Hipster Series: Affirmations

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I find writing affirmations to be easier than writing goals. I first learned about writing affirmations from the same book that introduced me to writing goals, Jack Canfield’s How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.

Not only does it seem easier to me to write affirmations, but it also seems easier to go through them. The reason affirmations make me feel so warm and fuzzy is because they use the concept of “acting as if”. While I generally start my goals with the statement “I intend to…” I start my affirmations with “I am…”, implying that I have already achieved whatever great dream I am thinking about in the moment. No matter how unrealistic the dream, affirming it with a statement that it is already happening automatically makes it feel not so impossible.

How Dreams & Affirmations are Related

I think of my affirmations as reaffirming my intention to achieve my dreams. Just as with everything else I am keeping track of in my hipster, there are many different opinions written in books and online about the best way to have goals and affirmations. After bouncing back and forth from one guru’s recommendations to the next, I finally decided to just do it my own way and work on improving my system as I go.

I actually wasn’t even sure if I needed to have separate lists for my goals and affirmations to begin with. They do seem so similar and it can be really overwhelming to come up with even one of these lists. I ended up deciding that it made sense for me to have a list of my intentions and reinforce them with a separate list of affirmations.

Since they seem so closely linked, I also decided that I wanted to have an affirmation that matches up with a corresponding goal on my “Dreams” list. Once the goal is written, this makes writing the affirmation pretty easy, because it is then just a matter of switching “I intend to” to “I am”, along with adding in a few extra positive words for inspiration. Checkout a few of my personal affirmations and how I have written and organized them in Evernote here.

Using Affirmations Daily

I am currently working on getting into the habit of going through my dreams and affirmations lists first thing in the morning (which takes less than five minutes, probably more like two), as a way of getting them in my mind to help me make choices throughout the day that my future self will thank me for.

It is especially nice to focus on affirmations when you are sitting or laying down quietly with your eyes closed, because then you can really start to envision what the life of your dreams is like, and for those few moments, the dream really already is here. When I meditate, I like to use the beginning part of my meditation time to focus first on what I am grateful for that is already in my life, and then shift my attention to my affirmations. I don’t have these perfectly memorized or anything, but I just think in general about the major life-changing dreams I would like to see happen. Those ones aren’t that hard to remember!

I have also struggled in the past with how long I am supposed to hold onto my dreams and affirmations. When is it time to change them around? Although I now have them organized by season, there is a real possibility some things might not happen within the current season or as fast as I would like them to. How long is too long to wait for something to happen? An entry on a daily positive tips calendar that I got as a gift made it clear to me: you repeat your affirmations everyday until whatever you are focusing on actually happens. I guess it can’t get more simple than that.

This is definitely a long process, and I guess there really isn’t any guarantee that it will work. I have given up on my dreams many, many times in the past. Sometimes I get lucky enough to start believing again that they will actually come true. From my experience, when I go to that personal happy place where I believe they will happen no matter how much time it takes, somehow, they actually eventually do.

Not just all on their own without any work from me. I want to say it is like magic, but I think more accurately it feels like magic just happened when a long time dream finally does come true. There are a lot of moments, day, weeks, months, possibly years that go by that feel less than magical that precede the magical moment with a dream actually does come true. All that time spent with goals, affirmations, meditation, and everything else that has to happen in the days preceding what might even seem like a miracle is definitely hard work.

Having dreams and affirmations along the way makes the non-magical moments much more tolerable, and gives life meaning. When I read other people write about living the life of their dreams and describing how they pop up out of bed in the morning like a piece of toast from a toaster, I think, I want to be like them. I am not at toaster level yet, but I hope that someday I will be, and I believe that my dreams and affirmations will help guide me there. Namaste.

image credit: first covers

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