All About You

Feeling stuck? Here's how to start manifesting and change your life

It's time to manifest your biggest dreams.

Because making (and not keeping) New Year's resolutions is so last year.

If you've been on TikTok lately, you've probably heard of manifesting: The idea that, through motivational energy boosts, positive vibes and going after your goals, you can shape your reality.

After a year where everything felt, tbh, a little out of our hands, who doesn't want to feel stronger and more in charge? (There's a good reason why #manifesting has more than 500 million views.) 

Manifesting is about realizing that *we* are in control of our future. Though we can't change the past (or, often, the tough events of the present), we do have the power to set goals and intentions as we go forward. Anyone can manifest—as long as you set your mind to it and check in with yourself along the way.

Related: How the Law of Attraction can help you get everything you want in life

Maybe you're hoping to be accepted to your first-choice college, make tennis team captain, ask your longtime crush on a date or study abroad in Paris someday. Even seemingly impossible goals can feel less daunting when you manifest. And when it works? It's just like magic (to quote Ariana Grande, one of the many celebs who uses manifesting).

So next time you're staring at a packed study planner with no idea where to start, or wishing for that amazing internship, take a deep breath, curl up in your go-to comfy-cozy spot and remember the 1-2-3s of manifesting: Focus, frequency and feeling.

Rule 1: Focus


It might seem obvious to say, but if you want something, stay focused on it. 

Which is actually easier said than done, since it's tough to stick to the program if you're caught up in the possibility of failure. And it's very normal to let yourself off easy by setting lower expectations.

How do you keep fear from holding you back? Focus. Our brains *need* a singular objective (aka the ability to filter out unnecessary information and minimize distraction) to build toward big goals and help us get there.

Consider this permission to really hone in on your ambitions. Envision yourself making varsity soccer. Imagine that you're confidently leading your science fair team to victory. See yourself onstage, belting out "Mamma Mia!" as you nail the audition for the lead.

Vision boarding—creating tangible collages of you achieving your dreams—is a perfect first step because you can see your focus right in front of you. Hang it somewhere over your desk so that reminders of your goal are always close by.

Rule 2: Frequency


Think about the last time you had a really bad day for absolutely no reason. You woke up past your alarm, spilled your boba tea on the sleeve of your brand-new ivory sweater, forgot about your English pop quiz and your crush stopped your Snap streak. Then, you got into a fight with your mom over cleaning your room and struggled to add even one original sentence to your group project Google Doc. Could things get *any* worse?

Here's the thing: You can make bad days better. It's all about your frequency—the positive or negative mood you bring to the world. Changing your frequency can alter your outlook on, well, everything.

That spilled tea on your new knit? Cover it up with a denim jacket and toss it in the washing machine later. Your crush's missed Snap? They're probably just busy. The late-night bad energy? Press play on "7 rings," fold that pile of clothes and dance out your feels. (Plus some movement and organization will give your brain the blast it needs to wax poetic on The Scarlet Letter.)

Rule 3: Feeling

Addison Rae by @bryant

Your intuition is always guiding you. So listen to it. When you're getting out of bed at the crack of dawn for skating practice, clocking hours at jazz rehearsal or chatting for hours with your crush, do you feel an excited, anticipatory energy, like you're building toward something?

If you don't (or, worse, you're indifferent), it's a sign that maybe you're not moving toward the right goals.

Maybe skating or dance used to be your thing, but now you're just doing it because you don't want to disappoint your coach or your parents. And the "so-perfect" crush your friends sweetly picked out for you? Def a friend. 

Allow yourself to trust those feelings and redirect your focus and frequency toward the passions and people that energize and inspire you. You'll be surprised at the level of motivation and hard work you have stored up for a path you *actually* want to follow.

Bringing it all together


Focus, frequency and feeling: It's what you need to get started. But manifesting is nothing without action.

Once you put your goals into place, you need a real, specific plan. Think of tasks that will get you to where you want to be, then get to work. 

That track scholarship you're aiming for? Won't come without plenty of practice and some above-and-beyond efforts, like getting advice from your big sister's bestie who just so happens to run in college.

Dreaming of seeing your name in lights? It all starts with vocal lessons and a YouTube channel to show off your skills.

And if you're shooting for that robotics internship? Ask your science teacher for a review of your strengths—and some pointers on how you can grow and take on more leadership. (P.S.: Don't be shy about sharing what you're manifesting with others. The more you put it out there in the universe, the more motivated you'll be to see it through.) 

Not every dream will come true—at least not right away. Be patient and resilient as you work toward your goals, especially when things feel challenging. And when you find yourself questioning your plan? Just stop and take a pause. Remember, you are in control of your destiny.

✨✨Stay grounded in the present, do the work and beam into a brighter future. ✨✨

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our February/March 2021 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Top Image: Haley Hoffman Smith/Instagram. 

by Haley Hoffman Smith | 3/1/2021