Mental & Emotional Health

The Power of Writing Down What You Want

What do you really want? With our busy lives and the stress of working, making a living, caring for others, and getting older, some people feel like they’ve totally lost control of their mind and body. They operate entirely at other people’s bidding. Many feel like they’ve hit a brick wall trying to change their lifestyle.  Some people are frustrated that no one finds them attractive or enjoyable to be with anymore.  Others are so frustrated by life they feel that nothing they want is attainable.

If you feel like you are on cruise control to nowhere, is there any way for you to stop?

Two unlikely partners, Gene Moynihan, a retired New York City police officer with a psychotherapy practice helping first responders deal with the dark side of their profession: suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, PTSD, depression, marital discord, and Dick Quis, a retired CPA who has endured 16 surgeries including three tangles with cancer and a major heart attack, have published a timely book that captures the most powerful and simple technique there is to change your life.

You start each day by getting out a piece of paper, and writing down what you want to happen.

Their new book, Thinking Anew: The Power of Harnessing Belief, explains how writing things down can be the simplest and most powerful thing you can do to get yourself moving towards your goals, regain your direction and your confidence, and place you in control over what happens to you.

“It may sound like a simple thing to do,” says Dick Quis, “but when you try it and experience the rewards, you will really see the profound changes that you can bring about for yourself.”

“Far too many people have forgotten the incredible coping skills and power they were born with, especially their ability to create,” says Gene Moynihan. “Just watch a child learn new skills and you will quickly realize that you have lost touch with those remarkable talents. Children decide what they want and they just do it. They don’t feel fear and they don’t hesitate. They are spontaneous and just dive into what they are doing.”

Writing down what your intentions are each day focuses your mind on what you want. The act of writing helps you achieve clarity and frees your mind to use your imagination. You decide what is important and you put away what is not. Your subconscious mind then goes to work and helps you achieve what you want for the entire rest of the day.

Your actions are triggered and guided by your decision to write down what is important.  You get the maximum power by being specific and even by setting a deadline. Here are some examples about how to phrase what you write down.

If you want to lose weight, write down:

I will identify the people and events that sabotage my food strategy and I will record what they are and when they happen.

Writing down what I eat helps me consume fewer calories and salt. I will keep an accurate record of everything I ate today.

Instead of soda, I will take two bottles of water with me to drink: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

I will set my watch alarm to go off every two hours, and I will get out of my chair and walk for fifteen minutes each time it goes off. I will walk up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator.

If you want to change how you behave around people, write down:

I will not get angry. I will forgive everyone for everything.

The perfect outcome for today is for me to go home happy.

I will not jump to conclusions. I will listen and think before I talk. I will work through possibilities.

I will notice what people do to help me. I will recognize it and say thank you every time I see it.

 If you want to make more money, write down:

I will call ten people today. I will call five people in the morning and five people in the afternoon.

I will follow up every call with an email. I will offer ideas that keep the conversations going every time.

No matter what happens, I have the courage and the ability to try again tomorrow.

If you want to make up with your spouse, write down:

I will apologize. By noon I will send an email and say “I’m sorry. You were right. I was wrong”.

I will get a card and write down “I love you. Please forgive me. I want another chance.”

Writing down what you want specifically helps you make miracles happen.

Miracles can and do happen and they often happen when you simply decide to write down what it is you really want to make happen.

So get out a piece of paper, or a notebook, and each morning as you start your day, write down what you want.

If you are facing a big challenge today, write this down:

Yes, I can do it! Yes, I can do it! Yes, I can do it! Yes, I can do it! Yes, I can do it!

Write “Yes, I can do it” five times, each morning, every day for a week, and watch what happens.

The rest comes easily.

Thinking Anew: Harnessing the Power of Belief is available on

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