Motivation and positive thinking are finely tuned, highly functional muscles in the body, spirit and mind that are often neglected. Just as you would not go to the gym once and expect to be extremely fit and healthy, you can not simply read a self-help book, or do one set of affirmations and anticipate motivational success.
How to Use the Weekly Motivation Note Card System
The Weekly Note Card is a great organization habit to keep you focused, goal-centered, and driven throughout each week. The idea is that you fill a personalized note card each week with a positive quote, goal, reassurance, affirmation and where you would like to be at the end of the week and then carry it with you at all time and reference it throughout.
What You’ll Need
In order to get started, all you will need to purchase is a pack of standard 3×5 note cards. I prefer packs that offer a variety of colors so I can use the different colors to have different overall meanings, for instance:
Red Card: a very emotionally exciting color, red actually increases respiration and heart rate – I will use if I have a big week of projects or major test or presentation Yellow Card: associated with joy, creates a warming effect – will use if it is a rainy week or there is possible gloom on the horizon Green Card: symbolizes growth, harmony, and freshness – will use if I am feeling stagnated or anxious
How to Make it Work
Once you have your selected your preferred card it will be time to fill it! Try to lay out a schedule for yourself in when and where you create the card and also reference it at home. I find that Sunday evenings work best for making the new card for the week as it lays out your mental road map. In practice, I will keep the card on my nightstand if I am home, or on my bathroom counter, so that it is the first thing that I see when I wake up and last at night.
Allow yourself to be creative in your composition but try to stick to the card format of:
Affirmation: Speak in the first person and be specific. Some examples:
– I am in charge of my mood
– I have everything that I need to make this a great day
– When I breathe I inhale confidence and exhale timidity
Positive Quote: Search and select something that resonates with you. Some people keep books they quote (Bible, Collections, Poems) or some just reference web searches – either works!
Goal: What would you like to accomplish this week?
– Spend more time with kids
– Take wife out on date
Thing to work on: What would you like to see different in yourself?
– Be more patient with your employees
– Be humble about your successes
Compose your card and keep it on your person at all times throughout the week (wallet or purse works great). Whenever you have a moment pull out the card and reference it and overlay it with your present moment to check in and exercise the ambition and positivity muscles. At the end of the week, look into what you could have done better and where you ended up, and use it as a platform for your next card! Have fun with the practice and enjoy the positive growth that is summoned within you!
Imagine that your friend is down on herself and you want to encourage her by saying positive things to buoy her spirits. What are some of the things you will say to make her feel better?
The same thing goes for self. When you feel down or begin to doubt yourself, you also need to find words of encouragement to redirect your focus and stimulate positive thoughts within you. Talk yourself into feeling better. Allow the continuous flow of positive talk to replace your negative inner critic at work. Positive affirmations and self-talk helps to produce positive thinking.
When you talk to yourself in positive ways, this does not mean you are crazy. It only means:
You have found a brilliant way to motivate yourself.
You know how to positively reinforce your own efforts.
You are constantly reminding you of how capable you are.
You are suppressing your self-doubts and accentuating your strength and skills.
You are boosting your self-confidence.
You are staying true to your goals.
You are a winner!
Logically and rationally explain situations to yourself. Do it continuously making it a daily habit. It will propel you to new heights.
Benefits of Positive Affirmations
Success in life depends to a great extent on a positive state of mind. In order to accomplish any goal you must be optimistic and motivated to take action. There are times when discouragements and doubts set in and you are the only one available to bolster your spirits and get you motivated again. This is where the positive self-talk comes in handy.
Let us examine some common doubts and self-criticism and how to counter them with positive self-talk.
Negative thought: I can’t make it to the gym today. I don’t; feel like it.
Positive self-talk: I can do this. I know once I get to the gym I will feel better. Come on, let’s go. I can, I can I can do this.
Negative thought: I’m never going to finish this project on time.
Positive Self-talk: I know I can finish this project on time. If I do 1 more hour each day, I can pull it off. I can do this do. I know I can. I will get this done.
Negative thought: I am not good at anything, I wish I were ______.
Positive self-talk: I am capable. In the past I have been able to do____ and ____. I know I’m good and I can do anything I want. Yes, I can.
These are just some ideas of how to go about feeding positive information to you. Do this as many times you can throughout your day. Let it become habit forming. By doing so:
problems will be seen as challenges and you will confront difficult situations with ease
your perception of you will drastically improve each day
Through positive self-talk, we feed positive recognition of self to our subconscious. Once the self-talk is continuous, over time our conscious mind takes action and our behavior changes. This is a conditioning technique that you can use to self-motivate, which can lead to constructive outcomes in your lives.
The same works for negative self-talk. The inner critic slowly feeds negative feedback to the subconscious and before long your start believing the negative self-talk. Your persona changes and a downward spiral begin to take place in your life. The doldrums set in, self-doubt, weakened self-confidence, and then it becomes even more difficult to climb out of it.
We become what we feed our minds. Positive self-talk only works if you truly believe what you are telling yourself. If your affirmations are not genuine, the subconscious knows and they would be ineffective. You must believe the affirmations! They must be spoken without any doubt and with complete sincerity.
Positive self-talk only works when it is consistent. If conditioning must take effect it has to be continuous. The neurochemical pathways in the brain are reinforced with daily repetition of positive feedback to self. The subconscious can let go of the negative beliefs and they become slowly replaced by the positive information received. Post reminders in your car, office, at home, or school. Allow the visual cues to trigger affirmative statements of your worth.
Your attitude is a reflection of your thought process. You are what you think. The mental food your feed the mind determines your actions and behaviors. Feed positive affirmations and reap positive results.
Give Positive Affirmations
The wonderful thing about positive self-talk is that is comes from within you. You get the credit for motivating you, which is an empowering feeling. It is an opportunity to use the power within you to bring about valuable changes in your life.
The following are tips on how to carry out positive self-affirmations:
1. Always use the first person singular pronoun “I” when giving self-affirmations. Remember the affirmations are only to self, so they must be subjective in nature and addressed to you. This personalizes the affirmation and allows more conscious awareness of the constructive feedback. This slowly replaces the negative beliefs lodged in the subconscious.
2. The positive self-talk must be brief, short, positive statements. It must be easy to remember, powerful, concise verbalizations that can be repeated continuously like a mantra. For example, I am a good person, I am positive, I am ambitious, and I am motivated.
3. Positive affirmations must be spoken in the present tense. This means the feedback is already occurring. It is not something that will occur in the future or has happened and continues to happen. For example, avoid statements that begin with “I am going to”, or “I would like to.”
4. Positive self-talk must be realistic and believable. You cannot trick your subconscious into believing something that is not so. You also cannot believe other peoples criticisms of you. You must be real and true to self. Be open to receiving the truth about you and believe it.
5. Give yourself reminders. Use small post it notes to remind you of positive self-talk. Every time you find yourself saying something negative about yourself turn it around and replace it with something positive. Let this be habit forming.
Begin today to empower yourself by using positive self-talk and affirmations. Observe the transformation taking place in your life and give yourself the credit.
Most people intuitively understand compassion when it comes to others who are suffering, but self-compassion is generally harder to grasp.
Self-Compassion: You Owe it to Yourself
When you see someone who is suffering or struggling and your heart reaches out to them, whether you act or not, you feel a tug of discomfort (whether you reach out to help them or not is another part of the complexity of compassion) and you sympathize or feel their pain, that is compassion.
When you yourself are struggling, your first reaction might be to turn to self-deprecating humor or to think how stupid you are. That is the opposite of self-compassion.
What Is Self-Compassion?
Self-compassion is when you recognize that you are human and not perfect, and you quit judging yourself for it. It’s when you give yourself a break.
There are three elements to being self-compassionate, mindfulness, an awareness of your common humanity, and self-kindness.
How Treating Yourself With Compassion Affects Your Life
Putting aside the self-judgement and recognizing that everyone has problems, everyone makes mistakes, and no one – no one – is perfect, lets you begin being kind to yourself.
If you bump your head, for example, and you call yourself a dummy for it, you are literally telling yourself that you are dumb – for something almost everyone does from time to time.
Judging yourself harshly, even when you use humor, it’s still negative, keeps you in an emotionally beaten state, and learning to respond to your humanity with kindness lets you recognize your worth and it lets you open the door to a healthier, happier life.
How to Treat Yourself With Compassion
If you catch yourself in the act of negative self-talk, stop – just stop – mid-sentence. Then, tell yourself the exact opposite of the negative thing you started to say. (Say it out loud if you are in a place you are comfortable doing that.)
