Regardless of what we want to accomplish or experience in our lifetimes, it's easier and more fun to have, and know how to use, the right tools. The proper tool not only assists you in doing the job right, it makes the process much easier. So it is with daily affirmations—a powerful tool to shift your attitude, energy level, and motivate you to make life changes. However, like any tool, affirmations need to be done properly, and regularly, to be most effective.

The Most Powerful Affirmations Are:
1. Written in the present tense as if what you desire has already appeared in your life.
2. Contain positive wording and do not contain words like no, not, don't, can't, won't, etc.
3. Evoke joy or an uplifting emotion when you read them. If they make you smile or giggle, that's good, too!

Every human being is unique, so the best affirmations are those that are customized for each person. Are there some generic affirmations that feel good to read? Sure. But, they easily become ineffective because they stop producing a positive emotional response. If you have been doing affirmations without seeing a result, check to see if they adhere to the three guidelines above.

Here are the 5 ways that daily affirmations can be most effective:

1. Focusing/refocusing your attention
You attract into your life what you think about, and yet life in the 21st century is so fast-paced that we are constantly bombarded with conflicting messages. This is why so many people have chaotic lives. How can anyone stay focused on positive thoughts? Properly crafted affirmations help you stay focused upon, or refocus your attention upon, your consciously-chosen subject(s). Saying, reading, or thinking your affirmations every day will keep you on track, or get you back on track, with ease.

2. Shifting your attitude/energy
Scientists tell us that the world is made up entirely of energy, and that we can impact that energy with our thoughts. The energy you carry in your body can either be stressful and unhappy, or it can be joyful and uplifting. These thoughts that evoke emotions trigger the release of hormones that alter the chemical make-up of your body. The good news is that we get to choose which energy we want to carry, and we get to choose how we respond to external stimuli. Affirmations that evoke a positive or uplifting feeling are the perfect tool to ensure that you are carrying the kind of energy that makes you happy. The longer you use such affirmations, the more your body and mind will become accustomed to that energy. Over time, being joyful and happy will become a habit you won't want to break! The next time you are feeling blue, start saying some of your favorite affirmations and you will see how quickly your energy shifts!

3. Releasing old thoughts that no longer serve you
All of us have, at one time or another, experienced something we'd rather not have experienced. As a result, we may have developed some thoughts or attitudes that keep us stuck in that past experience. For instance, someone who was not popular in high school may have convinced themselves that they don't deserve appreciation or admiration from others. Of course, this is not true, but a past belief—so embedded into your mind that you don't consciously think about it—can be dictating your present choices and attitudes. If you can relate to this, begin with affirmations like... I naturally attract relationships with people who appreciate me...Everyone I know and meet loves to interact with me...People naturally enjoy my company and I enjoy being myself! Then, modify these affirmations to feel more powerful for you.

4. Creating new possibilities for happiness
Abraham, as channeled by Esther Hicks in the original DVD of The Secret, has said that when you focus on what's wrong in your life you only create more of what's wrong in your life. However, if you momentarily ignore what you see around you and consciously focus on what you'd prefer to experience, you will, in that moment, begin opening the door for the new possibility of your preference. The mind does not know the difference between reality, a past experience, or imagination. Affirmations allow you to use the power of your imagination to create new possibilities for your future happiness. Some people consider this praying, and in fact, it is believed that affirmations were first created when simple prayers were memorized by illiterate churchgoers. Worry and anger is praying for what you don't want. Likewise, positive affirmations are praying for what you do want.

5. Attracting consciously rather than by default
Most people are taught that life is hard and everyone has to struggle for everything from happiness to money. This is just a past thought that has been passed along through the generations. As a result, most people expect to be miserable and have problems, and they attract just that. When you write your own affirmations, you get to choose how you want to feel and experience your life. That conscious choice, and the effort you make to say your affirmations regularly, means you are no longer living your life by default——tolerating whatever comes your way. Instead, your attention, energy, and thoughts are all focused in the same direction toward what you have consciously chosen to experience. That is a powerful and effective way to create a life you really want to live!

6. Establishing a Daily Affirmations Practice
Like any exercise for the body, affirmations are most effective when used daily. Most people cringe at this thought——until they put it into action and experience the results. Initially, you may need to read your Affirmations. But, soon, you will begin to know them by heart. At that point, you can say them while you are driving to or from work, during quiet times throughout the day, and while you are exercising. Author and speaker Chellie Campbell likes to do hers while she brushes her teeth. That way, she's sure to have time to do her affirmations every day! Find a time that works for you, and begin your daily practice. You may be surprised how easy—and effective—doing daily affirmations can be!

7. Taking Baby Steps Versus Quantum Leaps
If you are struggling from paycheck to paycheck, it may seem strange and too "out there" to say affirmations like I am a joyous multi-millionaire! While it absolutely IS possible to make a quantum leap from being broke to being flush with money, if such an affirmation feels awkward to you, then it won't work. It's very important to pay attention to how you feel as you say or read your affirmations. How others feel about the same affirmations is meaningless. Affirmations are most powerful when they make you feel happy and uplifted, and are best discarded if they do not evoke a positive emotion.

For those who don't quite feel ready for a quantum leap, their best approach to affirmations is to make baby steps. Instead of...I am a joyous multi-millionaire!...start with a baby step—from where you are to where you want to go. Make sure it's a step that feels better and slightly beyond doable. If it's doable, you don't need an affirmation.

In this example regarding money, imagine yourself living comfortably off your current income, all bills paid in full, having a surplus of money for fun, and receiving additional money that allows you to live even more comfortably. Good affirmations might be...Every day I am feeling better about my income!...My income is ample and flows to me in multiple streams of plenty!...My income is consistently growing every day!...Money flows easily to me, and I enjoy receiving extra money! Soon, you will find your mind can easily expand to accept ideas that previously seemed too extreme.

Follow Your Intuition
The bottom line is that YOU know which affirmations feel best for YOU. Yes, you really do! When something is right for you, it feels good...joyous...oh-so-right! Focus on the choices that feel really good, let Source speak to you, and you are following your intuition to your perfect path. Whether they are quantum leaps or baby steps, customizing your affirmations to your level of joy is key to their effectiveness!

Need more help with your affirmations?
Trust your own feelings, as they are your personal guide to what is best for you. If you still feel you need help, it is often beneficial to work with a coach who is willing to guide you to clear blocks and develop affirmations that work best for you.

Author's Bio: 

Nancy Barry-Jansson is the founder of, an intuitive Well-Being coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. She also co-hosts the twice-monthly Co=Creation Café with Melissa Jean Quiter. Ms. Barry-Jansson has been using affirmations for since the mid-1980s and created AffirmingSpirit (cards, accessories, and information) to share her knowledge and inspiration with others. To learn more, visit