By Ashley Austrew
New Year’s goals aren’t just about what you do, they’re also about what you say. This year, why not build up yourself and your relationships with some words of affirmation?
Words of affirmation are things we say that express care, commitment, love, and support. They’re so important, they’re actually one of the five love languages that author Gary Chapman says people require to feel and express love in relationships. But words of affirmation aren’t just tools for sharing our feelings with other people. They’re an important part of self-affirmation and offering encouragement to yourself as well.
The past two years haven’t been easy on anyone, but starting a new year presents the chance to embrace opportunity, build your self-confidence, and put yourself out into the world in a new way. As you commit to self-improvement or growth in your relationships this year, here are 22 words and phrases of affirmation to help you express love and appreciation for yourself and others.
1. “I’m thankful for…”
Gratitude can be something you express to others, or it can be something you experience within yourself. Being intentional about expressing thanks for the things, people, and opportunities in your life is a way of affirming appreciation for the moment and inspiring positivity about the future.
2. “I’m proud because…”
You might feel pride for something as big as completing a marathon or as simple as making that tough phone call you’d been putting off for a week. Either way, when you’re proud of yourself or someone else, say it.
3. “I feel supported when…”
How do other people show up for you? Point it out to them, and let them know how much you appreciate having them in your corner.
4. “I feel inspired when…”
Notice what motivates you. It might be something another person does, or inspiration may strike when you’re taking time for yourself. Acknowledge those moments to bring attention to them and to help you recognize moments of inspiration in the future.
5. “I am brave.”
Every day you take chances, tackle goals, share your feelings, and put yourself out there. Those are all brave things to do. When life feels scary, affirm to yourself that you have shown bravery a million times before, and you can do it again.
6. “I am loved.”
You matter to the people around you. Remind yourself of this when you’re feeling disconnected or overwhelmed. You could even call up someone you care about and remind them that they are loved, too.
7. “I can.”
If you’re experiencing doubt, remind yourself that you can do whatever it is that’s making you feel worried. You may not do everything perfectly, but you can try, show up, and keep working towards the goal.
8. “I value…”
What do you love about the people in your life? What makes your relationships meaningful? You can affirm your connections with others by sharing these things and letting them know the special place they hold in your life.
9. “I love you.”
10. “Thank you.”
“Thank you” is a simple phrase that makes a big impact. Thanking others lets them know they’re seen, needed, and appreciated. Thanking yourself is also a way of acknowledging the good you do in the world and the power you have to make a difference.
11. “I’m worth it.”
It’s normal to experience doubt or wonder if you’re good enough for the things and people you want in your life, but we’re all worthy of good things. Remind yourself of this when the going gets tough.
12. “I love my life when…”
Think about what brings you joy, then celebrate that. Maybe this means telling yourself you love your life when you’re being active or taking chances, or maybe it’s telling someone else you love your life when they’re a part of it.
13. “You are so special to me.”
Special means “of a distinct or particular kind or character.” It’s nice to hear that you are uniquely appreciated, so make it a point to share those feelings with the most special people in your life.
14. “I’m here.”
Sometimes the best way to affirm your care for someone is just to be there for them. You can do this by taking care of something they need done, bringing them a gift, or just telling them, “I’m here.”
15. “I feel loved when…”
In relationships, it can be important to share not just your own love for someone, but also the ways they make you feel loved. Communication like this can strengthen your bond and help you support each other in ways that feel more thoughtful.
16. “It impressed me when…”
We don’t always know when we’re being noticed or appreciated by others. Make an intention to share these moments more often. You can start by just letting someone know when something they do catches your attention.
17. “I’m lucky…”
Acknowledging the good things in your life can help you notice all of the small privileges and joys you experience on a daily basis. Ways to finish this sentence might include: I’m lucky to be here, I’m lucky to experience this moment, or I’m lucky to have you in my life.
18. “I feel great.”
Feeling good? Shout it from the rooftops. It’s easy to acknowledge when we’re feeling off, down, or out of sorts. This year, try to be intentional about also affirming the good days and good vibes you experience.
19. “I’m showing up for myself.”
When you practice self-care, accomplish a goal, or even just tackle a basic task of daily living, you’re showing up for yourself, and that’s a big deal. Affirm that you are your own biggest support, and you do a great job of being you.
20. “I am capable.”
When self-doubt creeps in, affirm that you are capable. You may not be perfect (no one is!), but you are always capable of learning, trying, practicing, and getting better.
21. “I find you so…”
How do you feel about the people in your life? They’d probably like to hear it. You might say you find them attractive, inspiring, helpful, friendly, hilarious, or kind.
22. “I am doing my best.”
No one is going to get it right 100% of the time, but making an effort to be a good friend, parent, worker, and person is what counts. No matter what challenges or success are ahead, remind yourself in each moment that you are doing your best.
Ashley Austrew is a freelance journalist and writer from Omaha, Nebraska. Her work has been published at Cosmopolitan, Scary Mommy, Scholastic, and other outlets. For more by Ashley, read: 22 Motivational Words To Propel You Into 2022 | 10 New Dating Slang Words To Know In 2021 | Make The “Write” Plans For The Year With 10 New Year’s Resolutions For Writers | “Teacher” vs. “Tutor”: Why Most Kids Need Both | Show Your Appreciation With 25 Other Ways To Say “Thank You”