Think of something you would absolutely love to have someone do for you – then stop waiting on someone else and tell yourself you are worth it and do it for yourself. This doesn’t have to be expensive – it can be as simple as giving yourself a foot massage after a hard day.
Write some simple affirmations about your self-worth and self-esteem and list some things you do well – and read them to yourself several times a day – out loud when possible.
Surround yourself with positivity as best you can. Read books that inspire you, visit websites like this one to find positive messages, and try to find positive people to include in your life – but don’t sweat it if you can’t find any – because you can learn to be a self-compassionate person with or without anyone else, and you are worth the effort.
The Law of Attraction is about having an inner electromagnet that pulls good things and prosperity to you – and self-respect is like the electricity you need to have within you to activate that inner electromagnet.
What Is the Link Between Self-Respect and the Law of Attraction?
When you lack self-respect and have low self-confidence, your natural tendency, your natural state, is to think disempowering thoughts – your affirmations and statements about what you want to attract in your life tend to be stated in negative terms.
Those negative statements are then the part of your inner dialogue your subconscious mind latches onto and acts upon.
So, while you may be saying, “I don’t want to be poor.” or “I am poor.” or “I don’t want to be alone.” or “I am so lonely.” – the part your subconscious hears and acts on is ‘poor’ or ‘alone’ – and that’s what you get.
The Law of Attraction is kind of like a swinging door because if your mind focuses on the positive, it brings you good things – but if you focus on the negative, as you will if you have low self-respect, it’s going to bring you the exact things you don’t want.
Self-respect is about accepting yourself, but if you only focus on and accept negative concepts about yourself, then you will always have a damaged sense of your own self-worth.
Words have power and you can use that power to build a stronger sense of self-respect and in turn, you can start attracting the things you want to attract to your life.
Create Affirmations That Help Build Self-Respect
Look realistically at the person you are and the life you’re leading – there will most likely be a mix of things you like and things you would rather not admit.
Recognizing the positive and negative things about yourself gives you a realistic place to begin building a stronger foundation of self-respect.
Take time to appreciate those positive aspects and then create a few affirmations for the negative that you want to change – and put things in positive, present terms, and add a few words about how it feels to succeed.
For a couple of examples: instead of “I never get the things I need to do finished.” try saying “I work every day to accomplish my goals and I make good progress, and it’s so satisfying.” or, instead of “I am fat and can’t seem to lose weight.” try “I work on improving my health every day, and I feel a bit better each day.”
One little note: If the people in your life are negative – don’t talk to them about your desire and efforts to have a healthy sense of self – don’t share your positive changes with someone who only wants to hold you back – because it’s very easy to slip back into a negative pattern – your self-respect is an internal thing – others might notice your newly found positivity – but it is yours and yours alone.
Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone coined the phrase positive mental attitude, and the term has taken on special importance in today’s positive thinking movement.
What Is Positive Mental Attitude?
Positive mental attitude is a method for using the power of positive thinking to achieve success in any area of life.
You start by clearly picturing what you want, then expressing it in terms as if you already have the thing, and then create affirmations around the present terms statements of your desire.
Positive Mental Attitude Quotes
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” – Napoleon Hill
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson
“No one is mocked with the yearning for that which he has no ability to attain. If he holds the right mental attitude and struggles earnestly, honestly toward his goal, he will reach it, or at least approximate to it.” – Orison Swett Marden
“Any idea, plan, or purpose may be placed in the mind through repetition of thought.” – Napoleon Hill
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
What have you done today – or what can you do today, tomorrow, and each day going forward – to develop your own positive mental attitude?
Changing your life is not as simple as making an affirmation, but effectively creating affirmations can help you tap into the unlimited power of your subconscious mind so you can easily make the changes you desire.
Read on for the details…
What Are Affirmations?
The dictionary definition of an affirmation is pretty simple: it is a form of emotional support or encouragement combined with the action or process of declaring something.
That definition implies the power behind affirmations, but it doesn’t directly address the metaphysical transmutation that happens when you learn to make and use affirmations in your life.
Why Do Affirmations Work?
For an example of why affirmations work, consider the way churches commonly use an affirmation of faith, recited by the congregation at every service.
Belief and faith generally grow slowly; so the first few times you read and say the affirmation aloud, it is just a string of words, but repetition instills the words deep in your mind as truth and eventually, assuming you keep attending the church, they become the unquestioned core of your faith.
