2012 has started with a wonderful bang that I’m sure has been heard around the world! To make this your best year to date, make sure to lay down some goals that are both realistic and manageable. We tend to feel pressure to ‘resolve’ ourselves to do something when January rolls around: lose weight, exercise, save money, make amends. Yet ultimately, when we revisit New Year’s Eve on that same year, we often look back and feel badly that we haven’t accomplished some or perhaps any of last year’s resolutions. This may leave us feeling a little defeated, maybe lazy or worse, without a sense of empowerment or real direction in our lives.
Step Four of The Lifestyle Solution is titled “Affirmations” and entreats us to practice this path toward rebuilding and empowering ourselves to become the best we can. This year, I propose that in lieu of making resolutions, you create affirmations for yourself instead.
What exactly is a ‘resolution’ anyway? A resolution is a firm decision to do something. “I resolve to lose 50lbs. this year,” or “I will stop drinking this year.” Resolutions tend to be firm and lofty goals but sometimes life itself gets in the way, and then these goals set forth expectations that can make us feel guilty if we are unable to achieve them. Why commit yourself to the possibility of failure? Why not spend every day making affirmations about yourself that will reinforce your intentions and help you become a better person?
An affirmation is a positive statement or declaration of the truth or existence of something. “I am a beautiful person, and I deserve to be healthy.” “I am capable of accomplishing any goal I set for myself.” Positive thinking can do wonders for your mental attitude thereby making these firm decisions much more attainable.
A great way to create affirmations is to consider areas of your life that you would like to improve. Would you like a more meaningful job that provides a greater sense of fulfillment? Do you want to have a closer relationship with your partner? Would you like to lose weight to feel better about yourself image? Would you like to exercise more to feel healthier and lighter on your toes? Spend some time thinking about areas of improvement and jot them down. Be clear about your goals and this will help in making them a reality.
Spend time each day focusing on your affirmations, repeating them slowly. There is no need for your mouth to move or for you to make any verbal sound, as long as you can feel the words in your own mind. However if you would like to speak your affirmations out loud, feel free to do so. State your affirmations in the present tense. If you use words like “I will” or “I am going to,” then what you are really doing is postponing the attainment of your goal. If your affirmation is your present reality, well then, you are already accomplishing it! One of my favorite affirmations is the following: “I, [insert your name here], am more powerful in this moment than I have ever been before in my life.” The power we are affirming is not a material poweryou’re your own personal power. It is about you becoming stronger as an individual, little by little, each day. Our minds are incredible gifts that have the power to make our goals a reality.
Following are a few pointers on Affirmations:
Spend time daily focusing on your affirmations, saying them to yourself and feeling them working in your mind and body.
Use whichever affirmations feel most appealing to you, whether these are drawn from the suggestions or are created on your own.
Practice your affirmations in a quiet place, free of distractions and interruptions, whenever possible.
If you feel drawn to meditation, spend some time each day practicing the suggested technique.
When it comes to affirmations, it is very important to remember to let go of your expectations of not only yourself but of others. Life can get in the way of our affirmations. Trying to control everything that happens in your lives will not bring us closer to attaining our goals or affirmations any sooner. In fact, it might actually hinder you. If you are constantly focused on a particular obstacle or occurrence that goes against your affirmations, you will surely lose focus. Stay open, be free and accept all that life brings to us, both the ups and down, breakthroughs and challenges. This way you are able to continue to focus on all that is positive in your life.
Good luck. And Happy New Year!