I recommend this practice beginning with the moment you establish a vision, or set a goal:
Feel the possibility with your body. If what you really want is to lose 20 pounds, take a moment to “embody” that possibility. Beyond just imagining yourself 20 pounds thinner, close your eyes and feel what it will feel like to be lighter, freer, to feel comfortable, even proud in your body. How is your posture in this place? Where do you feel lighter? How is your breathing? What do your muscles feel like? How does the air feel on your skin? What is your mood? What is the quality of your movement? Don’t just imagine; feel all the physical and emotional qualities that you are wanting by setting the goal. When you can feel it, gently set your intention to reach this state. Don’t vow, promise or threaten yourself. That creates a struggle. Set your intention in a gentle way while connected to your goal. Intention is actually more powerful than will, which is a state of struggling, fighting and forcing. Then repeat this exercise everyday; return to the physical experience of your desired goal, and re-experience your intention for yourself.
Your goal may be less specific. It may include how you want your life to look in general or in a certain domain. This practice will also work for a broader vision. Say you want to have a new career or job. Spend some time clarifying what it will feel like to be in this job. Instead of only saying to yourself, for example, “I have lots of time to be creative and colleagues who are fun and supportive”…imagine with your body the feeling of walking down the hall to your office, excited about working on your project, exchanging laughs with your co-workers. Feel the physical sensations that arise; perhaps there is a flutter of excitement in your chest, or relaxation in your back and jaw as you feel the warmth in your relationships. Repeat this practice as often as you can; at least once a day.
Then when the resistance shows up, (which it will, I assure you!), slow down and don’t judge or harass yourself. Stay present, and bring your attention gently to the embodied feeling of your goal. From this state you can choose what you want to do relative to your goal. Feeling the commitment and possibility of what you want in the present moment, will make it easier to choose the behaviors that will get you there.