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Your intentions for 2018 have probably started taking shape. Before you rush into doing, let me ask you an important question: Are you sure you’re set up for success?

Having a big vision for the year is a wonderful start, but if you want to make 2018 the year your goals go from random thoughts or wishes to reality, aligning your inner and outer world is critical. That’s how you set intentions that resonate, the subject of the January series, My Soul Says Yes.

Getting aligned was a tough lesson for author and healer Denise Linn. It would be an understatement to say Denise grew up in hard circumstances. Her family constantly struggled to make ends meet. After her mentally ill mother was committed, Denise and her siblings were left with her abusive father. You could say that lack was a way of life in every area.

What she didn’t realize was that she took her childhood history into her marriage. As soon as she and her husband, David, had more than enough, Denise’s generosity would kick into overdrive. After all, prospering others is part of prosperity, right? Was someone moving into a new apartment? Of course, they would need pots and pans, and Denise was happy to empty her cupboard.

One day, David finally had enough. He said to her with complete love and total exasperation, “Denise, will you please stop this? We need more than one pot in the house!”

It’s a funny story with a serious message. It wasn’t that Denise couldn’t be happy until she owned a first-rate set of dishes. It was that she had become so good at struggling and living poor that she unintentionally kept reconstructing that lifestyle. Looking at her intentions list every day wouldn’t make much of a difference unless she stopped giving away her possessions. And she couldn’t take new actions until she changed the beliefs that drove them.

Denise started saying, “Yes,” to receiving good things and keeping them, and that was her turnaround moment. Over time, her self-esteem shifted as she became more confident with money. Her internal beliefs changed from, “I don’t know what to do with money,” or “Other people need help more than I do,” to “I can handle money,” and “I know how and when to bless others.”

Right now, your brain could be buzzing with all the practical things it will take to realize your goals. You need to take a class to learn a new skill. You should get out more and find like-minded people. You need to set up a routine where you can get some exercise every day and eat healthy food. To be fair, taking action is essential if you want to see your intentions come to life.

But here’s the insight you need to keep in the back of your mind: The results won’t stick around unless they line up with your core beliefs.

Your mind has a queue full of updates for the new year, ready to support your new goals and habits. Have you said “Accept” to the download?