Productivity

How Goal Affirmations Can Change Your Life

 March 2, 2021

By  Uriah Guilford, MFT

minute read

Uriah: Hello, and welcome to the Productive Therapist podcast! My name is Uriah and I’m here with my awesome assistant, Tracel. Hello!

Tracel: Hi, how’s it going?

Uriah: Pretty good, pretty good. I was thinking about all the things that you do for us here at Productive Therapist, and I realized that you wear at least four hats. Did you realize that?

Tracel: No – it’s a good thing I look good in hats! But yeah, I know I do a lot of things.

Uriah: I had this picture of you wearing, like, you know, four top hats! But you handle basically everything for our sales department, if you will, everything for training, you are also our account manager and the head of digital marketing.

Tracel: Right.

Uriah: That’s pretty amazing.

Tracel: Yeah, that sounds tiring just thinking about it!

Uriah: But out of all the hats that we have at Productive Therapist, we have three main heads that wear them.

Tracel: Right.

Uriah: It’s you, myself and Jamie, and then, of course, our wonderful team of virtual assistants.

Tracel: Yes.

Uriah: But it’s great to have you on the podcast.

Tracel: Thanks! I’m happy to be here.

Uriah: Yes! So today I want to talk to you about a goal affirmation tip, essentially. So my question for you and – just for the listeners, we’ve not talked about this.

Tracel: No.

Uriah: This is just something that I’m sharing with you and we’re making it a podcast episode.

Tracel: Right.

Uriah: So I’m curious…for you – for your personal life or otherwise – have you ever thought about or have you ever used affirmations in any way?

Tracel: I have. You know, it immediately makes me think of that Saturday Night Live skit from a long time ago.

Uriah: Oh, my gosh, yes!

Tracel: I just dated myself! But yes, I have used it because I think reminding yourself of positive things and specifically your ability, I think is really good. We all need to be reminded of that-

Uriah: Definitely.

Tracel: -and give us a positive frame of mind. And then really good things come from that.

Uriah: What you focus on, what you think about, you bring about.

Tracel: Yes.

Uriah: So this tip, I believe I got this from the author, Scott Adams. I say ‘author’, but he’s really the guy that created Dilbert. You remember that?

Tracel: Oh really?! Yes.

Uriah: He’s written a couple of really good books, actually, and he’s big into affirmations. And I personally have never been one to wake up and look myself in the mirror and say, you know, like Stuart Smalley. Is that the one?

Tracel: Yes! You’re absolutely right.

Uriah: That’s a funny one – I’m going to go back and watch that. That has not really been my thing, by any means. But I mean, the last couple of years, I’ve sort of started using more affirmations and and it’s been fantastic and sort of combining affirmations, if you will, with goal-setting. And it’s a powerful combo. So that’s what I want to tell you about.

Tracel: Okay.

Uriah: So basically it has four parts. And obviously, I won’t be able to show people this, but I’m going to give an example and I’ll read it.

The first part is the Goal Statement, so essentially what you want to accomplish.

The second one is an Achievement Date when you want to get it done by. Pretty straightforward.

Third one is a Compelling Reason. So think about it like a big Why or the main reason or reasons that you want to accomplish this thing.

And the last one – very important – is Committed Actions. So that is essentially ‘What am I willing to do to make this happen?’

Tracel: Mm-hmm.

Uriah: And when you put all four of those things together, it becomes a pretty concise and fantastic…I call it Goal Affirmation. I don’t know if I made that up or not, but that’s what it is.

Tracel: You should trademark that right now!

Uriah: Right now!

Tracel: Let’s put it on a T-shirt!

Uriah: GoalAffirmation.com!

Tracel: Right!

Uriah: I’ll give you an example of this.

Tracel: Okay, good.

Uriah: I love setting goals and I’m super nerdy about that. I do it all the time. Even in Productive Therapist, we set quarterly goals; we call them Quarterly Rocks.

Tracel: Right.

Uriah: And we break it down so that we really make sure to achieve the important things. But this one even brings in another powerful component. So I’ll give you an example: so this is something I did two years ago, and it’s been a goal of mine and of my family’s to become debt-free. Just wanted to pay off all the debt. It’s always a good thing, right?

Tracel: Mm-hmm, right.

Uriah: Not to mention hanging on to this student loan for my Master’s program for fifteen years. I was like, ‘Come on, I’m done with this.’

