How To Create Effective Goals & Affirmations

Authored by Matt Hommel

Some people scoff at the fact of saying their affirmations to themselves.

You might picture affirmations as someone looking in the mirror saying, “I’m pretty enough!”… “I’m handsome enough”

Maybe you think it sounds cliché, or just flat out stupid.

Or…that it screams insecurity.

The fact is, affirmations are science-based, and real-world based, powerful high-performance hacks utilized among many elite performers today.

Affirmations have been used ever since the first Olympians in Roman times leading all the way up to modern day Olympics and business ventures.

Only in recent years though, thanks to scientific research, has affirmations gained increased popularity among business executives and aspiring high-performers. Those who understand the science behind them, and how to implore them successfully, reap the benefits.

The power in affirmations is that your brain many times, does not know the difference between what is real and what isn’t. You can create very compelling evidence for what you actually believe, and how your brain and body will respond to this evidence.

Considered, it’s possible to hallucinate over drugs and think your toilet has a mouth and wants to eat you. Even though this scenario is not real, it’s possible to actually believe such a thing.

You can have PTSD and re-experience the trauma of something that happened years ago, just by one small trigger and how your brain responds to that trigger, or what it’s beliefs are about that certain subject/event.

There’s an infinite amount of ways the chemicals and neurons in your brain can work to make these scenarios happen, even if they don’t exist in your actual present reality.

The brain is a muscle. It’s a tool that can really fuel your success when you understand how it operates and how you can leverage it to make you achieve things.

The Science

For instance, One study showed that weight lifters who simply imagined exercising were able to increase their muscle mass by 13.5%). And that’s their muscles that were doing that! Granted those who actually lifted gained over 35% - you have to consider combining affirmations with MASSIVE ACTION and what that does for you. Which we will discuss further in the article.

When you factor in the actual structural changes of your brain, as well as the thought pattern changes, the performance-enhancement benefits are revolutionary.

50-billion-dollar man Dan S. Pena’, also referred to as the trillion-dollar-man, uses affirmations as a key component in his QLA methodologies that have generated over 50 billion dollars among his mentees.

Pena also highly attributes affirmations for his own business successes.

Pena’ isn’t the only one either, many people from Andrew Carnegies, to Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith currently uses, or used, affirmations. Muhammad Ali, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger woods, even Michael Jordan all used affirmations as well. The effectiveness of them is highly prevalent, and It has support by some highly successful authority figures.

What’s more interesting however, is the actual science behind affirmations and how it changes your brain. Each time you think about something or act a certain way, you are either creating a new neural connection pattern in your brain (thought pattern, or motor movement – like catching a ball), or you’re strengthening an existing one.

However, the same brain network responsible for this entire process cannot tell the difference between what actually happens, and what is imagined.

Quite simply, your brain doesn’t know if you are full of crap!

Meaning, if you keep telling yourself you’re a business beast who works hard and plays hard, you’re going to start carrying yourself like that and performing like it. through repetition those brain networks will only strengthen, and this will become your new default pattern of thinking.

The most important thing though is that, you must use affirmations to help you take develop HIGH PERFORMANCE HABITS & take MASSIVE ACTION.

Goals are absolutely useless, without action – you cannot THINK your way into reality (sorry, Positive Psychology).

What you can do however, is think your way into developing better habits, and a better internal operating system for success. Habits are hard to develop, but when you change your self-identity from the inside out associated with these habits, the transition is much smoother.

Using affirmations to pump yourself up and make yourself think you're successful is absolutely asinine if it leads you to having an entitled/already-arrived attitude.

It’s great to affirm yourself that you are already more successful than you are to build that blistering confidence & self-esteem, but you must combine it with the actual goal-oriented behavior that is going to lead to accomplishment of those results.

The next thing is that your goals, and affirmations to hit those goals, must be SPECIFIC.

In the military – you have specific targets to hit – not “kind of” hit.

