Affirmations are a powerful tool for change. If you recite them with great feeling and generate the emotions you would feel if those affirmations were 100 percent true, they can alter your life dramatically. When you experience the feeling of being in a committed relationship with the perfect soul mate, or having a deeply rewarding job, you're able to attract and create these situations.

But while feeling strong, positive emotions while reciting your affirmations is crucial, it is not enough to make affirmations work for you. Here's the secret:

You actually have to say them. Regularly.

If you intend to use the powerful tool of affirmations but never quite get around to it, stop thinking about how you ought to use them and actually start using them. Establish the habit. As Yoda, the wise character from Star Wars, once said, "Don’t think; do.""

I, too, once meant to say my affirmations regularly throughout the day but never quite made it happen. Then I started seeing a dentist who tried to get me to floss my teeth daily. He stressed the importance of flossing and I took his warning seriously, just as I took seriously the advice of the motivational speakers who had urged me to use affirmations to create the life I wanted for myself. But just as with my affirmations, I didn’t follow through with flossing. I kept forgetting.

At my next visit, my dentist handed me several dental-floss dispensers and said, "Put one out on your sink—not in the medicine cabinet, but on the sink where you can see it. Place one in your purse, one in your car, and put the others anywhere you’ll regularly see the floss and remember to use it." I took this advice (and the freebies) and sure enough, I almost immediately developed the habit of flossing regularly. I wasn't able get away from the dental floss because it was always there, staring me in the face, reminding me of my goal.

In the same way, I shifted from only stating affirmations when I was getting ready in the morning to repeating them often during the day because I made sure they were always there in front of me. I printed them out and started putting them everywhere: in my purse, in my car, on my nightstand, by the bathroom mirror, and next to my computer. At a stoplight, I'd look at the list of affirmations I kept on my dashboard and say them aloud, generating the powerful emotions connected with these positive thoughts. I'd even pull the list out of my purse and silently read them in the waiting room at the doctor's office. When I would open the refrigerator and gather ingredients to make a meal, there the list would be. I didn't worry about whether people would think I was odd, having all these affirmations posted around my home and car. Each time I came across my affirmations or had a moment to glance at them, I did so. Instead of feeling great and optimistic for just ten minutes during my morning routine, I felt those emotions throughout the day.

The results were extraordinary. You see, when I was just working with affirmations and feeling great for a few minutes each morning, there wasn’t a big difference in my overall emotional state. Ninety percent of the time, I was worrying, feeling bad about myself, or thinking about my problems and how awful they were. Such a small amount of constructive thinking couldn't counteract so much negative energy—no wonder the affirmations weren't working! When I developed the habit of using these powerful statements more frequently, I was soon was in the habit of feeling good rather than bad, confident rather than fearful, joyful rather than sad.

Use your thoughts to generate a more beneficial outlook. Install new, positive beliefs and create productive, empowering emotions by using affirmations regularly. Don't merely think about working with this valuable self-transformation tool. Write out your affirmations and stick them up on your computer, mirror, and car dashboard today.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy McColl is the author of the New York Times bestseller Your Destiny Switch. She is a much sought after motivational speaker and goal achievement coach. This article is adapted from her book The Won Thing, published by Hay House, copyright 2009 Peggy McColl,