Using the Power of Words to Reach Your Goals

This is the time of year when we make goals or think about where we want to go or what we want to do in life. Some of us make lists with steps. Some of us just ponder or “dream.” Wherever you fall on the goals measuring line, I have a powerful tool to help you reach them. The tool is called a positive affirmation.

You may have heard of them before, but are you using them? Hmmm…? Even though I know how helpful these statements are, I stop doing them too. So, let’s take a little refresher together.

An affirmation is a statement, repeated either verbally, mentally, and/or through writing. When we review the words, it makes our body and mind believe they are real. And when we believe, we realign our world around that truth. Of course, we can’t bring back the dead, cure incurable diseases, or win the lottery just by saying positive affirmations – but they can help us immensely.

We’ve all seen the horrific impact of negative affirmations on people. People become their own bullies by mentally or verbally telling themselves they are failures or worse. This is self-sabotage. If you berate yourself, try talking to yourself as you would to a friend or even an acquaintance. Chances are you’ll speak kinder to yourself.

Be careful to create the positive affirmation correctly. You don’t want to inadvertently make things more negative!

  1. The statement should be specific and about something you are not yet, but want to be. Don’t feel like you’re lying. It is supposed to be something that is NOT true – yet (or that you don’t feel is true).
  2. It must be in present tense. If you say “I will be a successful writer,” that describes the future, and you won’t get there because the future is always out of reach. Replace “will be” with “am”.
  3. Use ONLY positive words. If you say “I never stop writing” your psyche will hear “stop” and leave out the “never”. Don’t say “I hate sweets.” Instead say “I love healthy food” or your mind will focus on “sweets”. There is always a way to make a statement positive.
  4. Write the statements down and post them somewhere visible. Say them out loud at least two times a day.

At one time I had ten stickies stuck to my bathroom mirror with affirmations. I recommend starting with just a few so it doesn’t seem like a chore. Some people put them in their cars so that every time they get in, they repeat the affirmations. I’ve also seen posters, which people have made with pictures and words, representing their goals – a vision board.

You may want to warn spouses or people who share the area with you. When I was trying to get pregnant I wrote “I am pregnant” on a sticky note for the bathroom mirror, so obviously I had to tell my husband what was up (BTW – I got pregnant : ).

Right around the time I submitted my manuscript, which was a finalist in the 2009 Golden Hearts, I was writing and saying “I am a published writer.” Before I even found out that I was a finalist, I sold two manuscripts.

When I was fighting ovarian cancer with grueling chemo and surgery, I said a list of thirty positive affirmations at least twice a day. I wrote new ones each night. “My body is full of health.” “My stomach is calm.” “I sleep deeply and peacefully through the night.” I used to cry them, pray them, scream them, but I made certain to say them. They served me well, helping me to calm down and shift my focus from panic to determined survival (and now I’m a 6-year survivor).

Positive affirmations.

They are simple. They work.

At this time of year, when goals are in the forefront, write a few positive affirmations and watch how powerful they can be, moving you toward positive outcomes. Here’s a brief list of some of my favorites.





I write on my manuscript every day.

I love to eat healthy food.

I do yoga and get 10K steps in every day.

I am calm and peaceful when dealing with my kids.

Every part of my body is healthy and comfortable.

I am living a long and healthy life.

I am powerful, confident and successful.


What are some of your positive affirmations?

Have a fabulous, full-of-positivity day!


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9 responses to “Using the Power of Words to Reach Your Goals”

  1. Alyssa Henderson says:

    Excellent post Heather! I am a huge believer in affirmations but have gotten a little lazy lately. Thank you for the reminder! 🙂

    • Heather McCollum says:

      Thank you, Alyssa!
      With the holidays, birthdays and a round of flu at our house, I’ve become very lazy lately. So I like to dust off my affirmations, add some more, and start up again this time of year. : )

  2. Patting ourselves on the back for the creative work we do in solitude is something we really do neglect and it’s so, so important. I like to think of affirmation as muse food. Feed it and it will flourish.

    • Heather McCollum says:

      Love the analogy! Muse Food : ) Yes, we need to feed our muses, because it is very difficult to produce wonderful words without them.

  3. I tend to find goals more affirming than affirmations, if that makes sense, but I suppose if I were to do one it would be along the lines of “I am always growing as a writer and a person.” 🙂

    • Heather McCollum says:

      That’s a good one, Vivi! And affirmations are goals, just said out loud. Read your goals everyday and you’re saying positive affirmations : )

  4. I used to faithfully make affirmations but stopped over the last few years. This was a good motivator to restart. Thanks Heather.

  5. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    I remember a similar post from last year that inspired me. Those same affirmations written at that time are still hanging in my bathroom so that I see them each morning…now to start reading them again every morning and add some more to them.

    Thanks for the reminder, Heather!

  6. Elisa Beatty says:

    I’m going to try the “I love healthy food!” affirmation.

    Also, I was just watching the Warriors crush the Knicks, and heard a side note about how Steph Curry spends time before every game running a movie in his head about how he wants to play that game. A different kind of mental affirmation, but it clearly works for him.


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