Start the New Year with a Motivational Mantra

Chris Freytag by Chris Freytag | December 14th, 2009 | 3 Comments
topic: Fitness, Health & Wellness, Personal Growth

freytagfeatureThe new year is just around the corner! January evokes resolutions. Many folks will commit to things like weight loss, more exercise or fiscal responsibility. Yet sadly, only a small percentage will follow through. I’m not saying that resolutions aren’t worth it. I love any opportunity to commit to a healthier and more thoughtful lifestyle. But how about this year, creating a New Year’s mission statement for yourself or a themed phrase or “mantra” to use all year long.

What is a mantra?

It is often used in yoga and other spiritual practices to encourage concentration. You will often hear of people repeating a mantra to clear their mind and focus. Well, I think it is a fun and inspirational idea to take that concept to a personal level. I want you to come up with a phrase or even one word that will symbolize what is in store for you this year (think positive imaging). This is a helpful exercise no matter what level of fitness and health you are at. It will be a phrase you can repeat to yourself whenever necessary: when you don’t feel like fitting in that workout, when you are tempted by excessive food and drink, when you need some energy, when you are competing in that 5K or just to remind yourself of your intentions.

I am addicted to mantras and motivational phrases. I have them on my screen saver. I wear a necklace that says “Live Life Well.” I wear earrings that read “Peace.” I have bracelets with coins saying “Believe,” “Sweat” and “Inspire.” So maybe I’m sounding a little crazy, but I get energy from words. I glance at them, read them and repeat them. They channel my thoughts in a positive way. And truly, I’m not saying you should adorn yourself with funky jewelry. I’m suggesting you come up with your phrase(s) or mantra(s) for 2010. It can be as simple as putting the word or phrase on a post-it note on your computer or bathroom mirror — somewhere you will see it every day.

Here’s one I wrote last year and shared with my clients: “Strive for progress, not perfection.” As a trainer and a mom, I have come to find out that perfection always leads to disappointment. I wasn’t telling my clients to lower their standards; I was just suggesting they set realistic and worthwhile goals. I actually have referred to that phrase for my personal life SEVERAL times this past year!

So what do you think? Feel free to share any of your creativity in the comments below. I’d love to hear some new phrases to start this new year!

9 motivational quotes for the new year

Here are a few quotes/phrases from some famous and not-so-famous folks. I want to share these with you to start your 2010:

  • “You want me to do something … Tell me I can’t do it.” — Maya Angelou
  • “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky
  • “You live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted.” — Ruth E. Renkl
  • “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” — Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Motivation will almost always beat mere talent.” — Norman R. Augustine
  • “I’d rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate.” — George Burns
  • “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” — Benjamin Franklin
  • “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop

Stay Healthy,


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  1. Here is my new favourite…

    “Standing in the inspiring vision of my future, I boldly take every small and large step with courage and intent.”
    - Jonathan Lockward.

    mantra meditation | December 28th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  2. Actually you could get creative and turn your goals, objectives or whatever it is you desire into a mantra for the new year…

    Anonymous | January 3rd, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  3. It’s funny by repeating a mantra enough, you incite the law of consistency (as per Robert Cialdini). Anything that comes into your life opposed to the mantra, you’ll see as contrary to your beliefs, and you’ll reject it subconsciously. Likewise, anything mantra-affirming, you’ll embrace. Very cool stuff.

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