Four years ago (wow, has time flown!) I made the following post to my blog. I thought that after so many years (and so many posts) it would be relevant to look at again:

Have you considered making any New Year’s Resolutions (NYRs)? You know, the promises you make to yourself about changes in your life, promises that, if you’re like most people, are usually broken before January is through?

When you make a NYR, you’re actually doing a type of mental magick. You begin by making a statement of magickal intent and then, theoretically, follow through and make it happen. Although this isn’t the type of magick where spirits, magickal energy, or deities are the main means through which the magick manifests—you are the one who makes it happen—it is still magick. This brings us to the first two key to making your resolutions successful:

Key #1: New Year’s Resolutions are a type of magick. Treating them like magick will enhance their likelihood of success.
Key #2: As with all forms of magick, it is advisable to do a divination before doing the work.

So come up with one magickal goal for your NYR (you can add others, later) and do a divination of some kind to see if it makes sense for you to perform this magick.

The next key for NYR success comes with understanding that magick follows a variation on one of the basic laws of physics:

Key #3: Success yields more success. Failure yields more failure.

This means that every time you succeed, you’re sending a message (to yourself, to the universe, to the deities, to the spirits, etc.) that you are a winner! You deserve success at everything you do. It also means that every time you fail, it’s sending a message that you deserve more failure. The obvious message, here, is, “Succeed; don’t fail.”

But the truth is, at one time or another everyone doesn’t succeed at something. Everyone fails. This implies that everyone should be failing even more. However, there is a key to breaking the failure to failure to more failure cycle:

Key #4: There is no failure, only feedback.

If you don’t succeed at something, don’t accept that as a failure. Find out why what you wanted didn’t take place. Thomas Edison supposedly failed thousands of time before he successfully demonstrated the electric lightbulb. He kept a record of his experiments (identical to keeping a magickal diary as described in my Modern Magick) and learned what didn’t work. Each experiment provided feedback. Finally, when he discarded all the things that didn’t work, he discovered what did work. Learn from your misteakes mistakes.

With your NYR, how can you set yourself up for success? For one thing, you can design your NYR to fit the SMART model. See my post here to learn more on this set of techniques. However an important aspect to success makes up the fifth key:

Key #5: Have greater success through lowered expectations.

Since success yields more success and failure yields more failure, we obviously want to have more success and fewer or no failures. Let’s say your NYR is to go to the gym. Specifically, your resolution is to go to the gym five times each week. That shows spirit. That shows dedication.

So for the first week in January, you go five times. During the second week you go to the gym five times, too. But during the third week of January you get extra work and can only go to the gym four times. It’s only the third week of the new year and you’ve already failed.

The answer for this is to lower your expectations. If you want to go to the gym five times each week, make your resolution that you will go to the gym at least three times a week. If your NYR was going to the gym five times a week, you’ve already failed. If your NYR was going to the gym three times a week, not only have you succeeded, you’ve actually exceeded your expectations.* Do you see what has happened? By just changing your expectation to something more realistic you are a success and a winner, not a failure or a whiner.

The great thing about this is that success in one area of your life, such as with your NYRs, results in more success in all areas of your life. When you make your NYRs come true, more and more success will naturally come to you.

And that, my friends, is real magick!

So what are your New Year’s Resolutions this year? Has this post encouraged you to change them in any way?

[*I should point out that the expression, “greater success through lowered expectations” is cute, but is not really accurate. In reality, it should be “greater success through realistic expectations.” However, most people begin their NYRs with unrealistic expectations, so by lowering them to something more realistic and attainable they get more success. Threfore, I’m not really suggesting that you should lower your expectations, only make them more realistic.]


Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...