A journey of self-motivation, smoothies, and shenanigans

New Year Resolution Restated

30 December 2021

It’s that time of year again. A final calendar countdown prompting us to reflect on the good, the bad, and everything in between. However, it also means it’s time to look ahead. And with that, comes New Years Resolutions. I’d like to point out that New Years Resolutions are merely a function of desired habits or identities. People want to lose weight, travel the world, or become more confident. The problem with these resolutions: they focus too much on the end goal. People know what they want but are left wondering how to get there. But, what if there was a better way to reach our goals and create a new identity beyond them? I believe there is. For the past 3 years, I have repeated a mantra of the year. Tried and tested by yours truly.

What is a Mantra of the Year?

The purpose behind a mantra of the year is to (surprise surprise!) change your mindset. But in all seriousness, a mantra of the year has the power to manifest growth in multiple verticals of your life. It is a non-limiting affirmation you can say to yourself in the mirror every morning or when you need a pick-me-up. Rather than stating that you want to “lose weight” as a resolution, your mantra could be to “become the healthiest version of yourself.” When you focus on changing your identity, you start doing things that a healthy person does and before you know it, the identity is yours to keep. Is losing weight going to be a part of this new identity? Maybe. But, eating more vegetables, going on walks, staying hydrated, and fostering valuable relationships could be included as well.

Simply put, the mantra of the year is a catalyst for becoming who you actually want to be.

In 2021, my mantra was to dance like nobody’s watching. Yes, I did find this quote on Pinterest. But, let’s rewind for a second. In 2020, I cared a lot about what other people thought of me. I was a strict rule-follower who never turned in an assignment late, went to bed before 9pm, and overall took life too seriously. I felt like I was holding myself back and with the pandemic, not much was going on. I lacked spontaneity, passion, and challenge in my life.

When 2021 hit, I launched this blog with the help of my sister. That was my first step towards dancing like nobody was watching. I knew there were many more eight counts to come. And they did. Whether I was literally dancing on the treadmill as I ran, performing stand-up comedy, or creating a startup in under 72 hours, I carried this vivacious approach to life year-round.

How Do I Create a Mantra of the Year?

You may already have a running docket of quotes, reminders, bible verses, or cheesy sayings from fortune cookies in your notes. Maybe your mother always told you something growing up or you have your own phrases you’ve made up along the way. Either way, inspiration is everywhere.

When choosing your mantra of the year, it is important to not pick just any. Below are some questions I ask myself when creating a mantra to set me up for success in the year to come:

  • What do I need to hear most in my life right now?
  • What am I lacking most in my life?
  • What am I worried most about?
  • What am I avoiding?
  • Do I like the person I am becoming if I continue to live every day as I do now?
  • Who is someone I admire and what values do they live by?

If you get overwhelmed, focus on what you need most right now. There are (hopefully) many more years to come to use up those other mantras!

Your North Star

Once you have your mantra of the year, you can use it as a north star for goal setting. For example, if you are unsure if you should run a marathon or not, all you need to do is ask yourself if it captures the spirit of the mantra. This will keep you on track and align your goals with a guiding principle.

I also recommend telling a close friend or two your mantra for the year and challenging them to come up with their own. This way, you’ll have an accountability buddy.

Here, I’ll go first. After following these steps myself and listening to one too many Brené Brown podcasts, I’ve decided my mantra of 2022 will be… (drumroll, please)

“Courage over comfort.”

What’s yours?