Self-Realization Fellowship Blog

Paramahansa Yogananda on the Secret to Success in the New Year

January 04, 2023

Paramahansa Yogananda enroute to Alaska

The New Year arrives with fresh hopes. But sometimes doubt creeps in: Is it really possible to make lasting changes in our lives with the coming of a new year?

Paramahansa Yogananda said that it is guaranteed, when you understand the malleable nature of habits — even fixed habits; and use your will power to change your consciousness, which is the precursor to changing all other aspects of your life.

Brother Chidananda, current president of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, has said that Paramahansaji “encouraged us to set our course for the new year by introspecting and meditating to attune our consciousness with God’s vast supporting consciousness, and then use His divine gifts of the power of thought and will to take charge of our lives.”

And Sri Daya Mata, third president of SRF/YSS, assured us: “The ability to set aside immediate gratification for a goal of more lasting value is necessary to achieve anything worthwhile. Doing so increasingly manifests the all-accomplishing tenacity of the soul.”

She then added this key ingredient: “It is better to take small steps each day, with faith that by patient perseverance victory is not only possible but inevitable.”

Always remember, as Paramahansaji said, that “just behind the spark of your life is the Flame of Infinity….There is nothing to prevent you from feeling that great Power behind your life.”

So, does your soul stir with the thought of greater fulfillment — do you want to know how to step successfully through the portals of the new year?

From the talks and writings of Paramahansa Yogananda:

Picture the New Year as a garden you are responsible for planting. Sow the seeds of good habits in this soil and weed out worries and wrong actions of the past.

In this new year, change your consciousness. Cultivate the right conduct and good habits that lead to freedom. When you can say, “I don’t indulge in bad habits because they are against my interest; I choose goodness of my own free will,” that is freedom; and that is what I want for you.

Habits are simply thoughts grooved deeply into the brain. The needle of the mind plays those records of habits again and again….Applying mind and will can change those patterns.

Don’t immediately attempt dramatic changes. Experiment in little things first, to train your inherent power of command.

Whatever you want to be, start to develop that pattern now. You can instill any trend in your consciousness right now, provided you inject a strong thought in your mind; then your actions and whole being will obey that thought. Do not settle for a one-track mentality. You should be able to succeed in any profession or do anything you put your mind to. Whenever others told me I would not be able to do a thing, I made up my mind that I could do it, and I did!

Think of the beautiful happenings of the last year. Forget the dark experiences. Sow the good you did in the past on the fresh soil of the New Year, that those vital seeds may grow in an even better way.


Dive more deeply into Paramahansaji’s wisdom by experiencing “A Better Life Through the Portals of the New Year,” an excerpt from The Divine Romance that includes a guided meditation, just posted to the SRF Blog. We hope you can use this practical inspiration — now and at any point in the new year — to expand your consciousness and embrace your infinite potential.

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