Affirmations for January

1) I am living my full potential.

2) I always succeed because I meet resistance with persistence.

3) I love change and easily adjust myself to new situations.

JANUARY is often the time of year when we set new goals (or renew old ones) to improve ourselves. Regardless of the goal – whether it be to exercise more, eat more nutritious foods, take up a new hobby, or learn new strategies for anger management and stress reduction – affirmations are a tool that can help you achieve success with greater ease. The first affirmation – I am living my full potential – helps set the subconscious stage for the achievement of any personal goal. The second affirmation – I always succeed because I meet resistance with persistence – is useful in combating moments of temptation to abandon the goal. The third affirmation – I love change and easily adjust myself to new situations – is particularly helpful when your goal involves stretching yourself out of your comfort zone. All of them, however, will help you when used with consistency.

What is an affirmation and how does it work?

An affirmation is simply a statement, positive or negative, repeated aloud or mentally, about a perceived truth about oneself. For example, when you say to yourself, “I feel good,” that is an affirmation of your wellness and you are riding the proverbial train of thought that brings a good mood and other good-feeling thoughts. A bolstered sense of self confidence infuses your conversations, actions, and energy level for as long as you’re riding that train. Similarly, when you say to yourself, “I’m so stupid,” you’re affirming feelings of inadequacy, and you ride the train to more thoughts that feel just as bad. Just as if anyone else had told you that you’re stupid, your step loses pep and your mood is depressed. Perhaps I’m so stupid, leads to, I’m such a loser, or Why do I always do this? You ride that train for a while and pretty soon you’re not trying as hard or caring as much about things.

A deeper look shows that our self-talk, or our inner dialogue, is a stream of affirmations. It’s important to be mindful of this considering our state of mind has a tremendous and intimate influence on our quality of life, including our own sense of identity and how we conduct ourselves. When we talk about “using affirmations,” we’re talking about intentionally choosing positive, self-affirming thoughts while training the mind into healthy habits.

A set of core beliefs, both positive and negative, inform our thoughts and therefore, our life experience. Good news: a belief is simply a thought you keep thinking over and over again. In other words, a habitual thought. Great news: habits can be changed! Grab the reigns of life and replace self-sabotaging core beliefs with an empowering new inner truth.

How to use affirmations for personal growth and spiritual development

In order to be effective the way we intend here, affirmations must be positive, present tense, personal, specific, and used consistently. That last point is very important. Select your affirmation and repeat it over and over for some time. Three to five minutes perhaps. Or, you can repeat them just 10 or 15 times, several times throughout the day.

There are endless ways to work with affirmations and incorporate them into your daily routine. You could write them on post-it notes and stick them on mirrors, walls, or windows. Post them any place you see every day such as the bathroom mirror, your desk at work, your computer monitor at home, the wall next to your closet, etc. Physically writing the statement over and over, also enhances its effectiveness. If you’re already in the habit of writing every day, set aside five minutes for this practice.

Singing your affirmations is a good way to keep things interesting and it also helps the mind accept a shift in perspective with greater ease. You could also accomplish this by varying the way you say the statement a little bit each time, using different adjectives or switching the order of the words. Perhaps play around with the tone of your voice, adding enthusiasm and joy. Get your emotions involved. An easy way to personally engage with the statement (and also add a lot of power to it) is by including your name. For example,” I am intelligent” becomes, “Gina Marie, you are very intelligent.” If you really want to pack a lot of power into your affirmations, look yourself in the eye in the mirror while you repeat them aloud.

Another way to enhance an affirmation is to add the powerful element of touch. Let’s say you want to rid yourself of a negative core belief – “I’m worthless.” First, take a moment to tune into your body. Which area of your body physically feels the most disturbed when you tell yourself that you are worthless? That’s the spot you should place your hand when you repeat your affirmation – “I am worthy.”

Although affirmations can be practiced any time of day and can be used many times throughout the day, it’s most advisable to do this in the beginning segments of your day. Making this a part of your daily routine (like brushing your teeth and getting dressed) is the best way to ensure consistency. I like to post affirmations on the dashboard of my car as a reminder to repeat them while I drive to work. To keep it fun and engaging, and to ensure I do it long enough so that the practice is effective, I don’t stop until I’ve driven through a certain number of traffic lights. Sometimes I feel embarrassed when talking to myself at a red light, but I get through it by assuming that anyone watching from a neighboring vehicle will assume I’m talking on the phone or singing along to the radio.

Now a cautionary note: When you first begin using a particular affirmation, it may feel like a lie. Don’t worry, it’s alright. In fact it’s typical. Let’s say George is down in the dumps, feeling bad about himself. He may feel like a liar when he looks into the mirror and confidently says, “George, you’re awesome!” He might feel foolish and assume the process can’t work, never to use the affirmation again. George mustn’t despair, though. The level of the mind we’re working with doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imaginary; a factor that makes this process viable. Over time the affirming statement becomes the present truth and feelings of discord go away.

Article courtesy of Gina Marie