Resolve to Manifest by Ashley Salem


The first week of January I was already hearing chatter at work. My co-workers were saying things like, “New year, New me” as they spoke of finally de-cluttering, cleaning their attics, and losing the extra weight from the holiday season. I asked them what New Year's resolutions they had conquered last year. The consensus was that all of their beginning aspirations had fallen to the side. As we spoke I thought of something I implemented a couple years ago. Instead of a vision board for my dreams and goals, I started making a manifestation board. I told my colleagues about the concept and several of them asked to join me as I prepared for this year. In preparation, I reflected on the power of intention setting and how that differs from mere visualization.

Don’t get me wrong, setting a New Year's resolution is not bad, but if you find yourself three weeks in and throwing in the towel, it is not uncommon. According to Business Insider, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. By definition, a resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. But to manifest means to make something “apparent to the senses” and is synonymous with being evident or clear.

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It’s like the difference between instant oatmeal and steel cut oats. One you throw in the microwave for a few minutes and eat. The other you simmer, add butter and milk, berries and almonds. Maybe even finish off with a drizzle of local honey. As a result, you taste the flavor of all the ingredients as you savor the last spoonful. The difference is, instead of expecting immediate results, you develop an intentional outcome.

Thomas Warren; photo from ULN

Thomas Warren; photo from ULN

I spoke with Thomas H. Warren, Sr., President/CEO at the Urban League of Nebraska (ULN) about the importance of operating from your own core principles and taking action.

“I have always felt that as individuals we need to be masters of our own fate. That includes taking personal responsibility for your actions and not letting others or society define who you are. You must have a strong sense of personal identity and take pride in who you are. You have individual traits and it is those unique characteristics that define your personality. I am a very results oriented, so when I engage in endeavors I have a desired outcome in mind. I try to stick to my core principles to guide my decision-making: honesty, integrity and trustworthiness, which helps me resolve any conflicts that I may encounter. I use my insight, foresight and I communicate directly, so that there is no ambiguity.”

When it comes to taking the next steps to gain education and training for your future endeavors, the ULN offers opportunities for the community. Mr. Warren explained, “At the ULN we administer programs in Education/Youth Development and Employment/Career Services. We provide supplemental education support to improve academic outcomes for our students, increase graduation rates and enrollment into post-secondary educational institutions. The individuals who participate in our job training and job placement programs become workplace ready and acquire the skills that are necessary for them to thrive in their chosen careers.”

In every area of our lives we show up. We go to work and show up at a certain time. We perform with a level of expectation in our jobs. We care for our families and put food on the table. We pay rent, OPPD, MUD, cable, student loans, car notes, insurance; the list goes on. When we dislike something, we race to Facebook or vent to others with no action to resolve or even address the root of the problem. Yet, when it's time for us to pursue things that will enable us to reach the next level in our careers, in our health, in our families and in building our legacy for generations to come, we see these things as frivolous and negotiable. If at the end of this time on Earth you haven't been operating in your purpose, would it all be for naught?

I am learning to show up for myself. On this journey, I have been reflecting on what success is. For me success is deeper and more profound than the depiction of the white picket fence or some version of it the media tries to sell me. I want to operate at my highest level. I encourage you to look into your notions of success. If you have not done so yet, ask yourself some questions. Here are a few prompts:

  1. What do I want, and Why?

  2. How does attaining my desire impact my family, community and world?

  3. Is this goal/desire attainable, if so, how might I break it down into steps?


  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).

  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).

  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).

  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).

  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).

    4. What do I do after reaching my desire or goal to maintain it?
    5. What is currently in my life and space that no longer serves me? Can I rid myself of it? What would that look like?

Julia Parker; photo by Bill Sitzmann

Julia Parker; photo by Bill Sitzmann

These questions will focus your attention on how to manifest what you want. After you focus your attention, you can set an intention. When it comes to strategically planning for your future, Julia J. Parker, the Executive Director of Omaha Small Business Network, is a wonderful resource if your aspirations include starting your own company.

I had the opportunity to discuss manifestations with her and she spoke to the importance of focus. “It can be much better, for some, to engage in goal setting year-round to keep your objectives as high priorities in your everyday life,” said Parker.

She spoke passionately about embracing our own personal power, “I am currently on a path of self-discovery which has allowed me to examine my life from multiple viewpoints and make changes accordingly. This is hard work, but everyone can do it. Harnessing your personal power will allow you to overcome self-defeating patterns and live in your truth.”

Thinking of starting your own company and not quite sure where to start? The Omaha Small Business Network (OSBN) is dedicated to bringing local small business owners and entrepreneurs the tools they need to become successful and sustainable entities. OSBN works with under-served populations to spur community and economic development through small business ownership.

Julia Parker wants everyone to know that entrepreneurship is a unique path to wealth creation and that small business ownership is a grind, but one well worth the payoffs. “We offer monthly technical support and training course for those looking to start or grow their small business. We also offer small business loans anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 for qualified entrepreneurs.”

Lastly, I recommend listening to people who speak life. Two of my favorite inspirational speakers are Les Brown and Eric Thomas. Les Brown says, “Align yourself with people you can learn from, people who want more out of life, people who are stretching and searching and seeking some higher ground in life.” He goes on to say, “Most people fail in life not because they aim too high, but because they aim too low and hit.”

Dream bigger. Why aim to get an apartment, when you can aim to buy a whole block of homes and revamp them. Eric Thomas says, “Most of you don’t want success as much as you want sleep.”

What are you willing to go to bed late and wake up early for? How hungry are you? I am manifesting my reality. I invite you to come with me.