Notice also that Bonnie's words are in present tense, not the future or some promise like "I can," or "I will." The future never comes. As Bonnie begins feeling better daily, she can update her affirmation to be bigger, though still believable, and feel even better.
Although I'm a fan of big intentions, experience has shown that if they are too big to start with, they are unattainable and set us up for failure. As we practice positive affirmations and begin to see lasting change, we can make some bigger jumps in the next ones because we've reprogrammed ourselves to feel successful in reaching for and achieving. It's like goal setting: you can set them all you want, but it's goal-achieving you're really after, isn't it? Therefore, it makes sense to start slowly and gain momentum with success, rather than to fail miserably because you set your intentions too high or made your affirmations too big.
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Here's your step-by-step plan for more successful positive affirmations for lasting change.
- Determine what you want to adjust or replace.
- Realize it takes practice. Go easy on yourself while being consistent — 3-5 times per day.
- Speak in positive terms of what you do want.
- Be specific about how many, how much, or when.
- Keep your affirmations in present tense, as if they are happening now.
- Tap into the positive feeling of already having achieved what you want — either by recalling a past experience or by borrowing feelings from a different situation.
- Hold the feeling for at least 17 seconds while speaking your affirmation out loud over and over.
- Give yourself time to practice holding the feeling because at first it might only be possible for 3 or 5 seconds. Practice, practice, practice.
- Remember that you are practicing, rather than trying. Try implies doubt while practice makes you better.
Please feel free to share an affirmation in the comments area. It might really spark someone else to use it or come up with their own... and will allow us to cheer you on!
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