Commit to a Mantra, Not A Resolution
Calling Forward The Qualities You Want To Use To Approach Your 2021 Vision
As we emerge into 2021, many of us will be looking at what we want to cultivate, center around, and call forward in 2021.
For many that means setting New Year’s Resolutions…right?
Well, the thing about resolutions is that they often carry with them the weight of failure. