Set aside some time, about fifteen or twenty minutes.
You will need paper and something to write with.
Spend some quiet time thinking about yourself and your situation and what it is that you want to change about yourself.
Write down how you feel
Then take the pen and paper and start writing lots of short sentences starting with ‘I’. For example ‘I am…’, ‘I feel..’, ‘ I want…’, ‘I need…’, ‘I think….’ . Use actual paper, not a word processor. The act of physically writing and forming the shapes engages your brain differently. Write on one side of the paper only. Just let the words flow. Do as many as you can as fast as you can. Don’t think about the exact words, don’t agonise over whether it is right or wrong or whether it is original or anything else. Just write. And keep writing for about ten minutes or until nothing new is coming out. Look over what you have written, and if anything else occurs to you, write that down as a sentence.
Create the strips
When you are done, cut or tear the paper into strips so that each sentence is on its own bit of paper.
Throw away any sentences that are facts like ‘ I am five feet tall’ or ‘I need to lose weight’. Throw away any sentences that you can’t do anything about, for example ‘I didn’t do well at school’ or ‘I need more time‘. Only keep the ones that are about feelings, attitudes, beliefs.
Sort the strips into piles
Now mix all the strips up and pull them out one at a time and put them into piles that relate to the same thing. Some strips might belong in several piles. That is OK. Write out a copy of the original sentence and put the copies into as many piles as needed.
Sort though each pile, there might be lots of strips or there might be only one or two. It doesn’t matter. There is no right number. Now get a fresh bit of paper and write a label for each pile, and label it with what it is about. Just sit back and become aware of any relationship between the labels. You might find you need to rewrite the labels several times. You might want to rearrange the piles.
Separate the strips
Now, take each pile and sort the strips into positive and negative. Notice whether any are contradictory, they show that you have a conflict about the subject. Read each negative strip aloud, and challenge the idea. Ask yourself, ‘How do I know this is true?, How would I prove to someone else that this sentence is true?’ Think about the sentence, and think about what you would advise someone else who said that, how you would get them to change, and what they would do.
Balance all the negative strips
Match up every negative strip with a positive strip. If there is no positive strip, then create one. Write a sentence that is the opposite of the negative one. Say it aloud. Repeat it and change it until it sounds just right.
Do that for each pile. You will probably find that your attitude to each pile changes and you might need to relabel the piles.
Write down you goals
When you have done every pile, get some more paper and create five bigger labels. These bigger labels are for listing your goals.
Write one of the words ‘Financial, Health, Self Improvement, Relationships, Community’ on a label. Now spend some time thinking about what you want for each goal, and write down some things you will have achieved in one year, and in five years. Only write three to five things for each goal. You can spend some deciding what you want and you can go back and change them as many times as you want. When you are happy that the things you have listed are what you really want, and are possible to get, write out a clean copy of your goals.
Find where the energy is for your goals
Now put the goal labels next to the piles of strips, and move them around and feel what piles will help to achieve that goal. Focus on finding the most powerful goal and pile combination. You might have to create some more positive strips.
Get rid of the negative strips
When you have got the arrangement the way you want, take away all the negative strips. Look at each one and imagine how you would like to get rid of it. You can actually burn them, or flush them down the toilet, whatever you feel is best.
Start focussing on your goals
The next step is to start getting those goals. You are going to put those goal labels in places where you will come upon them unexpectedly. Put one in the cutlery drawer so you see it the next time to go to get a spoon. Put one on the bathroom mirror. Put one on the driving seat of the car. Keep moving them around so they pop up and make you take notice. If you go out for example, throw one on the floor without looking, so it will surprise you when you come back. Then pick it up and read your goals again, and ask ‘What have I done today towards that goal?’. ‘What could I have done?’ and resolve to do it.
Start using your affirmations
What you have left is the positive strips. These are your affirmations. By going through this process every affirmation is linked to a goal. You need to find a way of going over these affirmations daily. What to do is to select a few of the strips each day and put them in your pocket, or on your desktop, and whenever you have a moment, take one out and say your positive affirmation out loud. You can select one when waiting for the traffic lights, or the next time you look at the clock, or any other time. Get into the habit of pulling one at random, saying the sentence and thinking about it leading to your goal. The constant repetition and the focus on what you want will make it all come true sooner than you ever dreamed possible.