The same principle works for any part of your life.
The use of affirmations is not limited to religious activity – you can choose what you want to reinforce in your life and create the affirmations you need to take your life where you want it to be.
How to Create Life-Changing Affirmations
To change your life, you have to change your beliefs, and then be open to following through with action.
The lucky part is, it’s so easy to create effective affirmations, and once the affirmations take hold in your subconscious mind and replace any negative self-talk that was harbored there, the action becomes easier.
Think about what you want, in as much detail as you can imagine.
Write down what you want, in present tense, making the statement as simple and short as possible.
For example, if you want to lose weight, say 20 pounds, your affirmation could be, “I weigh [# ideal weight] pounds and I live a healthy active lifestyle and I feel so [___].”
Or, if your goal is financial, an effective affirmation would be, “I receive [#] dollars per month for my [__] work and I use the money to [___] – and it feels so amazing to be able to live life on my terms.”
Read your affirmations several times a day.
Ideally, read aloud, at least first thing in the morning and last thing at night – and read silently several times through the day if it’s not possible to read aloud – like if you’re at work or if someone is around.
When you get to the point you can say your affirmations aloud without reading, close your eyes and picture yourself already in possession of the thing (or things) you are affirming.
Let your desire for whatever you are affirming become a burning desire or obsession (as long as it’s not another person – that might be bad.)
Be open to the ideas that come to you, that will help you succeed in your goal or goals, and be prepared to take action when opportunities land at your feet.
Affirmations alone won’t change your life, but making a lasting and positive change in your life is easier when you learn how to unleash and tap into the power of these amazing, life-changing power statements.
(I linked to the Napoleon Hill book, Think and Grow Rich, because it is the book that first opened my eyes to the concept of using affirmations to make life changes.)
If you’ve heard about the emotional advantages of living a clutter-free life and you’re ready to get started, writing down and repeating simple, positive affirmations can help you get started and can help you keep on decluttering when you hit a hard spot in the process.
Affirmations for Creating a Clutter-Free Life
State your affirmations in present tense, as if you have already achieved a clutter-free state, and write them down.
Using present tense and the act of writing your desires down in your own handwriting have an impact on the way your subconscious mind processes your affirmations and they affect how much success you have in the long run.
5 Examples of Affirmations for a Clutter-Free Life:
(Feel free to use these, or adapt them as needed to suit your lifestyle.)
I make progress every day by getting rid of at least three pieces of clutter.
Every day, I enjoy my life more because I have a clean, clutter-free living space.
I no longer feel the stress that comes from dealing with unwanted junk all over my home.
I always know where my shoes are, because my home is neat and tidy.
I don’t waste time looking for lost papers and keys because everything in my office has a place and I put things where they belong.
Dare to Enjoy a Life Without Clutter
“If you’ve had something for more than six months, and it’s still not repaired, it’s clutter.” – Gretchen Rubin
Deciding which of your treasure are clutter can be a challenge. One approach is the six-month test mentioned above though I would add one exception – if it gives you joy, even if unused for six months, it might not be appropriate to call it clutter.
So, for example, you’ve recited your affirmations about decluttering and you’re ready to tackle cleaning out your overstuffed kitchen cupboards…
You toss out old pans with scraped off nonstick coatings and plastic containers with missing lids – easy choices.
Then, you get to your grandmother’s gravy boat – you haven’t used it in over a year, but you love it nonetheless.
It gives you joy!
So – keep it, but make sure to make a proper space for it.
Back to Your Affirmations…
To get the most results, write your affirmations on a slip of paper and keep it handy, so you can refer to it and read it, at least, three times a day.
When you read the affirmations about decluttering, picture how your home or office will look, and let yourself experience how it will feel.
The more vividly you can picture the lifestyle you want, the more inspired you will be as you begin tossing out the clutter.
Once you have your chosen affirmations in hand, go another step and get started on decluttering to get organized- as great as affirmations are, you still have to do the work to get the lifestyle.
Have you ever doubted yourself, or felt like happiness and being treated well are things for other people to enjoy?
Have you ever thought things would finally be okay in your life if some external thing were different, or if someone else would only… ?
Many people don’t process this type of thinking as feeling or thinking like a victim, but that is exactly what it is, and it’s a cycle you can break by recognizing it and tackling it head on.
