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New Year, New Affirmations

By David Howard PhD

We all have been busy wrapping up last year with holiday parties, gift giving, end of year deadlines and celebrating with friends and family. There was a lot going on, and hopefully most of us were able to enjoy it. So now it’s the new year, and we find ourselves in a new energy–a new cycle. We begin thinking about what we want for ourselves in this new year, and we create our new year’s resolutions.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of resolutions alone, because for me, they turn into predestined failure. We can make resolutions all we want, but if we are not changing our thinking, then we are not truly supporting our decision. We can say we are going to stop a habit, or do something such as lose weight, but if we don’t change our thinking about the habit or our diet, then it will be much more difficult to make any actual changes.

This year, we should add affirmations to our resolutions, because affirmations are a tool to retrain our thinking. Yes, they really do work! To explain why they work, I will have to do a little science talk, so bear with me. Behind our everyday awareness or conscious thinking, we have a subconscious mind. Our subconscious minds are working behind the scenes of our awareness to control certain bodily functions such as breathing, heart rate, digestion, respiration–you know, the things we don’t normally think about trying to control. The subconscious also has a big influence on our conscious thinking, in fact most of our automatic responses to life events are triggered by our subconscious mind. Do you immediately get angry when someone cuts you off in traffic? Thank you, subconscious mind. You may have thought to yourself that was silly to over react, but if you have gotten angry many times before, then those are the general thoughts held in your subconscious mind; thoughts that will be activated by the next trigger.

The types of thoughts we entertain daily, and the way we respond to life events is stored in our subconscious minds. And in return, our subconscious automatically triggers our responses to future life events. For anyone wanting to make a change in their lives, this is a big deal! So, in regard to sticking with our new year’s resolutions, we need to do more than entertain the idea of changing something, we need to reprogram our thinking–our subconscious thinking.

Okay, so by the end of the year, we have likely entertained a lot of indulgent thoughts; we think about cookies, cakes, sweets, cocktails and lounging around­–you know all the good indulgences in life. And, now that it’s January, many of us are now thinking “I overdid it, now I need to make a new resolution.” Your conscious awareness wants to create the resolution, but your subconscious is going to continue making you want all the thing you have been enjoying. Not to worry, this is where affirmations come in–affirmations are here to save the day! When we focus on diligently using affirmations, they work to retrain the thinking of our subconscious mind to match the positive affirmation.

When we find ourselves entertaining unwanted or negative thoughts, we need to stop ourselves in our tracks and cancel the thought. If the thought is persistent, say to yourself “No” and even cross your arms across your chest if you are the dramatic type. Just find the best way to stop a thought in the moment and then replace it with a positive affirmation. If you are not creative with coming up with affirmations, look on line to find what resonates with you. Write down a list of affirmations that match the way you want to think about life. Next time the negative thought comes into your mind, catch the thought, stop it, and state your positive affirmation instead.

Let’s say your goal is to take on healthier eating habits, but you keep wanting sweets. The next time you think about sweets, stop it! Stop the thought, and focus on your healthy and empowering affirmation instead. For example, state to yourself “I am healthy and strong, I give my body the nutrition that it needs. I feel good, and I have good energy from healthy eating. I am powerful and in control of what I eat.” You do not need to think about how bad the sweet is, because this thinking is negative.  Instead, just focus on positive affirmations about yourself and your healthy decisions. Over time, these positive and empowering affirmations program your subconscious mind, and when you see the delicious sweet in the future, your automatic response will reflect caring more for a healthy lifestyle than a sweet.

Another example is to focus on positive affirmations when first waking in the morning. You can do this before you get out of bed or do it during your morning routine. Many of us wake up on “the wrong side of the bed” or think negative thoughts in the morning. As a result, we are setting the stage for negative thinking throughout the day. Let’s say for example when we awaken in the morning, we think about the nasty thing our boss said to us yesterday and we immediately begin to dread getting ready for work. Stop! Affirm “the present moment is all that matters, yesterday no longer exists. I am happy and at peace in this moment, and today is going to be a beautiful day.” Not only does this help to change your thinking in the moment, but over time, the daily routine of this thinking will retrain your subconscious to automatically think positively upon waking.

We are the masters of our lives, we control what we think about and how we perceive our lives. Life happens, and we can get into the habit of creating patterns of negative thinking, but we can catch this process in its tracks and retrain our thoughts. So, this new year, don’t just make a resolution, affirm it! You can do this!

Many blessings to you on your journeys in the new year, I hope you find peace and love in what you seek. Remember to live life passionately, and I hope all of us will make a resolution to be compassionate with ourselves and others.  

David Howard PhD

David is the author of
The Path to Higher Consciousness Creating and Healing Our Lives By Awakening to Our Greater Reality

David’s guides help to clarify his thinking, so his writings are more in alignment
with Source and not his ego. This offers a clear perspective for the spiritual seeker!

You can contact David at or website