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I had this idea that, as I entered the New Year, I would be met with an internal shift that steered clear of the ubiquitous phase of ever mounting resolutions January 1st is usually met with. It seemed not so, however, when, no matter where I went or what I did, I was forced to hear or read about them.

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Resolutions are by no means a bad thing, but I certainly don’t think they’re looked at in the right way by the masses. In fact, on New Year’s Day I was hiking up a mountain so jam-packed with people that both parking lots to either side of the mountain were closed off — leaving only the truly motivated to walk a good bit before joining the early birds.

As I hiked up, waiting occasionally in a single-file line for people to come up or down the windy, strenuous, loose-rock surfaces teetering on the edge of the mountain, I heard time and time again some form of, “I can’t wait for January to be over so people can give up their resolutions and I can hike in peace.” It was disheartening to say the least. I found myself becoming defensive inside. I so badly wanted to speak up and inform them that I do this all the time. It’s not a resolution. But that was my ego. And then I thought: So what if this was actually my resolution? Why do other people get to decide when I am going to give up? 

It just made me realize that people are set up for failure with this word. And it made me wonder if there was another way of going about it. Sure, there are plenty, but “affirmation” kept sticking in my mind.

In fact, when I researched resolutions, I came across an article that pointed me even more so in the direction of affirmations. Marquette Magazine asked Dr. Ed de St. Aubin, an associate professor of psychology at Marquette, whether or not new year’s resolutions are good for you. His response was: “When it comes to making new year’s resolutions, think a bit about what kinds of goals you are pursuing. Many may seem superficial (lose some weight) or pedestrian (manage debt better). That’s fine. Go ahead and work on these goals. But allow yourself to think big as well. What do you value in life? What provides you with meaning? What kind of world do you want to live in?”

What Is An Affirmation?

Firstly, for the purposes of this article, positive and negative will be used as words to help us define and understand common themes and experiences people put into these categories. I.E. we may perceive getting fired from a job as negative or going to a fun event as positive. Many times positive and negative experiences are subjective. There is also much we can learn from both sides of this polarity.

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In order to reach a yearned for experience, ‘positive’ statements, called affirmations, are repeated in order to make a mark on the subconscious mind until they become a reality. As a practice, they are highly praised for their proven ability to rewire our brains as a means to promote self-improvement, as they aid in heightening feel-good hormones, working to provide us with the power of positivity via our beliefs.

When we are constantly focusing on the ‘negative,’ we say and believe negative things, which only makes way for us following through with negative actions and creating . So it only makes sense that if we do the opposite — think, speak, and do positively — we make way for a happier self. This ties back to resolutions. If we have the power in us to think we can follow through, then the chances are greater that we actually will.

So, if our beliefs shape our reality, then why are we allowing ourselves (and others) to believe and say “I can’t” and “I know I’ll fail” over and over again?

Welcoming the New Year isn’t a time to reflect on all that we didn’t accomplish last year, it’s a time to believe; from what we think of ourselves to how we view the world we live in, what we say makes way for what we will truly do.

Where To Start

Spend time writing down affirmations that pertain the most to what you need in your life and then carve out a few minutes each day to read and say them. Allow the words to manifest deeply as they shine from the inside out.

Here Are 20 Affirmations To Consider:

  1. I wake up each morning with intention and purpose.
  2. Creative energy surges through me and leads me to new and brilliant ideas.
  3. My ability to conquer my challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite.
  4. Every day, I learn and continue to grow into the best version of myself.
  5.  I am at peace with all that has happened, is happening, and will happen.
  6. My obstacles are moving out of my way; my path is carved towards greatness.
  7. I accept, love, and appreciate myself, exactly as I am.
  8. I am open to abundance, joy, and pleasure.
  9. My future is an ideal projection of what I envision now.
  10. I acknowledge my own self-worth; my confidence is soaring.
  11. Today is meaningful, important, and special.
  12. Today, I abandon my old habits and take up new, more positive ones.
  13. I listen to my needs and prioritize self-care.
  14. I am courageous and I stand up for myself.
  15. I focus on breathing and grounding myself.
  16. I trust my inner wisdom and intuition.
  17. I let go of my anger so I can see clearly.
  18. I breathe in calmness and breathe out nervousness.
  19. I choose to find hopeful and optimistic ways to look at this.
  20.  I surround myself with people who treat me well.

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