Manifestation, or the idea that you can attract what you want, is a surprisingly personal practice. Some of us are more visual (vision board, anyone?) while others have an easier time writing through what they want to manifest.
In other words, if you’ve ever thought that manifestation “just isn’t for you,” we’d like to challenge that — because we believe there’s a manifestation technique out there for everyone. As we look forward to a new year, you should consider manifestation an important first step toward sticking to your New Year’s resolutions or achieving your goals.
Here are five manifestation exercises to help you get exactly what you want in the coming year—because 2023 is going to be your year.
1. Pretend it’s one year from now, and journal on how the year went for you
Take out your journal and date it to one year in the future. Now, take a look back on your year, and write through exactly what happened. Some might consider this a practice in fiction writing — and in a way it is! — but it’s also a powerful manifestation practice. Here’s an example of what your journal entry might look like:
Wow, what a year. I can’t believe how many things went right over the past 12 months. I’ll start with work: I finally got that promotion I’ve been working so hard for, plus a raise, and it helped me save a lot of more money than I’d hoped. In terms of my personal life, I’m finally in a relationship with someone I see a future with. I exercise almost every day now, and I feel better than I have in a long time.
This writing exercise will make it easier to actually imagine your dreams coming true. If it helps, write a similar journal entry for 2023 (reflecting on things that actually happened), and then follow it up with a manifestation journal entry.
2. Keep a manifestation list
If a journal entry is too detailed for you, try a manifestation list instead. Using either a sheet of paper, your journal, or even a poster board, make a list of things you want to manifest. The more specific the better, of course, but since this is a list it doesn’t have to be nearly as detailed as your journal entry would be.
Here’s an example of a manifestation list:
- Get approved for a mortgage and buy the house of my dreams
- Write a novel
- Make three new friends
- Sign up for dating apps and meet the love of my life
You’ll notice that some of these might feel like things that are ultimately left up to fate, like meeting the love of your life (which is why manifestation is so important!), which is why adding an action step like “sign up for dating apps” is so important. Manifestation doesn’t work unless you do!
Making a manifestation list
3. Create a vision board
This is probably one of the most well-known manifestation exercises, and it’s great for people who are more visual. If you’re someone who likes to draw, feel free to draw different items on your vision board (the house of your dreams might be a good example).
If drawing isn’t exactly your forte, cut out pictures from a magazine, or even create a Pinterest board. The internet is full of inspiring imagery, so you’ll be able to find something that applies to all of your goals and dreams.
4. Work on retraining your mind
Many of us have a negativity bias, or a tendency to only focus on things that are going wrong instead of the things that are going right. This tendency can bleed into manifestation, too, making it so that we can’t possibly imagine our dreams coming true. It probably goes without saying that this mindset is detrimental to manifestation.
If this sounds familiar, one important manifestation exercise is retraining your mind. When you start to notice the negative thoughts creep in — for example, I’ll never get that promotion, I don’t deserve it anyway — replace it with, I’ve worked hard and deserve this promotion. I’m going to get it this year!
5. Talk about it
Sometimes, it can almost feel embarrassing to vocalize what we want, because we might not get it, and then everyone will know that we failed. While you don’t have to talk about your goals and dreams to everyone, vocalizing what you want to manifest to a few people you trust can make it feel more real and also propel you forward.
For example “This year, I really want to become good at the piano, and it’s a lifelong dream of mine” might be a good thing to say to your best friend. Not only will it cement this dream, but your friend might check in to see how that particular goal is going, which can inspire you to keep working toward it.
Did you find a manifestation exercise that resonates? We thought so. Here's to all our dreams coming true in 2023.
Looking for more inspiring content ahead of the new year? Here are 40 Mindful Journaling Prompts for the New Year.