Writing affirmations that help you reach your goals

2018 goals affirmationsWriting goals is easy. Achieving them isn’t.

By now I expect many who made resolutions in January have already faltered in keeping them or have completely forgotten them.

Personally, because I am employing the new principles I talked about last month, I am experiencing some push back from my brain. Mostly thoughts like “How am I going to do that?” and “That’s unrealistic, maybe you should pull back a little.”

I spent some time rereading portions of Making Your Mind Magnificent so I could understand and counter the negativity. The brain doesn’t like change.

This month I want to dive further into principle #10: Your brain locks onto the strongest picture.

By creating a mental picture of our goal, we can help our brain work with us to achieve our goal. We create affirmations for each goal.

I want to state emphatically here that I’m not talking about your typical affirmations!

Most affirmations are simply positive statements that might make us feel good at that moment, but they do not bring true change.

Before going any further, let’s review mind principle #1: Your brain believes everything you tell it, without question.

God said the same thing in Proverbs 23:7 (NASB): For as he thinks within himself, so he is. This verse relates to the self-images we form about ourselves throughout life.

Making Your Mind Magnificent, mind principles book coverAccording to author Steven Campbell in Making Your Mind Magnificent, the #1 task of our creative subconscious is to “make sure that what you do, and how you think, lines up with your self-image.”

I struggled with math all through junior and senior high. I told myself things like “Math is my worst subject” and “I’m terrible at math.” Guess what, my brain believed what I told it and then ensured I struggled with math.

If I want to become good at math, I will first want to change my self-image. Here’s where writing the right kind of affirmations and creating a new, stronger picture become critical. The language we use will either help us or hinder us.

The principle behind writing correct affirmations is also found in the Bible. Mark 11:24 (NASB) says, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them.” (emphasis mine)

In this verse, Jesus is telling us to believe, and by inference, to act, as though we have already received what we asked for.

Jesus is not telling us to do something he himself never did. In Romans 4:17 (NKJV) we see God “calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” Further John 5:14 (NLT) says “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”

Mind principle 10 tells us the brain locks onto the strongest picture, and principle 1 tells us the brain believes what we tell it. So we write a an affirmation that states the goal as having already been reached and then envision the end result of our goal.

Here is an example from my 2018 goals. I have some weight I want to lose. A SMART goal might look like this: I will lose 20 pounds by Dec. 31.

The problem with this language is it is in a future tense, “I will.” It represents a time in the future—tomorrow, next week, next month, 11 months from now. But the brain does not function in the future. It deals with now.

Example of the same goal using mind principles.

I totally enjoy and love the boundless energy I have as a healthy, physically fit, 120-pound woman.

That’s night and day different from the SMART goal statement. First, I have stated it as though I have already accomplished it, “I have.” Second, I added emotion, “enjoy, love.” Third, I am stating the end result, “I am a healthy, physically fit, 120-pound woman.”

I read this statement every day (I have mine posted in the bathroom), and I spend a few minutes envisioning (experiencing) my desired end result, complete with the emotions and benefits.

I picture myself as the well-toned, physically fit woman I was when I got out of Marine Corps boot camp. Bouncing out of bed at 5:00 a.m. with all the energy of a two-year-old. Taking a brisk walk through my neighborhood. Easily buttoning my pants closed because they fit so well.

I can hear you saying, “But you said the brain deals with now, not the future.”

Yes, and what your “already have it” picture does is create a gap between what is now and what you say you have. The brain doesn’t like this gap and it will work to close it—provides creative energy and ideas to accomplish the end result.

I encourage to remember that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). He directs our steps (Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 37:23). Spend dedicated time with God, seeking what He has for you. Ask Him what goals He has for you. Then write your affirmations and create your “stronger picture.”

Don’t write these and then file them away. Spend time each day reading them and experiencing the end result.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I was experiencing some push back from my brain. You might too. That’s normal.

Next month we’ll look at how the brain resists change, and discuss restrictive and constructive motivation.

For more about mind principles and creating affirmations that make your brain work for you rather than against you, see Making Your Mind Magnificent by Steven Campbell.

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  1. I think I need specific steps. Like what I am going to do toward my goal each week, each day. Not anything big. But, one thing can I do Monday – Friday as a step to reach that goal. Maybe next month I can add another step.

    • You can plan your goals step by step, but when you first set a goal, you don’t have to know exactly how you’re going to reach it at that moment. Allow time for your brain to find those ideas, then you can begin to plan the day to day, week to week steps.

      With the business goal I set this year based on what I sensed God telling me, I had a few ideas of how to make it happen and I’ve moved forward with those. But as I read my affirmations and envisioned the end goal, my brain starting reaching out to find new ways. My brain started grabbing hold of things I was hearing from others and things began to click. I’ve got so many ideas now I can’t implement them fast enough.

      If step by step is what you need, then do that. But don’t let it cripple you.

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