In darts – you have a bullseye

In sports such as hockey, lacrosse, and basketball – you have a net to hit

These goals & affirmations need metrics, and a feedback system. You either hit your target, or you miss. These are not wishes, or things where you “kind of want to be in the ball park”. They must be specific, measurable, bullseyes that you are trying to nail.

Metrics entail numbers and specific targets to aim for.

A feedback system is accomplished through measurement, you either hit your desired metrics, exceeded them, or fell short. All goals need measurement though.

Always remember: what gets measured gets done!

So if you’re goal is:

"Scale my business by 5 more franchise locations."

You need to figure out the specific habits you need to actually achieve this goal too. then create corresponding affirmations for both those specific goals and habits.

For instance:

Goal: Scale Business to 8 more franchise locations per month

Habit needed: screening out 30 qualified leads a day, and calling them to see if you can fit their needs specifically by what your franchise offers, and then getting them to want to buy a spot. Closing at least 2 deals per week.

Habit Affirmation: I am incredibly enthusiastic and filled with joy by how I have developed the habit of screening out 30 qualified leads a day and getting 2 people a week to buy a franchise location from me.

Goal Affirmation: I am happily scaling my franchise easily and consistently by 8 or more new locations each month

Emotion + Action

Affirmations are great, and having clarity & specific targets is excellent, however what is most important is that there is emotion tied to them.

As humans, we are emotional beings; no matter how logical you like to be in your daily decisions, your affirmations will not be as effective unless tied to emotion.

We can go on and on about the power of emotion on memory and thought patterns.

Like Maya Angelou said “people will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

You will always remember the joy of winning your first championship or seeing your newborn child. You will always remember the devastation of losing someone or something important to you. This is how the brain works and why there is so much power in tying emotion to the specific thought loop in your affirmation.

This helps hardwire this level of thinking & operating into your brain.

Moreover, you need to be able to create the same feelings and beliefs of the person who has achieved your desired goals, so you can operate like that in the present moment and do the high-level work necessary to achieve them.

To do this, you need to picture your goals very specifically. Imagine as if you have already achieved them now in the present moment; imagine you have grown into the person who has already achieved these goals. See every single detail in your mind as if it’s reality right now.

How do you stand?

How do you talk?

How do you walk?

How do you work & act?

How are you feeling?

Are your inspired, filled with joy, excitement, and empowerment?

How does it feel to be here?

What are the noises, what do you here?

Who is surrounding you, Are you alone? What’s your environment look like?

Construct this image and make it crystal clear, as well as who you must be to be in this reality.

In essence, you must do this to put yourself in the emotional state that makes you operate like the person you want to be; because the person you are today, is not going to get you to achieve your next biggest goals. You’re going to have to extend yourself, evolve, and grow in order to achieve the next level. You can only develop this roadmap when you’ve seen the path before and believe it exists. Seeing really leads to believing, so craft the image in your head unambigously.

Just like Leadership expert & executive coach Marshall Goldsmith says:

“What got you here, won’t get you there”

Moreover, if your goal is to increase your bench press by 45 pounds, having the muscles & strength you have today isn’t going to be the same as the ones that will help you bench press 45 more pounds. The same applies to your skillset and beliefs.

This may sound “woo woo” and spiritual but the fact of the matter is that it works, it’s scientifically proven, it yields results, and the elites practice it for a reason.

You need to consistently reinforce these feelings, thoughts, and beliefs throughout the day otherwise you will resort back to your old pattern of thinking and operating. If you can’t read them during the day, focus on a select few that you can memorize and repeat them in your head through your own self-talk. 

It’s more powerful even if you use this method while you’re working at something during the day, at your job or where ever. Then you can translate these thoughts & feelings into the actual project itself.

Which actually leads us into the very next step...

The next step is that you MUST TAKE ACTION.

