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I have never really been all that enthusiastic about affirmations, those sentences one states (ideally out loud) to oneself that are intended to reinforce the cognitive integrity between what we say to ourselves and how we behave. Not that I don’t believe that what we say to us influences us, but the woowaah suggestion that doing so out loud makes any difference. Until this week.

Until last week, I had got into the habit of reading my PMS daily – it was on my to-do list and the brevity of time it took, allied to the simplicity of the particular to-do, meant it was an easy ‘tick-off’ in my planner. I didn’t shout out loud (partly because I was in an office full of personal development sceptics, aka ‘detectives’), but I did focus on the reading. And for the couple of weeks I did that I lost weight, produced, and lived according to said PMS.

This week, I did not. I allowed myself to believe that I had, by now, ‘got it’ and didn’t need to read it any more. This was the week I didn’t exercise, ate too much (and it doesn’t take ‘too much’ to stop weight loss, I assure you), and didn’t study for my forthcoming test as well as I could have.

In other words, my failure to read my PMS influenced – well, my failures.

So it is back in the planner and will be read daily this week. And I respect affirmations a little bit more than I used to. And to be frank, if they are good enough for Stephen Covey, then they are certainly good enough for me.

Now, dear sceptics – you may think this silly. Now ask Lewis Hamilton, Tiger Woods, many premiership footballers, and copious other successes who you’ve SEEN talking to themselves or meditating with closed eyes just before they perform, what they are doing. And if it is good enough for the successful – why isn’t it good enough for YOU?