Unlike most people, I avoid typical New Year’s resolutions. Instead I adopt yearly mantras to help me stay focused on a larger goal. These mantras become all encompassing of much smaller goals I set throughout the year.
I started this whole mantra thing in 2009. Since then I have never once felt the sense of disappointment and failure I used to when I didn’t follow through on resolutions.
- Instead of beating myself up for not losing those 15 pounds I vowed to shed by bathing suit season, I felt proud of myself for eating better and dragging myself to the gym whenever possible.
- Instead of feeling like a failure for not saving enough money for a Thailand adventure, I felt proud that I had savings to use in an emergency.
Each year, I write my mantra in bold letters at the top of my dry erase board and look at it each morning before I roll out of bed.
Here are some previous mantras and a few examples of how they enriched my life:
- 2009: “Surround Myself with People, Places and Situations that Bring Out the Best In Me”
- I weeded out my garden of friendship and no longer found myself in the stressful and unpleasant situations I had put myself in time and again.
- I really started scratching the surface of things to do in the Big Apple. I am still scratching away!
- 2010: “Consistently Making Good Decisions”
- I prioritized sleep and actually got 8 – 9 hours each night! By setting an alarm on my phone ½ hour before bedtime, I had time to wrap up whatever project I was engulfed in and was ready for dreamland on time.
- I broadened my vocabulary with flashcards and patted myself on the back each and every morning I flipped through them on the train instead of taking my usual nap.
- 2011: “Make it Happen”
- I worked diligently on my career transition by learning as much as I could about PR. I read countless industry books, took on 4 internships and numerous freelancing gigs and attend as many educational workshops as possible.
In 2012 I am embracing the theory of “Kaizen”. This word has connotations of continuous, gradual, orderly and never-ending improvement, the willingness to constantly, relentlessly pursue improvement a small step at a time.
I plan to continue learning and developing into the most educated and successful person I can be. I have no doubt that I will make this happen – no doubt at all.
What are your resolutions for 2012? Can you rework them into a mantra?