Yes, repeating the affirmations is going to put your brain in a state of thinking you’re actually this billionaire badass who closes deals by calling 30 qualified people a day, and closing 2 of them a week or more. So now you’re going to be operating at a high level – but you must channel this ultra confident – peak state into doing the actual work itself.

Meaning... you got to pick up the phone and work your way down the pipeline!

Do the work!!

By doing this you are deeper engraving that level of thinking and performance to become your default thought and behavioral pattern.

Your performance and results in life will not surpass your emotional bank account. To be a high-performer you have to first think of yourself as someone who is and operates like one; then you must take massive action to deeper engrave that thought loop to become your default setting.

You’re essentially re-programming your brain, and upgrading the software to become high performance all the way down to the neurological level.

This is why people can become depressed (repetitively thinking about the bad) but also how people become blisteringly confident, peak-state high-performers. (growth mindset and peak-state).

Look, repeating daily affirmations is going to be hard to follow DAILY, any new habit is hard to form when it’s something we don’t already regularly practice.

BUT…. (you can use your affirmations to help form the habit of reviewing affirmations too!)

Example: I am joyfully relishing in the beauty on how I’ve developed the habit of reviewing my affirmations twice in the morning, twice before bed, and at least twice throughout the day.

Yes, just like our above example about engraining the habit.

Summary steps

In summary, the process should look like this:

  1. Compile your list of goals you want to achieve. Make this worthwhile, things that force you to actually stretch to your limits and grow. These goals must be specific, and contain metrics. Metrics give you specific targets to shoot for, as well as a feedback system to assess your progression.
  2. Compile the list of daily habits you need to develop in order to achieve your goals.
  3. Create the affirmations necessary to put you in the emotional state you need to operate in, in order to achieve those goals and develop these habits. 
  4.  Begin each affirmation with “I AM” – this sends a command to your subconscious forcing it to go to work.
  5. Add an emotional word, words, or mantra to trigger feeling. Things like HAPPY, ECSTATIC, JOYFUL, etc. (we know why this is important).
  6. Write each affirmation in the present tense using action verbs ending in “ING”...  Words like increas"ING", generat"ING", etc. causes stress between what you’re saying and what reality is. This works to create a sense of urgency, deeply engraved in your subconscious to help you actually elicit the behaviors needed to achieve your goals.
  7. Use the phrase “OR MORE” to your specific metrics to affirm your brain you will have no problem dominating your desired target and exceeding expectations.

Your emotion words can be extremely rambunctious, inappropriate, etc. These are yours to look at, nobody else’s, so use whatever phrases you need to trigger yourself with the above format.

If you’re naturally not very emotional, you might have to be very graphic when using the emotional words and or phrases tied to your affirmation. Whatever is needed.

Example:

Habit affirmation –

Habit: I want to read at-least 1 or more books a week about digital marketing to gain expertise and pursue mastery in the field.

Leads to: I AM INCREDIBLY JOYFUL how easily I have adopted the habit of READING 1 OR MORE digital marketing books A WEEK

Goal affirmation –

Goal: I want to increase my monthly net profits by an additional $3,000 or more each month in my business

Leads to: I AM HAPPILY GENERATING an additional $3,000 DOLLARS OR MORE to my MONTHLY business net profits.

Always remember, to be elite you NEED to upgrade your thinking, habits, and daily actions to match that of who you want to be. This is going to create the thought patterns, and the habits you will need to get you there & dominate your goals.

Notes:

Ranganathan, V. K., Siemionow, V., Liu, J. Z., Sahgal, V., & Yue, G. H. (2004). From mental power to muscle power--gaining strength by using the mind. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14998709.

Williams, A. (2019, November 4). 8 Successful People Who Use The Power Of Visualization. Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-20630/8-successful-people-who-use-the-power-of-visualization.html.

Positive Daily Affirmations: Is There Science Behind It? (2019, July 4). Retrieved from https://positivepsychology.com/daily-affirmations/#science.

© Matt Hommel. All Rights Reserved.
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