Let me start by saying that I am decidedly not a woo-woo type person.
But when the situation requires it, I am known to throw everything I’ve got at the obstacles I’m facing.
So while I often prefer to rely on a regular routine of planning and scheduling, I occasionally need to call in some back up.
Now let’s be clear.
Affirmations do come from a new age-y approach that, honestly, I’m a) not all that familiar with and b) not all that interested in.
So why do I use them?
Because despite a well laid plan and careful scheduling, honestly, sometimes I start to freak out over my workload.
Perhaps you know that feeling, too?
In these moments, I use affirmations to shift my focus from my stress and panic, to my strengths and my goals instead.
I’m not suggesting that affirmations make your work easier, per se, but I am suggesting that affirmations can help re-direct your energy in a more productive way.
Here are six of my favorite affirmations that I use literally all of the time, including details on how you can customize them and make the most use out of them.
I am time.
This one is literally my favorite and a total gamechanger for me.
I first heard of this affirmation in a book called The Big Leap.
(To be honest, I didn’t love the book so this is not a full blown recommendation. But in the spirit of “take what works for you and leave the rest,” this sentence has totally improved the quality of my life.)
I find myself using this one every Sunday.
On Sundays, I do laundry, food prep for the week, and catch up on my business stuff.
When events get in the way of my Sundays, it always makes me nervous because I really need that time to prepare and feel good about the week ahead.
When I start to freak out, I use this affirmation. I have even started using it when the T is running late so I feel less stressed about getting into the office later than I hoped.
The book talks about time in a meta-physical way that, honestly, I can’t follow, but the gist is basically that time is a social construct.
But I know that freaking out is not how I maximize productivity so it’s helpful to have something to remind myself that I have enough time to get my stuff done.
What would my future self thank me for?
Pretty sure a question isn’t technically an affirmation, but I do love this one because it helps me (and my clients) focus on what I want in the long term (i.e. to be fit and healthy!) versus what I want in the short term (i.e. order pizza and watch TV!).
For example, when I think about how I will feel if I skip the gym and order takeout, I know that I’ll feel guilty and disappointed.
But when I think about how I feel after a great workout, I know it will be worth it.
This is one of the first affirmations that I ever used. I’ve even blogged about it before. I keep it written on my bulletin board and I have it on a Post It at home too.
I am moving in the direction of my goal.
One of the main things I’ve learned from coaching and being coached is that there is an ebb and a flow to progress.
You see obstacles are just part of the process.
They don’t necessarily signify “THE END,” there just a sign to re-group, de-brief and start over again.
The process of progress requires dealing with obstacles.
Knowing that you’re moving forward, even when it may not feel like, is an important mindset shift.
Everything can be figured out.
I do not know everything.
But I am a prolific Google-er, a thorough researcher, and an enthusiastic brainstormer.
In short, I’m a great problem solver.
I’m not above tracking down the right people and asking, and even paying, for help when I need to get things done.
A lot of my clients feel like they need to be experts, but problem solving is a valuable skill.
This little mantra helps to remind me when I’m faced with something for the first time that just because I don’t know how to do something now, I can always figure it out.
(And you can too.)
I am clear, I am focused, I am productive, I am energized.
One of my favorite personal tools is the Daily Greatness Journal and Planner. Among other things, the journal includes daily prompts that start with “I am…” and the user gets to fill in the blank.
Over the last several weeks, I found myself using the same words, day after day: clear, focused, productive and energized.
Now these words have also found their way onto a Post It that I keep at my desk.
Starting each day (or, let’s be honest — most days!) by actually writing these things down is a powerful reminder of how I need to feel and approach my work for maximum productivity.
And remember, your situation is unique so be sure to use the words that will matter to you!
I choose to feel health today.
In February I came down with the flu.
And because I have asthma, the symptoms lingered and lingered. And lingered.
I missed days of work and stopped blogging for a few weeks.
The only thing that I was able to do was keep up with client calls, and even then, I felt like I was coughing the entire time.
I decided to switch up my affirmations and mantras to include my health. Every morning and every evening, I would write and say out loud, “I choose to feel healthy.”
Sometimes I coughed the whole way through it, but I just pretended that I suddenly had control over whether I was sick or not.
And it felt powerful.
Committing to becoming healthy– out loud, every morning — led to other small changes, like short daily walks, lots of rest and plenty of liquids.
It isn’t that I simply spoke myself well, but I committed to doing what it would take to get better.
If you’re in need of a shift in your energy or priorities or if you’re having trouble overcoming some obstacles, pick a couple of affirmations and write them down every morning. Or most mornings.
Or leave them on a Post It near your desk or in your planner.
You don’t have to engage in the “woo woo” to allow these phrases to serve as a gentle reminder that you have more control over your actions than you think.
Do you have any favorite affirmations? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to add to this list!