Tracel: Right!

Uriah: So I wrote this goal affirmation and I actually read it…I’m pretty positive I read it most days, most mornings for an entire year.

Tracel: Mm-hmm.

Uriah: It was part of my – I put it into sort of my morning routine.

Tracel: Right.

Uriah: And it really gave me some intense focus. So I’ll read it to you.

Tracel: Okay.

Uriah: It says: ‘I will be debt free by June 1st, 2019, because I want to be financially independent, create an amazing life for my family and give money to those who need it. I’m willing to make wise spending choices, take risks to grow my business and work hard.’ So you can see the four components there, right?

Tracel: Yes, yeah, that’s a great example.

Uriah: And every morning that I read that, it just gave me a little…it was something that I was truly excited about and it gave me a little bit more of a boost of motivation to do exactly those things. And there’s something about that combination: a goal that is exciting, a deadline and then a compelling reason and then actions that I’m committed to so I can actually do something every day, even if it was just remembering, ‘Oh, yeah, maybe I shouldn’t buy that thing that I was thinking about buying because I want to pay off my student loan.’ Or whatever.

Tracel: Right. Right.

Uriah: And I also wrote down too – it’s interesting, I have a screenshot of my journal that I’m looking at, and the goal was to finish that by June 1st. And then because I was so focused on it, I actually accomplished it by February 15th that year.

Tracel: Oh wow! Amazing!

Uriah: Oh, yeah, I was thrilled. I was thrilled. And it was a fantastic experience to pay off the…I think we paid off a car and the student loan and then we were completely done.

Tracel: That’s amazing.

Uriah: It worked really well.

Tracel: That’s something definitely to be proud of. And I can see the benefit of that of those four steps because some goals obviously take longer to complete. And if you are partway through and you start to lose motivation for it and you forget why you started it in the beginning, if you have this as a constant reminder, then that would definitely keep you going.

Uriah: Definitely. I think it works especially well for bigger goals. So you could obviously apply this to anything small, medium or large. But if it’s something that’s maybe a little bit intimidating or something that takes more time and energy, whether that’s creating an online course, starting a new business, reaching a big milestone, whatever that might be, I think this works really well.

And so I was actually talking to my small group coaching group about this and encouraging them to try it out and just play around with it and see what happens. It might be life-changing and it might not be something that works for everybody, at the same time.

But what you can do with this, just to get real practical, obviously write it out, follow that simple framework, and then you can put it somewhere where you will see it often: on your bathroom mirror, in your car.

I’ve even actually in the past recorded some of these affirmations on my phone and then played them so I can listen to myself saying it.

Tracel: Right.

Uriah: Yeah, which which is kind of a nice thing to do because literally, you know, not just saying it to myself, but I’m listening to myself repeat it.

Tracel: Right, right. Yeah.

Uriah: And I think it’s just something to, like I said, have fun with and see if it gives you that mindset, focus and that intention that you need to make some progress towards your goals.

Tracel: I like it. I’m going to see how I can use it. I think it’s a great idea.

Uriah: Cool. I’m so glad I got to share with you and everybody listening to the podcast today. So if you’re listening to this and you think Tracel and I are awesome….No, I’m kidding!

Tracel: Well, why wouldn’t you?!

Uriah: Yeah, why wouldn’t you?! But if you like these kind of ideas, productivity tips, goal-setting, things around organization, delegation, lifestyle-design – these are the things that we talk about all the time. And we also have additional resources and helpful things that we put into a special membership program called Productive Therapist Insider. And our tagline for that is ‘Snackable support and curated content for busy therapists’.

It gives you access to all of our online courses, you can get time with me, you can get discounts on coaching, you can get our really cool print newsletter. It’s pretty neat.

And the best part is that you can get the first month for $1. I sound like a pitchman! I’m like ‘Aaaand use coupon code ‘Secret’ to get your first month for just $1!’ But it’s true.

So go check it out. It’s ProductiveTherapist.com/Insider and we would love to have you.

Thanks, Tracel!

Tracel: Alright, talk to you soon!

Uriah: Bye!

Uriah Guilford, MFT


Uriah is a group practice owner and the creator of Productive Therapist. He is a technology nerd, a minimalist travel packer, a rock drummer and business development enthusiast.

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