We’re still in the beginning of a new year and that has many of us thinking about self-improvement. If this is you and you’re thinking about how to improve your well-being and happiness in 2023, you’ve likely heard about manifestation. What is manifesting? The word’s definition means turning an idea into reality. From a psychology and well-being perspective, people talk about manifestation as a way to improve their lives by having positive thoughts and goals and turning them into reality.

Manifestation might sound like a trendy buzz-word, but there’s actually some science behind it. In this blog we’ll dive into manifestation, discuss if it works, and offer some tools like a manifestation journal or vision board that you can use to integrate a manifestation practice into your life.

Manifesting Isn’t Magic

Manifesting isn’t as simple as snapping your fingers, or sending out ‘positive vibes’ into the universe in the hopes that something good comes your way. Instead, it’s the action of turning positive self-talk and goals into reality by visualizing them and laying them out using vision boards and manifestation journals. If you’re still rolling your eyes, don’t be so quick to judge!

Manifestation may have risen in popularity thanks to books that scientists agree are essentially based on pseudoscience, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some actual science behind it. Maybe the key is to think it as optimism or action-oriented positive thinking?

Growth Mindset in Manifestation

So how do we manifest our dream destiny and what does science say to back this up? Research shows that if you believe you can do something, you’re more likely to achieve it. This belief in your abilities and in yourself is called a growth mindset. The most important part of this research however shows that a growth mindset is key in us putting in the work to make our goals a reality - rather than waiting for good things to just happen to you. You’ve got to work for it!

If you’ve got a growth mindset and you believe in your capabilities, you’re more likely to put in the effort and understand the actions needed to achieve your goals.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Our belief in ourselves is one piece of the puzzle. A positive mindset also means believing that good things are possible for you.  The concept is simple: those who are likely to believe good things are coming their way, are more likely to experience positive things. This is essentially a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you expect good things, good things will come.

A positive mindset accomplishes more than you might think. It can mean positive self-talk, encouraging you to keep going, an openness to new opportunities and experiences, and an optimism that things can always get better.

Manifestation in Action: Using a Manifestation Journal or Vision Board

So let’s say you’ve got a positive growth mindset and a clearly defined goal. What kind of actions can you take to work towards it? Many people use vision boards to visualize their goals. This means using visual examples of what you want to work towards and physically laying it out for you to see. People often place them in areas they spend a lot of time in, like their personal office, so they’re frequently reminded of what they’re working towards.

Another example of manifestation in action, is using a manifestation journal. A manifestation journal is another form of journalling that allows you to visually write out the goals you wish to manifest, identify your plan, and opportunities you should consider. People often use these prompts in their manifestation journals, like “what does your dream life look like”, and “what does success look like to you”? These prompts get your mind thinking of what you want your future life to look like. Then, you can use future scripting in your journal to write out what it looks like to work towards your goals using the present tense. An example of this is “I am keeping myself open to new opportunities”. Working a manifestation journal into your habits can help make manifestation a practice for you in action.

Manifestation & Future Thinking

The new year is still young, and you’ve got lots of time to consider what you want to achieve this year. Consider the power of positive thinking and having a growth mindset to help you get there. Try healthy practices like vision boards and manifestation journals to get you closer to your dream reality. But while you’re at it, be cautious of toxic positivity. Your positive thinking as a part of your manifestation practice should include healthy negative emotions that keep you in check and balanced.

Manifestation is, like all healthy habits, a practice that requires work and a balanced approach. Take what works for you and leave the rest. Find your growth mindset, look forward to the future and soon you might find yourself living your dreams.