Affirmations are positive statements that express a desired state or outcome and which are repeated often.

I’ll cover why affirmations work later but for now let’s look at how to construct an affirmation.

For affirmations to be effective they must meet the following criteria:

1. Affirmations must be in the present tense
So rather than saving something like “I will be good at maths” you would say “I am very good at maths”.
2. Affirmations must be positive
Using positive expressions are important as you want to target your desired outcome. So, for instance, instead of saying “I will not eat junk food” you would say “I always eat healthy food”.
3. Affirmations must be short
This is for two reasons. If the affirmation is too long you lose focus and you need to focus on your target state.  The second reason is that short affirmations are much easier to remember and thus you are more likely to say them more often.
4. Affirmations must be specific
Being specific in your affirmation also helps with focus. So rather than saying “I do well on maths tests” you might say “I achieve over 95% on maths tests”. If you can believ it you could say instead “I achieve 100% on maths tests”, which leads into the next point…
5. Affirmations must be believable
You have to believe in what you are saying, or at least, you have to believe that while it may not be true now, it will be true at some time in the future.  If you can’t believe it the affirmation will not be effective. In that case you might want to “scale down” the affirmation or replace it with others that will help you to develop the belief.

Well, that’s a brief introduction to what affirmations are. Next time we’ll discuss why they work.