As the end of the year approaches, we tend to reminisce about the previous 12 months. Our minds seem to enjoy going over the past and identifying the most meaningful, significant and memorable moments. In doing so, we also realise if we were unable to fulfil any of the last New Year's resolutions. 

The impetus of having a new 12-month period ahead makes us, somehow, want to try again. In my opinion, this is a good thing. Gathering the energy to create what we want to achieve is essential for our mental health, even if we get derailed and cannot accomplish everything we originally intended.

Imagining what we want to become, do, learn or have starts the process of change in our brains. It activates our frontal lobes, which we use to strategise how to reach our goals. This is a very exciting activity in itself, and it leads to feelings of hope, yearning and enthusiasm. 

Even though planning is the first step in any endeavour, planning alone is not enough for 'change' to take place. It doesn't matter if you want to get fit to trek in Nepal, to lose weight or to stop complaining.


Most of us make new plans each year, but how many do we follow through?

Sticking to the change until it happens requires the help of our body and its feelings. We can use our brain to imagine anything we want, but transforming ourselves does not only depend on the thoughts we have but also on how much we are able to feel that the change is possible.

Instead of using this post to recount events that now belong in the past, I want to do something different this year and invite you to feel the passion of your dreams becoming a reality.

To be more effective in this process, it helps first to recognise any signs of stress and tension that can get in the way of you achieving your aspirations.

One way to do this is to visit nature and take some time out to write down all your fears and worries. Make a paper boat out of your page of concerns and let the boat float away, symbolically releasing all the feelings that could impede you from attaining what you want.

Then, with a clear mind, draw images of what you hope for and write down next to these pictures how you will feel when they become a reality.

If it is joy, jump up high with enthusiasm or dance around to embody the feeling. Do it as many times as you need until your body remembers the feeling of joy. You have the freedom to create any body movement you want for any of the feelings you have. 

Over the next 12 months, as you focus on the actions that will take you to your desires, remember to move your body and generate the accompanying feeling. Brain, body and mind integrated function better than only thoughts.

I wonder what the world would be like if everyone, absolutely everyone, would spend their time creating whatever they dream of, rather than spending time being worried or scared about what they think they cannot do.

On behalf of the About my Brain Institute Team, we want to wish you the happiest Festive Season. May good thoughts and feelings stay with you throughout 2017.

Originally posted on: 21 December 2016
Last updated on: 12 April 2024
Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.

Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.

Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership

In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.

Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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