Victimization or Self-Victimization?
Victimization often begins in childhood, through abuse or bullying, where the child’s self-esteem becomes compromised.
This leads to an adulthood where the childhood victim begins to victimize himself or herself with constant affirmations of not being good enough or of deserving bad treatment.
The cycle of self-victimization then repeats over and over until it is recognized and new, positive affirmations of self-worth are instilled in the mind of the (past) victim.
How to Stop Thinking Like a Victim
“A strong, successful man * is not the victim of his environment. He creates favorable conditions. His own inherent force and energy compel things to turn out as he desires.” – Orison Swett Marden
No one could, or should, ever deny the validity of a pattern of self-victimization that began when someone treated you horribly, but it’s up to you, as an adult, to break the pattern and stop the cycle of victimization by choosing to stop the negative self-talk that is holding you down.
Become aware of negative self-talk: This type of self-talk includes anything that is a put-down to yourself, including seemingly innocent self-deprecating humor.
You can’t stop doing it if you aren’t even aware you are putting yourself in a negative pattern.
Examine the truth behind negative self-talk:Things like, “I can’t do anything right” or “I always screw everything up” are rarely factual, because no one does everything wrong.
Though those statements develop as affirmations over time and they do eventually emerge as personal truths – but they can be changed.
Don’t let anyone else plant negative statements in your mind: It’s really common for people lacking in confidence to surround themselves with narcissistic people who maintain the imbalance in a relationship with a victim.
If you can’t physically leave the person, then, at least refute the negative things they say inside your mind, and replace their words with your own, positive truths.
Write down some simple positive affirmations about things you do: Whether it’s making a great dish of pasta or being kind to animals, write down some good things about yourself and look at it several times a day, and read your positive self-talk affirmations aloud at least once a day.
If you catch yourself engaging in negative self-talk, then stop right there and review your positive affirmations.
If you are really struggling with self-esteem issues or are in a dire situation, and you need more than a bit of motivation from an article, it’s okay – and wise – to seek professional help to begin a new, healthy lifestyle. The information presented here is to help you find the motivation to start feeling empowered, but it is not intended to be a substitute for professional help if it’s needed.
Note: I would like to add ‘or woman’ to the above quote – where I added the * – for the purpose of this article – since Orison Swett Marden was a turn-of-the-century writer – when most everything was presented in masculine terms.
The first day of a new fitness routine is (usually) easy – you’re excited about the healthy new body and lifestyle you’re going to have and maybe even planning out the new clothes you’re going to get – but then the second day arrives…
If you worked out hard the first day, you’re probably waking up with sore muscles.
Then, you hop on the scale to see how much weight you lost from your amazing first day of a new diet and you find out you gained three pounds.
There goes the motivation, but this is the wrong time to give up if you really want to be fit and healthy, so you need to find some ways to stay motivated through the second day and through any future days that are rough.
4 Tips to Maintain Motivation for a New Fitness Regimen
Have a backup plan (a simple one) that you can easily push through when you aren’t feeling motivated – or when you’re sore.
For exercise, this can be as simple as taking a short walk or choosing a few of your favorite songs to listen to while you dance around the house – not every workout has to be intense.
Plan for healthy eating and snacking ahead of time.
For your diet plan, have on hand (or get) some healthy foods you can eat without a lot of preparation time, so you aren’t so tempted to grab a bag of chips or cookies when you’re hungry or tired – but if you do nosh on a bit too much ice cream – so what – it’s just one snack – so go ahead and enjoy it, then get back on track afterwards.
Feed your spirit while you are changing your physical state.
Add some positivity exercises, such as affirmations, meditation, or meditative yoga to your plan to make a holistic fitness plan – increasing your positivity is only going to help you in the long run.
Have realistic expectations because change can be rapid but it doesn’t happen overnight.
This is where you need to give yourself a break — if you have fitness problems, they didn’t develop overnight and it’s going to take some time to put them behind you – plus most weight problems have some emotional baggage behind them that you need to address for successful weight loss and to have a healthier lifestyle.
Stay Motivated! You Can Do It!
Life changes can be hard, especially when you’re talking about something like weight or a fitness issue because they often are so intrinsically linked to emotional pain, so it’s really important to build success into your new fitness regimen if you want to succeed,
Stay motivated through the second day of your new fitness plan, and through every day, and you will find it much easier to reach your fitness goals.