How to Craft a Mantra that Motivates
When the going gets tough, what do you say? What does that little voice in the back of your head say to encourage you to give it one more try, see it through to the end, or push just a little harder? Listen closely, because it just might be your personal mantra.
Mantras have been used around the world for thousands of years and thousands of purposes. Sometimes, mantras are used in meditation or as a religious guide, and other times they help you bypass a piece of chocolate cake sitting on the break room table. And that’s the beauty: the purpose of a mantra is to reconnect you with your values and goals so you can stay focused on your healthy path and avoid being distracted by things like cake. When you have a good mantra, it’s easier to stay on the path!
1. Keep it short. Mantras can range from poetry to biblical verses, and the length is not as important as the impact it has on you. But, who has time for a monologue when you’re in a battle of wills with yourself? A short mantra that gets right to the point will save you when you need it.
“Progress, not perfection.”
“I’m living healthy.”
“Breathe through it.”
2. Keep it positive. Mantras are reminders of what we want to be doing, not what we want to avoid! Encourage and build yourself up by staying connected to the positive impact of your actions, not reminding yourself of what you should not be doing.
“Another chance to be awesome.”
“Eyes on the prize.”
“Eat healthy, feel healthy, be healthy.”
3. Keep it handy. What good is a mantra if you can’t remember it? Write it down, put it in your pocket, and keep it with you during the weekend. When you’re challenged, reach into your pocket and feel it there; the tactile experience of touching the paper you took the time to write on will reconnect you to your goal. Engrave it onto a bracelet and wear it around your wrist. Memorize a few of your favorite verses and repeat them to yourself to calm down in times of stress. Your mantra goes where you go, and you are never without it’s calming and motivating power!
And finally, don’t worry for a second about whether you’ve come up with a good mantra. If it makes you feel empowered, brings a smile to your face, and helps you stay focused on the amazing task of living a healthy, balanced life, then it is the best one ever written!
– HEATHER FUSELIER, CTTS, CPT, CHC