I absolutely love using affirmations! I believe in their power and benefits, so we obviously had to include it in our “7 Way to Start 2017 Right!”
Affirmations are the practice of positive, self-empowering thinking to help you achieve your goals and be true to your genuine self. An effective, powerful affirmation is present tense, positive, personal, and specific. It’s a statement that can be written down and repeated to yourself frequently. I personally have mine in a notebook that I read every morning and before I go to bed, along with my business and life vision and mission. Affirmations work hand-in-hand with your goals (check out our blog post on setting and writing goals) to help you continue to grow and reach for the best version of the amazing YOU!
The simplest way to start writing affirmations is to write a series of “I am” statements that describe what you want to have or experience.
“I am happy because…”
“I am a confident, caring leader who…”
“I am healthy in these ways…”
| PRESENT TENSE |
The important thing to notice here is that your affirmations are written in the NOW. Not, “I want/need/will,” but “I AM,” which helps you affirm the feelings of already having or becoming what you want instead of affirming that you need to feel or be a certain way and aren’t there yet. Don’t use a timeline (“In three months, I will have…”), but speak as if you’re already there, you’ve already achieved, reached, or become the thing you desire.
To start writing your affirmations, close your eyes and think about what it is that you desire to be and feel and influence, as well as the things you’re grateful for (I do a separate gratitude list each month, but they’re also great to use as affirmations!). Write everything that comes to mind, just word vomit on your paper - uncensored. When you are finished, go back and reword your desires as affirmations using the present tense.
Affirmations can also begin with words like:
“I’m thankful for…”
…or whatever present words strike your core.
| POSITIVE |
Let’s take the example of “I am cutting out carbs to burn fat so that I’m no longer at an unhealthy weight.” While this is a great goal, it’s focused on negatives. What if we reword it to say “I value and honor my body in its incredible health and longevity by choosing fruits and vegetables.”
Notice how the second example makes you feel more empowered and uplifted? It motivates you to reach for your goal.
Writing your affirmations in the positive helps you focus on what you are achieving and thankful for, not what you’re cutting out or ‘sacrificing’ in your life. Sometimes it can be tricky to reframe your desire. Try this when you get stuck: Imagine that you’ve already accomplished whatever it is that you’re affirming. How would you refer to it then? Let yourself ‘brag’ on YOU for a moment and take in all the hard work, dedication, and pure joy you experience from your accomplishment.
Being positive in affirmations for ourselves is sometimes the hardest step. But remember how you didn’t think you could complete that boot camp workout? Or finish that big project on time? Or handle walking the dog while pushing your toddler in the stroller at the same time? —but you did! How awesome are you, really? Pretty darn awesome! Own that!
| PERSONAL |
Make your affirmations personal to you. Use YOUR words and your phrasing. Maybe yours is completely different from mine, that doesn’t make it right or wrong. Find and sit with whatever words resonate to you. You are writing these FOR YOU, to you, so be your incredible self!
Personally, some of mine are very serious and resonate with healing areas of my life, some are really goofy and fun, some are logical and analytical, and some are kick-ass girl-power fueled! Use whatever works for you, whatever leaves you already seeing these things in your mind, preparing for your journey, your strength, your best self and life.
Remember to be passionate in your phrasing. “I am healthy and happy…” just doesn’t resonate with me quite as much as “I love my strong, healthy, beautiful, respected body.” Or “I am priceless, graceful, confident, and better the lives of every person who crosses my path.” – but, you do you, boo! Find what makes you smile and makes you want to step out your front door ready to take on the world, and take on possibly your harshest critic: yourself.
| HOW TO USE AFFIRMATIONS |
For affirmations to be most effective, it’s beneficial not only to say them, but to feel them. Say them out loud. Most experts recommend saying them to yourself in the mirror at least twice per day. I love to read mine in the morning when I’m getting ready (coffee in hand, obviously) and in the evening, usually before my last tasks of the day that I really need to power through. Right before bed also works really well because those are the last messages in your mind before zzzz…
It may feel weird at first, but trust me! Reading them outloud is powerful and one day you will believe and embody your affirmation. Until then, try this trick: One thing that has always helped me when I feel uncomfortable going through my affirmations or updating them, is including a few about things I already 110% know/positively accept about myself. I may not 110% own “I am priceless, graceful, confident, and better the lives of every person who crosses my path” every single time I say it yet, but I do 110% own that “I organize my life so I spend more time with people I love and gain comfort from, including monthly dates with my husband, regularly FaceTiming our families, and frequent trips home.” and “I am a powerhouse, an incredible woman of God.” Start off by making your affirmations a mix, because if you already have achieved many of them, why not the rest?
Affirmations can supercharge your journey, empower you, and (should always!) excite and pump you up! You deserve to hear yourself speak of the true, genuine YOU that shines so brightly.
Just like setting goals, affirmations can be used for any element of your life. And also just like goals, having something written down is much more important than having a perfectly scripted note. Just sit down, breathe, listen to your favorite music, and think about what you really desire, need support in, appreciate about yourself, or are grateful for. What thinking patterns do you need to change? What feelings would you want to enjoy or have more of? What do you crave your life to look like? How do you want to transform?
Check back in with us tomorrow to learn the importance of having others on your support team to accomplish your goals and elevate your life! Big love, you rockstars!
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Join us through January 1st as we share 7 Ways to Start 2017 Right.
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