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 free PDF below provides you with lined sections for your entries)
Vision: (The free PDF below provides you with lined sections for your entries)
Future thinking in the present tense trains your brain to believe that you already possess the trait that you’re attempting to foster. When you structure your Affirmation in such a way that you’re expressing an emotional response to that trait, you will begin to rise to that expectation. You will acquire the trait because your brain doesn’t want the conflict between what you believe and how you act. You’ll begin to resolve this conflict by acting in alignment with your belief.
An easy way to practice this is by starting with how it would feel to possess your desired habit:
“I feel such a sense of pride that I ________”
Because we’re attempting to get an emotional response to the trait you desire, we need to make sure we’re stating the traits in a positive sense. Your brain is really good at a lot of things, but it really sucks at dismissing negativity. I think it’s an evolutionary thing. Survival may be more likely if we pay attention to negative circumstances. Most of us no longer need to worry about saber-toothed tigers though. So, I don’t think this natural tendency serves us very well.
One way we can combat this is by taking care of the language we use. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but just for a moment, try really hard to NOT think of a pink elephant. Don’t see the strange wrinkly pink skin. Don’t imagine how big it would be standing next to you. Hey! Stop it! I told you NOT to think of a pink elephant.
Nearly impossible. That’s because words are symbols used to convey reality or concepts. So we tend to think in response to whatever words we hear (or read, or say, or think). Now that you’ve been reminded of this, you can learn to use Affirmations more effectively. If we loosely define Affirmations as “self-talk”, we all use affirmations all the time. The problem is that when we aren’t mindful of the structure of this self-talk, we misuse the tool for destruction. It’s like using a hammer, not to build, but to punch holes in the wall and smash our thumbs in the process.
When we say, “I wish I wasn’t such a procrastinator”. We are smashing with that hammer. That statement literally brings up a mental image of you being a procrastinator. As if putting things off is just part of your unchanging identity. I hate to even write it out as an example, but I want to drive this home for you.
You are not the negative traits that you want to change. That’s not who you are. You are the positive movement forward. You are the change.
You can learn to identify as that change by using the tools more effectively.
“I feel such a sense of pride that I’m a do-er. It feels so satisfying to have developed the habit of getting things done! I feel so at peace knowing that I get things done in a timely manner. My leisure time is relaxing and rewarding as a result.”
It probably felt better just reading that than the previous example. And that wasn’t even your own Affirmation!
Now it’s your turn. Think of one or two traits, skills, habits, or results that you’d like to acquire. State your emotional response to the positive description set in the present tense.
Affirmations: (The free PDF below provides you with lined sections for your entries)
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!