It’s 2017! If you’re like me, you’ve spent the past few days reflecting on 2016 with a mix of grief and gratitude. And if you’re like me, you’re looking forward to the fresh start of 2017. Sure, nothing has magically changed overnight, but this collective marking of time gives all of us a chance to take stock of our life. Like a collective pause, we reflect, look inside, and ask, am I doing everything I can to live the life I want?
No matter what our goals for the year, I have a feeling 2017 will be a period of hard work. This year will be characterized by standing up for what you believe in, and doing the difficult work of fiercely advocating for your truth.
A mantra is a repeated sound, word, or phrase. Mantras are used to help aid concentration, focus, and bring about specific states of mind. I've found mantras to be extremely helpful in maintaining motivation, positive self esteem, and overall self confidence. As someone who’s mind naturally gravitates toward rumination, mantras have been a natural replacement for negative or self-deprecating thought cycles.
So. I have four mantras that I’ll be using throughout the new year, and I encourage you to use them as well if they resonate with you. Write them on sticky notes and put them on your computer. Jot them down in your favorite planner. Download my digital wallpapers (link below) to see them whenever you open your phone. The more you see them, the more you’ll live them.
1. “I am enough.”
It’s January. “New Year, New Me!” Gym memberships. Dieting. Bikini-ready by Spring Break. We’re inundated by rhetoric that confirms our self-loathing this time of year.
Here’s the thing. Many of us genuinely want to challenge our bodies and minds through exercise. For me, personally, regular exercise stabilizes my moods and drastically decreases depression and anxiety symptoms. BUT, so many of us are sick of the fitness industry motivating us by implicitly telling us we’re not good enough. By attempting to motivate ourselves with the “not good enough” mentality, those self-deprecating beliefs get reinforced, and mental health suffers.
Let this mantra serve to remind you that just because it’s a new year, does not mean you have to be a new you. You are enough just as you are. When you find yourself looking in the mirror in disgust, or calling yourself nasty names for eating something “unhealthy,” remember this mantra. I am enough.
And if you’re ready to embark on a new fitness routine, bring this mantra with you. No matter what, you are enough.
Go at your own pace, and remember that other people may have lots of ideas as to what you need, but only you know what you need. Which brings me to my next mantra:
2. "I know."
As we get brave and live according to our inner truth, or authenticity, people will inevitably give us advice. They may try to persuade us from making “risky” decisions, or question our bold choices, or even criticize us for being too fickle/irrational/[fill in the blank].
It’s as if you’re climbing a mountain with a guide (aka, your intuition). As you climb, there’s going to be a lot of different voices telling you to go this way and that way. But all along, your guide is like, “we’ve got this.” It’s up to you to trust your guide and filter out the external influence that doesn't serve you. These advice-givers mean well (most of the time), and they may have valid information, but they don’t know what your guide does.
You know, deep down, what you need. Only you know your truth. By saying “I know,” you’re giving your intuition a little nod of trust.
3. "I choose."
Nothing is more empowering than choice. This year, know that you have the power to choose what you bring into your life, and what you leave out.
Yes, most things are out of our control, but we do have a choice as to how we handle things outside of our control.
For example, I have financial goals for 2017. While I may not have total control over how much money comes in, I do have considerable control over how much money I spend. I choose to be strategic about my spending and saving so that I can reach my financial goals.
As another example, depression and anxiety are recurring characters in my life. I can’t always control how happy I feel simply by choosing to be happy. However, I can choose to accept myself no matter the state of my mind. I can choose to not shame myself for having a panic attack, or being irritable, or feeling depressed. I can choose to take care of myself.
Make choices that liberate you. Say, “I choose.”
4. "I can. And I will."
One of my favorite #Truthbombs.
I don’t know about you, but self-doubt is a huge theme in my life. Especially when I’m courageously going after my dreams or being my authentic self. I’ll have an inspiring idea for my life, one that fires me up and gets me all tingly inside. Then, the thought creeps in, “I can’t do that… And here are the reasons why…”
There are always going to be a billion reasons NOT to do something. But if something aligns with your intuition, (see #2, “I know”) you will find a way. You don’t have to know how, you just have to trust that you can.
As Marie Forleo says, “Everything is figure-out-able.”
This first day of the year has me brimming with excitement about the new possibilities for growth, connection, and positive change. I’m sure the year will also bring lots of heartbreak and discomfort, as all years do. But my wish is that despite the setbacks, the atrocities, and the injustices we can continue to work toward wholeness, both in ourselves and as a collective community.
Do you have a mantra to add? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!