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Motivation and Affirmations: How to Use Affirmations to Achieve Your Goals

Updated on October 5, 2018

What is Motivation

Motivation is the reason or cause for an action or behavior. You want or need something so you take action to get it. The outcome you want is the goal. It is the desired result. You take action to achieve you goal. Most of the time people eat because they are hungry. Hunger is the motivation. Not feeling hungry anymore is the goal. Sometimes stress or boredom motivate people to eat. A person might eat junk food to stop feeling bored or to stop being stressed.

People will diet and exercise because they want to look good and be healthy. They will work hard because they want more money. They will clean their house because they want to live in a clean house. People take action because they want to accomplish a goal. However having a goal does not always lead to action. Often people do not take the actions they need to accomplish their goals. They have reasons to take action but they don't.

When you don't take action you need more motivation.

Exercise equipment is often left unused because exercise requires more motivation than turning on the TV and sitting on the couch.
Exercise equipment is often left unused because exercise requires more motivation than turning on the TV and sitting on the couch.

Goal setting

Setting goals helps you be more productive. They give you something to work towards so you accomplish more. Goals should be measurable, actionable and achievable. You should be able to measure your success. You should be able to take action and the outcome you want should be possible. Having an outcome in mind is not enough. You need a way to get the outcome. You should also have a deadline.

If you want to achieve a goal then write it down on paper or type it. Focus on what you want instead what you don't want. Think of the actual outcome you want and the things you want to do to accomplish them. If you want to be lean so your pants fit then that is the outcome you want. Losing 10 pounds is a bad goal. Most weight loss goals are bad. They set people up to fail. I use fitness goals instead.

One of my goals was to bike to a beach that was 37 miles away.
One of my goals was to bike to a beach that was 37 miles away. | Source

Affirmations Meaning

Affirmations are statements that are said like they are facts. Affirmations confirm that something is true. While they are said like they are facts they do not need to be true. Positive affirmations use positive phrases like "I can" and "I am". Negative affirmations use negative words like "can't" and "not". People use affirmations all the time but they are often negative. When affirmations are repeated they can influence your beliefs, your actions, how you feel and even your health.


I am lucky.
I make my own luck.
I accomplish my goals.
I like to eat healthy food.
I like to relax.
I relax my body and mind.
I like to exercise.
I do 10 push ups a day.
I keep my room clean.
I like to be productive in my free time.
I do one thing a day to declutter and organize my house.
I exercise when I watch TV.

Why Affirmations Work?

You can feel really relaxed by telling yourself that you are becoming more and more relaxed. I use affirmations when I meditate. Telling yourself that you can do something can give you the confidence and strength you need to do it. Before biking 30 miles for the first time I told myself I could. Repeating facts over and over again can help you remember.

Affirmations work because they get you to think about the things you really want. They give you the confidence you need to take action and they help you remember to take action. Affirmations reprogram your mind. Computer programs use IF THEN and WHILE statements. So do people. Affirmations can change a statement like "If it is 8:00 pm then I watch TV on the couch." to "If it is 8:00pm then I watch TV while exercising.".

Affirmations help people relax during meditation.
Affirmations help people relax during meditation. | Source

Why Affirmations Do Not Work?

Sometimes affirmations make you feel like you already accomplish your goal. You feel like you already accomplished your goal so you don't take action. Other affirmations do not inspire you to take action because they are too general. Working hard does not always give you the results you want. Affirmations that motivate you to do the wrong action do not help you achieve your goal.

Positive affirmations that work for other people may not work for you. Find ones that work for you or make your own. Maybe you tried affirmations before and they did not work or you just assume they don't. Affirmations are instructions. If you choose to ignore the instructions then the affirmations will not work. You need to keep an open mind.

How to Use Affirmations Effectively

Affirmations should inspire you take action. Start with an affirmation that will help you achieve your goal. For example "I do one thing a day to declutter and organize my house.". Write it down, type it, read it and say it over and over again. 10 minutes a day for 5 days might be enough. If the affirmation does not work for you then change it. Making it more specific can help. So can adding a time. If you keep forgetting about it then spend more time repeating it. Figure out what works for you.

Use one affirmation to change how you feel and another to change how you act. Associate the action with a positive feeling. Tell yourself that you like taking the action. "Cold showers are refreshing." "I like to take cold showers." Affirmations like that make it a lot easier to follow through with the action. I know because I tested them to see if they would work.

Forming new habits can be difficult. You can make it easier using to do lists, setting alarms and leaving reminders where you will see them. If repeating affirmations is not enough I can set an alarm on my phone to remind me to take action. I have a to do list on my phone that makes it easy to keep track of the actions I took to achieve my goals.

Check List

keep them brief
make a to do list
repeat as needed
keep track of your actions
keep them positive
keep track of your progress
short term
write them down
set a time
limit of 2 or 3 at a time
include an action
use reminders
focus on what you want
make them specific
try to have fun
write them down
include a feeling
form a habit
start with "I"
make sure correct action
short term
personalize them
work smarter, not harder
Start by motivating yourself to take simple actions like cleaning your room and exercising.
Start by motivating yourself to take simple actions like cleaning your room and exercising. | Source

Using Affirmations For Motivation

Having a goal does not always lead to action because people often want lots of different things at the same time. You don't have the time or enegery to accomplish all of your goals. So you only accomplish a few of them. Usually we choose to focus on the goals that are the easiest to accompish like watching a TV show.

Pressing a button to turn on the TV is easy. Most people do not get enough exercise because exercise is hard work. It requires more time and energy. So it requires more motivation. One way to increase your motivation is to use affirmations. Affirm that you are going to take the actions that you need to take to get what you want. Repeat the affirmations to reprogram your mind so you feel motivated take action.

Think of 2 or 3 short term goals you want to accomplish. Come up with some affirmations that will motivate you to take action. Spend 5 to 10 minutes a day repeating the affirmations to reprogram your mind. When it is time, try to take action and form a new habit. Keep track of the things you did to accomplish your goal. When you accomplish a goal move on to another one.

Use the affirmations to help you form new habits. Repeat as needed. The idea is to reprogram you mind, not to waste your time. You should not need to keep repeating the same affirmation every day. Stop repeating an affirmation over and over again when you do not need it anymore.

I had too many goals and not enough motivation to take action. So I started using affirmations to be more productive in my free time. Now when I have free time I think about doing things to accomplish my goals. Repeating affirmations gave me the extra motivation I needed to take action.

© 2018 Michael H


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