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Will daily affirmations make you richer? Yes, says financial expert and author of The Wealthy Spirit , Chellie Campbell. Positive affirmations are the initial step toward financial success, she says, although not everyone is a believer at first.

Ms. Campbell's own editor wanted to cut the affirmations from her book until she was challenged to repeat 14 money affirmations for 21 days. After trying it out, her editor called to say she couldn't believe what was happening: She received a bonus at work, was getting bigger book deals, and people were sending her cheques in the mail. Needless to say, the affirmations stayed. Ms. Campbell is quick to point out that these are not magic words, and must be followed up by action, but using these words to think more positively can't help but influence you and motivate you to action.

Her positive approach to personal finance has been helping clients for more than 20 years. She regularly teaches financial workshops and affirmations are the first step. The first one she asks clients to repeat: "People love to give me money," followed by a list that includes, "I am rich and wonderful," "I am now earning big income doing what satisfies me," and "Money comes to me easily and effortlessly, waking and sleeping." Ms. Campbell's even added one for the skeptics: "My affirmations work for me, whether I believe they will or not."

Believing in the words is an important first step, she says, but so is monitoring our continuous thoughts on money. It's estimated we have about 60,000 thoughts a day, 80 per cent of which are negative. This means every day we have more than 45,000 negative thoughts. How many involve debt, taxes, lack of something, and fears and worries about our financial future?

Aside from the list of affirmations she provides, clients are advised to make up their own. To start, she says we should write down all of the negative things we tell ourselves about money, then write the opposite thought. "I don't make enough to get by and I feel stressed about my situation," turns into "I make enough money doing what I love and feel at peace with my financial picture." Focusing on where you're going instead of where you are now is what the affirmations are about. Ms. Campbell has memorized hers and speaks them aloud, but some clients prefer to write them out and read them, or record their own voices on their smart phones and listen to them.

Ms. Campbell says she doesn't try to convert anyone. She's here to help people who want help, and are willing to put in the work. I'm willing to try the 21-day challenge with an open mind. What have I got to lose? It only costs five minutes a day, Ms. Campbell reminds me, and if nothing happens, move on, she advises. But she's confident by day 21, I'll start to see a positive shift.

Angela Self is one of the founders of the Smart Cookies money group.