Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for a PDF version and other notes.
If you’re new to Daily Prompts, you may want to start at the beginning of the series here.
Year______ Month_______Day______Consecutive Practice Days_____Missed Days______
Gratitude: (The downloadable PDF below has lines for each entry!)
Ok. Now things are getting weird.
I was introduced to the idea of daily affirmations as early as middle school. I’ve been a personal development junkie for that long. Back then I was receptive to the ideas, but as I matured, I became a much more skeptical and rational thinker. The thought of some woo-woo magic happening from a daily affirmation really put me off. There’s only one problem with that skepticism…
This internal conflict between my rejection of “magic” and the evidence that daily affirmations seem to be an effective tool has prompted me to try to reconcile these two competing ideas. I can use daily affirmations without really knowing how they work, as long as they work. But I’m still curious how.
In his book, “The Brain That Changes Itself”, Norman Doidge, M.D gives us a spectacular view into the brain’s ability to change based on its own thinking. This idea might lead to a deep philosophical rabbit hole that might even take us back to magic, but I like to think of it as a mystery that inspires wonder and optimism. If thoughts themselves can “rewire” our brains to think differently (and it’s been irrefutably demonstrated to be the case), then we literally have the power to change ourselves using practices of thought.
This is how I look at Affirmations. Not magic, per se, but a tool to utilize the structure of our brain’s natural mechanisms of adaptation. But, as I mentioned, we don’t really need to know how a tool works as long as we learn to use the tool to effectively produce the results we want. So if you’re curious about “how it works”, great! I recommend getting Dr. Doidge’s book for starters. I’m never one to discourage curiosity. But, for this journal, we’re just going to assume the tools work and focus on using them effectively.
What is an Affirmation?
For our purposes, let’s define an Affirmation as a statement that places the “future you” that you desire into the present.
The components of an effective Affirmation are:
- A description of a trait you desire in yourself for the future stated in the present tense.
- An emotional response to the trait as if you already possessed it.
- The trait should be something in your direct control.
We’ll get more into the details tomorrow, but let’s dive into the practice right now.
Take a few moments to come up with a sentence or two that describes a version of yourself that you want to develop. Remember to use language that is present-tense, as if you already possessed the traits, and describe how if feels to be that version of yourself.
Daily: (The pdf version below contains three lined pages for your daily journal)
The above is an excerpt from the upcoming The Lyceum Course Journal. We will be releasing it here for free as a Daily Prompt blog post. If you would like a physical copy, we will link to it here once it is released.
I realize a daily journal prompt on a blog is a little weird. This is how I would suggest using it: Open your favorite note-taking software such as Evernote, copy and paste this post into it, and write your daily entries there.
Download a PDF version of this post here. Feel free to print it out, or access it through a PDF editor where you can type in your daily entry.
Collaborate With Me!
This post series is a first draft of the future book. If you have suggestions, comments, or see errors, please reach out so that I can make the final product more valuable for you and the rest of the community. Your feedback is greatly appreciated!