, many people act in a similar way when they get an idea. They leap into action before they even know what to do. In our Western culture, action is idolized. Supposedly, if you just take action, any action, you’ll be successful. Action is considered a panacea and always brings you results, so the thought goes. But how many people do you know who are so busy that they barely have a personal life, but they’re not achieving their goals?

Some people want to let the Universe guide their way. They don’t have any direction, and just react to whatever shows up in their path. In this case, the Universe is simply acting on their strongest desires. And those desires change from day to day. Even when you let the Universe guide you, have a vision of where you want to end up. You can always intend, “This or something better.” Then the Law of Attraction can draw what you need to manifest your greater good.

Have you ever seen a skyrocket firecracker flying through the air? It spirals all over the place because it has thrust, but no guidance system. Most of the time, it goes up to explode in a beautiful display, but there are occasions when it swirls down to the ground and sets something on fire. This is what it’s like when you jump into action before developing a plan. You’re probably going to go up, but you don’t have any control over your direction. And you also have a good chance of crashing and burning.

The same is true if you have a plan, but you don’t know where you want to end up. If you have no vision, it’s like throwing darts at a target while blindfolded. You don’t know where your target is, so you waste your energy and ammunition. This happens if you have a marketing plan, before you settle on a niche. You spray the consumers with information, but because it’s not aimed properly, it’s ineffective. Instead, you need to find the right people for your product or service then spend your energy on connecting with them.

There are times when jumping into action, without a plan, can be helpful. But it has to be strategic. You want to build up some momentum, stir up some information, gain clarity or some other specific reason. Doing that is a plan in itself. You know the results you want from your actions.

Conversely, you need to keep from getting stuck in the planning process. Your plan isn’t going to ever be perfect. You’ll tweak it along the way. And there will be times when it will change completely, as you get feedback or knowledge. Making progress is better than perfecting your plan.

When you’ve decided to create something new in your life, be intentional about it. Don’t “Put the cart before the horse.” Keep your priorities straight and make sure you have some sort of plan. Life can be treacherous and catch you off guard. If you’re going for a trek in unfamiliar territory, isn’t it a good idea to heed the warnings, make sure you have the right equipment and plenty of resources to sustain you? This isn’t just good advice for the Grand Canyon, but also for every area of your life. Make sure your horse draws your cart, and you’ll make faster progress.


I decide what direction I want to go in, and the Universe then lights my path. It ensures that I receive whatever I need for the fulfillment of my desire. I stay on track and take the steps I need towards my vision. Each step illumines the next one. And the Universe provides me with whatever is for my Highest Good.

Watch the complementary video Think Before You Leap.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. If you'd like some help to reach your goals, email her at with "Complimentary Consultation" in the subject line.

Book Review-Healing the Shame that Binds You

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Oct 032017

Healing the Shame that Binds You (Recovery Classics)
by John Bradshaw

Many people grow up in dysfunctional families that have caused them to feel ashamed of natural needs, desires, and sometimes of just being. This results in their not feeling worthy, effective, or mattering. Healing The Shame That Binds You not only addresses the core issues behind the toxic shame that people feel, explains how it formed and where it comes from, it also gives valuable direction on how to heal it.

Most of us have been exposed to some sort of toxic shame, and carry it with us. This shame prevents us from living up to our potential, accepting ourselves, and accepting all the good Life has to offer us. The author examines these issues, to give the reader a deep understanding on how shame formed, different ways it manifests (such as panic attacks, addictions, and compulsions), and steps to take to resolve the problem.

This book isn’t just one of theory and information. It includes meditations, exercises, new behaviors to practice, and affirmations. Different methods of healing are explained and demonstrated. Anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional home, or who absorbed a sense of shame would benefit from reading this valuable source.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart