Often, we keep our goals to ourselves, afraid that if we say them out loud we might jinx them or somehow keep ourselves from reaching them. Personally, I believe that the more we say something, the more we start to believe it, and the easier it becomes to nudge the desired outcome into reality.
That's why I encourage people to change their passwords to something that reflects their current goal. If you want to go back to school, and you force yourself to type “go back to school” into your computer every day, it stays in the forefront of your mind. You can’t help but think about it daily. And that's the first step of actually making a change.
That's one small way to keep yourself on track. Another strategy I find really effective is finding and repeating motivational mantras at least once a day, preferably in the morning. It starts the day with an intention you can feel good about sticking to all day.
Here are a few of my favorite mantras for getting through life's tough spots. I hope they help you, too.
1. “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better.”
If you're stuck in a series of setbacks, it gets harder and harder to feel as though you're actually making progress in the grand scheme of things, even when you are. This quote from Emile Coué, an influential French psychologist, reminds me that every setback is a learning experience, and it's helping me become a better person. Use this mantra to remind yourself that you are on the right path.
2. “Accept what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.”
One of the reasons I love lists and planning is because they give me a sense of control over my circumstances, even though I'm obviously never fully in control. When I first moved into my apartment, it felt like everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong all at once. I couldn't handle there being so many problems to fix, especially when so many of them were not problems I could handle on my own. I struggled to let go, and finally doing that made all the difference to my well-being. Use this mantra from Sonia Ricotti to remind yourself to be in the moment and have faith in the divine timing.
3. “You become what you believe.”
The way you say something is as important as, if not more important than, what you actually say. How will you persuade others to believe in you if you don’t believe in yourself? We all suffer from self-doubt, but positivity is productive whereas doubt is destructive. When I started the process of writing a book, Oprah's affirmation helped me internalize the truth that if I believed I could be an author, I would be one.
4. “Yesterday you said tomorrow.”
Almost everyone procrastinates every once in a while. I got so frustrated with myself after trying repeatedly to stop cold turkey that I changed my strategy. Now, I just give myself procrastination boundaries. It's not a failure if I put something off a bit, but it is a slippery slope toward not achieving your goals. So, hold yourself accountable. Give yourself deadlines (with a little wiggle room), and have regular check-ins to measure your progress. If you find yourself short on motivation, repeat jazz musician Christian Scott's mantra above. It might just give you the jolt you need.
5. “Just keep swimming."
In Finding Nemo, when Dory (Nemo's adorably scatterbrained sidekick) got discouraged, she just kept singing this to herself. She couldn't think about what might or might not happen, because it was so discouraging. When you feel unmotivated, or as though the obstacles to your goals are too great, a mantra can make all the difference in getting to the next step. And then the one after that. And the one after that.
Do you have a personal mantra to keep yourself going? Share it in the comments below.
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