Forget Resolutions: Embrace a Yearly Mantra Instead

Forget Resolutions: Embrace a Yearly Mantra Instead

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Carrie McBride
Dec 31, 2015

I am awesome at sticking to New Year's resolutions. For about two weeks. Then my resolve softens followed by a predictable petering out of whatever habit I was trying to form, a short bout of self-recrimination and, finally, a return to the former status quo. So a few years ago I ditched the idea of resolutions and came up with something better...a mantra.

The first mantra I adopted was very simple: Use it. Over the years I had accumulated too many things in my home that were "too nice" to use: stationery, soaps and lotions, candles, even some fancy edibles. I'm not sure what I was saving them for but they were either taking up space or were no longer even viable (4-year-old lemon curd? Bad idea.) So I decided it was going to be my year of using things.

If I had created a resolution ("I'm going to send one of these lovely cards each week, etc...") I would have surely failed. But embracing a simple mantra that I could apply to all kinds of things in my life was a positive way to remind myself of my goal without setting unrealistic expectations.

Instead of vowing to hit the gym three times a week, why not say you're going to move more this year and encourage yourself to take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to work when you have time, do wall sits while you talk on the phone and, yes, hit the gym.

What do you think? Would a mantra work for you? Or are you a Ruler of Resolutions?

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