Setting goals can be harder than you think, and where on earth do you start with positive affirmations?
If you're new to the practice of setting goals and using positive affirmations, it can be a daunting task to get your head around. You have probably heard that that goal setting is a powerful motivational tool when used effectively, and that affirmations can be extremely beneficial in changing your life and thinking in positive ways.
But where should you start?
Knowing how to set smart, achievable goals, plus choosing and using the right positive affirmations will help motivate and inspire you whether it’s in your personal or professional life.
Let's look at some helpful guidelines that can set you up for success...
Choosing Your Goals
Setting long-term, concrete goals may be the hardest part of the process. Sitting down to figure out what you really want - what will really bring you a sense of achievement and happiness - is not always simple.
You will need to take some time out to focus. Go somewhere calm, away from distractions and let yourself listen to the things that really call to you. Take paper and pen with you and get brainstorming. Write down everything that you want, no matter how crazy it seems.
Try to make your brainstorming specific. Instead of writing, “I want a million dollars,” or “I want a career I love,” try to target in on something you feel like you can concretely start to reach for. “I want to save $2000 this year" is actually attainable and far easier to achieve than a lofty goal of a million dollars!
Refining Your Goals
While some goals are easy to choose, like quitting smoking, eating well, or getting a promotion, these are rather wishy-washy targets. They lack direction, guidance and clarity.
The key to setting good goals is to use the SMART method. Smart stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based.
Instead of saying, “ I want to do what I love,” think about how that looks for you and how you can realistically achieve it. Perhaps it could mean starting a small business on the side of your current job. Then you can make a realistic plan to transition from your full time employment and into your business within a certain time-frame.
Framing your goal around a concrete plan makes it easier to make progress and achieve.
As many famous thinkers have said, “Where thought goes, energy flows.” Most of us experience negative thoughts and self-talk, often without realising we are doing it.
Famous self-help author Louise Hay describes affirmations as “consciously choosing words that will either help eliminate something from your life or help create something new in your life.”
Practising affirmations is a way to retrain your brain and create positive thought patterns.
It is a powerful way to help reach those goals you’ve so carefully set for yourself.
When you start off repeating or writing affirmations, you may feel silly. But it doesn’t matter if you consciously believe what you’re saying. Over time, your subconscious will listen.
Choosing Positive Affirmations
Affirmations should be personal, specific, and set in the present moment. They should be relative to what you want, so often align with your goals.
Use a brief “I” statement and make sure it’s framed positively. Instead of saying “I’m not broke,” say “I believe I have enough money.” Or “I’m not scared of public speaking,” can be re-framed as, “I can confidently speak in public.” They should make you feel powerful, strong, and able to take on the world.
How To Use Affirmations
Write your affirmations down and put them somewhere you will see them every day. Stick them to your bathroom mirror to repeat when brushing your teeth, or record them in a special journal and take time every day to repeat them. The more often you repeat the affirmations, the more effective they will be.
Although they may feel “hollow” spoken out loud at first, try to instill your body and mind with a sense of realism. Try to imagine that you have already achieved your goals and feel the power of the emotions that come with this practice. You can literally "trick" your subconscious mind into believing in a different reality. That has incredible power to change not only your mindset but your life.
With the right approach goal and positive affirmations do not have to be scary and imposing. You just need to think about the things that inspire you and how you can use them to live a life you love.