A daily affirmation is the act of saying something out loud every day in order to train your mind to understand and be conscious of something that you can’t seem to remember by yourself. The simpler that something is, the easier the training will ultimately be.
One past example that I personally had some success with was my attempt to completely cease complaining. I am often asked why I chose this particular niggling flaw to remove, and unfortunately the answer is a complaint. All you need to know is that every morning when I got out of bed, and dealt with the alarm clock, I would stare at my own eyes in the mirror and audibly declare “I am not going to complain today.”
And yes, you have to speak the words each time, and yes you have to look at your own eyes while doing it even though it makes you feel silly. And it is silly, but it works. I was just thankful to not be staying in any hostels at this point in my life. It began working immediately. My thoughts at that time of day are susceptible, sluggish bores. The daily affirmation adds a mental element to the otherwise physical routine that comes from having to bathe and leave your house daily at an unnatural hour. On the second morning of my “complaining” affirmation, I spent my entire shower dwelling on the words I had just dreamily spoken. These thoughts become part of your procedure, right there with the shampoo and conditioner. The more you spend your morning thinking about this change you are trying to effect in yourself, the more it begins spreading into your afternoon. If you choose something properly undemanding, on a long enough timeline it becomes effortless to carry this thought with you from the moment you look dumb in the mirror until you lay your head on the pillow at night.
Another trick I use in order to ease the transition is a purposeful interruption of my day whenever I catch myself making a mistake. By interrupting my day whenever I found myself complaining I was given proper time to reflect on everything from whether or not there were appropriate times to complain, to why I began complaining in the first place. I would also speed up the entire process by apologizing to whoever I happened to be speaking to when I had let a complaint slip mid-conversation. “…and she didn’t even want to work that shift, she just was pissed because— Oh. I am sorry, I was just complaining.” This would occasionally create an embarrassing tangent in the conversation that I was eager to avoid in the future. I still complain here and there of course, but their occurrences have dropped drastically. And even if you never shake a single vice in your life, it is still worth your time to think about them.
I encourage the act of daily affirmation as often as I can while still effectively dodging the label of “that daily affirmations guy”. And so to you, I offer a few easy examples in the hopes that you can have similar success:
“I am going to work on my posture.”
“I will not yell at the neighbors dog. He cannot understand me nor can he relate to me.”
“I will tidy up as I go.”
“Stop opening the bathroom cabinet before you have the bathroom door completely closed. You’ve been here over a month already, and will one day have to explain the scratches in the paint.”
The human experience is made up of an uncountable amount of habits and quirks that we pick up along the way. Some of these habits are detrimental to our goals and desires. Daily affirmations are a useful tool I use to figure out which of these negative ones that I am personally able to change, and then do the work required to change them.