Positive Affirmations

One way I found to help me achieve goals is to do regular positive affirmations.
1. Write out 3-5 important short term goals such as

“I am growing slim and healthy each day”
“I am getting stronger and fitter all the time”
“I am confident and resilient despite discouraging remarks from others”
“I can achieve whatever goals I set”

2. Stick the paper with these affirmations in a place that you will notice early in the morning and repeat them each day until you can memorise them.
3. keep repeating them to yourself whenever you have a spare moment and can remember to do so.
4. After a few weeks you will see a change in your behaviour and will be even more confident in your ability to achieve goals. You can then adjust your goals and set new goals.

The idea is to write goals that are achievable in the short term or can be ongoing. For example, the goals of going to Europe may be a bit long term and could be saved for next year or even later than that. You really need to focus on the tasks and outcomes that come earlier on.

Don’t let negative people around you stop you achieving your goals. Sometimes people will criticise you or offer advice that may challenge your existing views. Examine their views and only take what is useful and really is good advice. You can ignore bad advice or people who are teasing for fun. The key here is to build resilience and determination.

Strategic Intent Supported by Attention

Our habitual mental states, our daily intentions and inclinations generate kamma. Lord Buddha encouraged us to diligently restrain the six sense doors and to wisely attend the skillful mental states that lead away from suffering and toward liberation.

Samyuttanikaaya SN.II.12.38. Volition (เจตนาสูตรที่)

At Saavatii. “Bhikkhus, what one intends, and what one plans, and whatever one has a tendency towards: this becomes a basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis there is support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is established and has come to growth, there is the production of future renewed existence. When there is the production of future renewed existence, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“If bhikkhus, one does not intend, and one does not plan, but one still has a tendency towards something, this becomes the basis for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is a basis, there is a support for the establishing of consciousness…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“But, bhikkhus, when one does not intend, and one does not plan, and one does not have a tendency towards anything, no basis exists for the maintenance of consciousness. When there is no basis, there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. When consciousness is unestablished and does not come to growth, there is no production of future renewed existence, future birth, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair cease. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.”

Samyuttanikaaya SN.IV.35.97. Dwelling Negligently (ปมาทวิหารีสูตร)

“Bhikkhus, I will teach you about one who dwells negligently, and about one who dwells diligently.. Listen to that…

“And how, bhikkhus, does one dwell negligently? If one dwells without restraint over the eye faculty, the mind is soiled among forms cognizable by the eye. If the mind is soiled there is no gladness. When there is no gladness, there is no rapture. When there is no rapture, there is no tranquillity. When there is no tranquillity, one dwells in suffering. The mind of one who suffers does not become concentrated. When the mind is not concentrated, phenomena do not become manifest. Because phenomena do not become manifest, one is reckoned as ‘one who dwells negligently.’

“If one dwells without restraint over the ear… nose…tongue…body…mind faculty, the mind is soiled among mental phenomena congnizable by the mind…. Because phenomena do not become manifest, one is reckoned as ‘one who dwells negligently.’

“It is in such a way, bhikkhus, that one dwells negligently.

“And how, bhikkhus, does one dwell diligently? If one dwells with restraint over the eye faculty… ear faculty … nose faculty… tongue faculty… body faculty… mind faculty, the mind is not soiled among forms cognizable by the eye. If the mind is not soiled, gladness is born. When one is gladdened, rapture is born. When the mind is uplifted by rapture, the body becomes tranquil. One tranquil in body experiences happiness. The mind of one who is happy becomes concentrated. When the mind is concentrated, phenomena become manifest. Because phenomena become manifest, one is reckoned as ‘one who dwells diligently.’

“It is in such a way, bhikkhus, that one dwells diligently.”

Majjhimanikaaya MN.19.11. Dvedhaavitakka Sutta: Two Kinds of Thought (เทวธาวิตักกสูตร)

“Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of renunciation, he has abandoned the thought of sensual desire to cultivate the thought of renunciation, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of renunciation. If he frequently thinks and ponders upon thoughts of non-ill will…upon thoughts of non-cruelty, he has abandoned the thought of cruelty to cultivate the thought of non-cruelty, and then his mind inclines to thoughts of non-cruelty.

Samyuttanikaaya SN.V.45.91. Dwelling Diligently (วิรัทธสูตร)

At Saavatii. “Bhikkhus, just as the river Ganges slants, slopes, and inclines towards the east, so too a bhikkhu who develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibbaana…

Samyuttanikaaya SN.V.45.152. The Tree (อัตตสัมปทาสูตรที่)

“Bhikkhus, suppose a tree were slanting, sloping, and inclining towards the east. If it were cut at its root, in what direction would it fall?”

“In whatever direction it was slanting, sloping and inclining venerable sir.”
“So too, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path slants, slopes, and inclines towards Nibaana….

Samyuttanikaaya SN.V.46.23. A Basis (ฐานิยสูตร)

“Bhikkhus, by frequently giving attention to things that are a basis for sensual lust, unarisen sensual desire arises and unarisen sensual desire increases and expands. By frequently giving attention to things that are a basis for ill will, unarisen ill will arises and arisen ill will increases and expands. By frequently giving attention to things that are the basis for sloth and torpor, unarisen sloth and torpor arise, and arisen sloth and torpor increase and expand. By frequently giving attention to things that are a basis for restlessness and remorse, unarisen restlessness and remorse arise and arisen restlessness and remorse increase and expand. By frequently giving attention to things that are a basis for doubt, unarisen doubt arises and arisen doubt increases and expands.

“Bhikkhus, by frequently giving attention to things that are a basis for the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness arises and the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness comes to fulfilment by development … By frequently giving attention to things that are a basis for the enlightenment factor of equanimity, the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity arises and the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity comes to fulfilment by development.”

Samyuttanikaaya SN.V.46.24 Careless Attention (อโยนิโสสูตร)

“Bhikkhus, when one attends carelessly, unarisen sensual desire arises and arisen sensual desire increases and expands; when one attends carelessly, unarisen ill will arises and arisen ill will increases and expands; when one attends carelessly, unarisen sloth and torpor arise and arisen sloth and torpor increase and expand…restlessness and remorse…doubt… Also the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness does not arise and the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness ceases … the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity does not arise and the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity ceases.

“When one attends carefully, bhikkhus, unarisen sensual desire does not arise and arisen sensual desire is abandoned. When one attends carefully, unarisen ill-will… sloth and torpor… restlessness and remorse.. doubt does not arise and arisen doubt is abandoned. Also the unarisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness arises and the arisen enlightenment factor of mindfulness comes to fulfilment by development… the unarisen enlightenment factor of equanimity arises and the arisen enlightenment factor of equanimity comes to fulfilment by development.

Majjhimanikaaya MN.2. Sabbaasava Sutta: All the Taints (สัพพาสวสังวรสูตร)

3. “Bhikkhus, I say that the destruction of the taints is for one who knows and sees, not for one who does not know and see. Who knows and what? Wise attention and unwise attention. When one attends unwisely, unarisen taints arise and arisen taints increase. When one attends wisely, unarisen taints do not arise and arisen taints are abandoned.

4. “Bhikkhus, there are taints that should be abandoned by seeing. There are taints that should be abandoned by restraining. There are taints that should be abandoned by using. There are taints that should be abandoned by enduring. There are taints that should be abandoned by avoiding. There are taints that should be abandoned by removing. There are taints that should be abandoned by developing.