Ahhhhh, Spring! Soon we will see more permanent evidence of nature embracing the renewal of life. The surrounding hills are lush with new spring growth that has benefited from all the rain. Spring reminds me of the importance of fresh starts and new beginnings. Every day, we have an opportunity at a fresh start.

Embracing Renewal
When we have dreams or set targets that don't quite turn out the way we'd hoped, or as quickly as we'd hoped, it's easy to feel discouraged. If you no longer desire the goal or your dream no longer motivates you, the healthiest thing to do is recognize that fact and let go. But if you look deep into yourself and know that you are on the right track, that is when we need to dig deeper to find our inner faith, dust ourselves off, and embrace a fresh start.

A fresh start lets you clear the emotional slate and take a deep breath as you evaluate your progress:
— Are you still on course, as planned, or did you lose yourself along the way?
— If you got lost, or are not seeing results, what do you need to do differently to make the next attempt successful?
— If you don't have all the answers, who do you know who might give you a different perspective?
— Then, take action and make the necessary changes with faith and belief in yourself. Persistance, after all, is more responsible for success than talent or money combined.
— And, last but not least, renew your commitment so you can embrace your fresh start with the same enthusiasm you had when you first began your journey.

I've had friends who have been on their own personal journeys, whether for career transition or rejuvenation, or for improving their health and lifestyle, and while most have been successful in their process, rarely have I seen them go from decision to do it to success in one step. So why, I wondered, do I expect myself to be successful on the first try? Such expectations make it harder for me to enjoy my journey, so I'm making a fresh start in allowing my journey to unfold at it's own pace.

Renewing Affirmations
Just as renewing your commitment is essential, so is examining your affirmations from time to time to see which ones need an overhaul or, ahem, to be tossed. Affirmations reflect where you are at the time that you write them. A lot can change in three months, six months or a year. Some dreams come true, some change, and some, well, they just stick out like sore thumbs reminding us that at one time they were important. Who wants to be reminded of a dream or target we no longer care about, or worse, that represent our coulda-woulda-shouldas? The latter, by the way, make highly ineffective affirmations and I highly recommend you weed those out of your collection as quickly as possible.

The plain fact is, your affirmations must serve you, and motivate you just as your dreams and targets do. Effective affirmations...

>Contain perfectly positive phrasing and eliminate the words with negative meaning such as no, not, or contractions that contain them, such as don't or aren't.

>Are written in the present-tense as though the goal has already been accomplished.

>Evoke the positive feeling that you associate with achieving the related goal or dream.

>Stretch you to be more but can bee broken down into segments that still feel good to you. Sometimes, a grand desire—as much as you want it—is just too overwhelming. By all means, break it down into smaller steps so that you feel a sense of accomplishment, and further motivation, as you reach and surpass each milestone.

>Are specific to you, preferably written in your own handwriting which is recognized by your subconscious mind, and are amplified further when read aloud.

Spring Clearing
Treat yourself a refreshing fresh new start! Take a moment, today, to evaluate your affirmations to ensure they are still serving and motivating you. If the goal is still viable, but the emotions or wording could use some help, take some time to rewrite them. Working with affirmations is an on-going continually evolving process that can, consciously and unconsciously, keep you moving forward your whole life. Don't wait that long, though, to make a fresh new start today!

Author's Bio: 

Nancy Barry-Jansson is the founder of AffirmingSpirit.com, an intuitive affirmations coach, and a self-employed illustrator/designer living in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Ms. Barry-Jansson has been using affirmations for more than 20 years and created AffirmingSpirit (cards, accessories, and information) to share her knowledge and inspiration with others. To learn more, visit www.affirmingspirit.com.