In Yoga class we usually start by setting a Samkalpa...an intention for our practice. As the new year rings in it's a time to set longer intentions, goals or affirmations. Here's some tips to help your affirmations be more effective.
Happy New Year!
Think about things in your life you want to improve. The best way to create affirmations is to consider areas of your life that you would like to improve. Would you like to practice more yoga ? Do you want to have a closer relationship with your mother, brother or sister? Would you like to feel better about your self image? 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.
Keep your affirmations focused and believable. Based on the list that you have written, choose what you want now. Be clear with yourself. It is even more important to keep your affirmation believable… don’t set yourself up for failure. So, instead of saying “I want to lose 10, 20, 30lbs.,” you are better off saying “I am on my way to a more healthy body by losing weight and exercising regularly.” Essentially, it is important to draw a line between your wants and your feelings. You want to lose a certain amount of weight, but this want stems from the desire to feel better about yourself. The feeling is the focus.
Always state your affirmations in the present tense. Tell your mind that your desire is actually already the reality. 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 reality, well then, you are already accomplishing it! “I have a loving relationship with my mother” is much more positive for your mind than to say you will have this type of a relationship with mom. By saying you will, you give yourself the opportunity to postpone that difficult first step with her. Tell yourself you already have this positive relationship with mom, and you are already halfway there to achieving it. Our minds are incredible gifts that have the power to make our goals a reality.
Always keep your affirmations brief and simple. Formulate your affirmations in your own language, speak to yourself the way you speak all the time. Don’t use long sentences or big words because this only counteracts the ability to remember them… and repeat them.
Repeat them daily and say them out loud. Preferably in front of the mirror. You will be shocked at how awkward you feel when doing this the first few times… but DO IT! It forces you to believe in yourself! And it's worth a giggle or two ;-)
Write them down. And refer to them often. It’s also a great idea to keep them in a visible place… in your office, or taped on the bathroom mirror or your closet door.
Remember you can never make an affirmation for another person. As much as we might want to make positive statements about another person in the hopes of changing them to fit our expectations, we must learn, immediately, that we can never change another human being. We only have control to change ourselves.