Tools for Change

When you want to change a personal situation or negative attitude or bad habit, making the decision to do so, is the first important step. However, just making the decision won’t bring about the change. Further action is required, starting in our sub-conscious mind and then eventually reality. From the decision, create a mental picture of what you want, this is your goal. This goal becomes an affirmation when you write it down and use it to programme your subconscious.

An affirmation is a statement of fact or belief written in the positive, present tense as though the goal was already achieved. When written correctly, your affirmations are a powerful tool, which help create your dreams and move them into external reality. Writing your affirmations down gives them a precision they will never have if they remain only in your mind.

An important step when using affirmations as a tool for change is visualisation. Visualising the desire as a colourful picture with emotion, imprints the new self-image, and speeds up the process of change.

To practise with this tool select something you want to change or a goal you really want then go through the following process:

  1. Get a really clear picture in your mind of what you want.
  2. How strong is your desire? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to get it?
  3. Be aware of the possible set-backs and what you need to do to overcome them.
  4. See everything in the first person and in the present moment.
  5. Use all your senses and emotions to experience the desired result.
  6. Exclude all negative opinions, pictures and emotions.
  7. Repeat the experience over and over.
  8. Compare your vision regularly with current reality. It is the gap between what we want and what we have that creates the drive to bring the vision into reality.

For example you may decide to lose weight. You need to determine the exact weight you wish to be. Visualise it frequently and feel the appropriate emotions (you are wearing slimmer clothes, you feel healthier) and regularly stand on the scales so that you are aware of the gap between what you are visualising and your reality. The key to success, once you have the picture, is simply repetition.

The easy way to write an affirmation is to look at the problem. Then describe in one simple sentence what it would be like if you did not have the problem. For example:

“I have ugly nails which I bite” What would it be like if I didn’t have the problem? “ I have beautiful, elegant fingernails”

Guidelines for writing affirmations


You can only affirm for yourself. Affirmations are written with the word “I” in them. The desired change will only come about because of something you do, and your inner picture will change because of your affirmation. In writing your affirmations you are changing your self-image and the image of your world


Always describe the positive outcome you want to move towards, not the negative situation you want to move away from. Do not say a negative affirmation ie: “I am no longer lazy” instead use a positive statement ie: “I am energetic.”

The more positive an emotion you feel when picturing your goals the faster your affirmations will work for you. Some examples of starting phrases are: I warmly, I happily, I lovingly, I enthusiastically.


Affirmations are written as if they are happening right now. Use your imagination – it gets easier with practice. We use the present tense because this is the only time frame our subconscious operates on.


Get rid of words like: will, should, want to, could, maybe etc. Include phrases such as I do, I have, I am, I can. It is important to give your subconscious a clear picture of the end result as though it has already been achieved.


Don’t compare yourself to others. The process of affirming is a private process. Your measurement of growth is based on yourself. Only tell those who you know will support you and help you achieve your goals. Without really meaning to hold you back the people around you may get upset when you start to change and grow.


After writing your affirmation, close your eyes and picture it. You need to see yourself there, visualise it, and imagine it. Do not affirm perfection it is self-defeating.

Use words that create action pictures ie: I easily, I confidently, I quickly, I love etc…


If your goal is to exercise regularly, what type of exercise? Is it walking, swimming or cycling? How often daily, weekly or monthly? At what time 9am or 6pm? Your affirmation must be very specific. If it is written in general terms your picture will be too vague and it will give you an excuse not to achieve. Clarity and accuracy about our goals make us accountable and accountability is the stimulus of achievement.


Set goals and write affirmations in all areas of your life to assure balance.


Here are some sample Affirmations:

I am healthy and energetic because I treat my body with love and respect.

I work hard and my family benefit from my success.

I am a confident, caring businessman/ woman.

I am relaxed and well prepared for my exams.

Giving presentations in front of others is fun and up-lifting.

I live a comfortable and happy life.

I am fair and just in all my dealings with people.

I enjoy repeating affirmations because of the positive and quick results.

I remain calm in stressful situations.

I express myself well and I know that others respect my point of view.

I quietly do worthwhile things for others.

I am accountable for the results of my decisions and actions.

I am relaxed, calm, and clear-headed.

I am my own expert and I accept only positive opinions from others.

Through the warmth and love I show my children, they show warmth & love to others.

I am financially responsible for my life.

I am organised and enjoy my neat, orderly house.

I am 100% alive – thinking, speaking and acting with enthusiasm.

I have an excellent memory with clear and easy recall.

I am a worthy, capable and valuable person.

Posted in Choices, Coaching, Goals and tagged , , , , , .

Anne McKeown