At the end of the week, I imagine a blackboard being erased clean for the weekend. On Monday, a fresh, clean slate (chalkboard) is ready for the lessons ahead. This helps me to think of each new week as a fresh start to work towards my goals.
“Any beginning is a time of special power for habit creation, and at certain times we experience a clean slate, in which circumstances change in a way that makes a fresh start possible. Many people deliberately use the New Year or their birthdays as a clean slate, but it can take many forms.” – Gretchen Rubin from her book Better than Before
Make the trip
It’s so easy to stay close to home, to go to old haunts time and time again, to make excuses for not venturing a bit further afield, or trying something new. It takes some effort to seek out new experiences, to travel the distance to meet a friend or family member or to get outside your comfort zone. But, as the saying goes “memories are made of this.”
Take the picture
I often find myself too nervous or scared to document the things that I love. While I want to encourage myself to literally take the picture (with a camera), this mantra is also about being less afraid to do and experience things I enjoy.
Life is fostered in devotion
Whether or not you’re religious or spiritual, your devotion to whatever it is you spend your time caring about enriches your life. This mantra reminds me to care, deeply.
People are better than no people
Okay, this one is taken from an old episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve been re-watching from the beginning of the series. This mantra helps me in so many ways. I’m an introvert who is perfectly content being by myself at home for days on end. But, sometimes I get lonely. Actually, even if I’m around others, I can still feel lonely. Leaving the house to be amongst strangers helps me feel less all alone. Those strangers are people that are better than no people.
And my family who doesn’t really get me, who still has old stories about who I am, who isn’t always fun to be around? They’re still my people. And they’re better than no people.
Everything is going to be alright
This is an all-purpose mantra for me which has served me well in recent years. Anytime I am going to a medical appointment, trying some new food for the first time, or feel stressed because I’m stuck in traffic, I repeat this mantra in my head. I noticeably feel much calmer and relaxed. I feel like I can handle anything when I repeat this mantra to myself.
In one of the goal-setting workbooks that I complete before the end of the year (and review monthly in the new year), there is a whole page devoted to affirmations. Things like “you were born to be exactly who you are” and “you are awesome.” Like mantras, affirmations can serve us by giving us a quick quote to say to ourselves as a pattern interruption.