January is the perfect time to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Often, this comes when making New Year’s resolutions, or a commitment to yourself to let go of unhealthy habits and create new, healthier ones. The problem with resolutions is that most people fail at following through. This can perpetuate feelings of inadequacy, decrease self-confidence, and be a detriment to mental health. Therefore, it is essential to replace resolutions to make lasting change.
A study done by the fitness app, Strava, showed that most people will ditch their resolutions completely by January 19th (also referred to as “Quitters Day”). If you want to build lasting habits that can increase your overall health and happiness, resolutions might not be the way to go. Instead, replace resolutions to make lasting change by using positive afformations.
That’s right – afformations. More than likely, you have heard of positive affirmations. Yet, you might not be familiar with the concept of positive afformations. An afformation is similar in sentiment to an affirmation. But, instead of repeating a statement to yourself, you’re posing a question to invoke further thought. The idea behind this is that the subconscious mind is more receptive to questions than statements. Asking yourself an empowering question changes your beliefs by forcing your brain to search for the positive, not the negative.
As many have found, it is all too easy to disagree with your own affirmations. For example, you can say, “I look great today,” each morning in the mirror. But, if you don’t truly love the way you look, it probably won’t yield positive results. You’ll simply follow the affirmation with, “Actually, no, I don’t look great today.”
When using positive afformations, you get to dig deeper and focus not on what’s wrong with you and what you lack, but what’s right with you and what you have.
There are 3 simple steps to using positive afformations to reframe your thoughts from negative to positive:
- Step 1: State an affirmation (I look great today)
- Step 2: Ask yourself how or why this affirmation is true. Why do I look great today?
- Step 3: Answer the question. I look great today because I’m having a good hair day and my necklace is beautiful.
Notice in the answer, I didn’t mention that my pants are snug, or that my shoes are scuffed. I focused only on the positive evidence to support my affirmation.
Here are 5 examples of afformations you can try this year to shift to more positive thinking.
Example Affirmation: People enjoy talking to me.
Example Afformation: Why do people enjoy talking to me?
Example Answer: People enjoy talking to me because I am a good listener. I make them laugh, and I have interesting things to say.
Example Affirmation: I deserve happiness.
Example Afformation: Why do I deserve happiness?
Example Answer: I deserve happiness because I am a caring human being with good intentions.
Example Affirmation: I am successful.
Example Afformation: How am I successful?
Example Answer: I am successful because I work hard. I pay attention. I am capable. I am committed to success.
Example Affirmation: I am resilient.
Example Afformation: How am I resilient?
Example Answer: I adapt in the face of adversity. I am strong. I can make it through anything.
Example Affirmation: I am true to myself.
Example Afformation: How am I true to myself?
Example Answer: I stand up for what I believe in. I set healthy boundaries. I value my happiness.
Of course, your answers will vary. The more in-depth, detailed, and positively you answer your own afformation, the better your results. Try one of these each day. And, really consider your answers to the questions. These answers come from your positive thoughts and beliefs about yourself. Repeating positive afformations can help to shift your beliefs and allow you to see your true value.
While these tips can help many people, they may not help everyone. If you struggle to switch your thoughts from negative to positive, consider making an appointment for a free consultation to see if therapy could be right for you. Simply contact me so I can learn more about your goals. Then, I can explain to you how I can help you reach them.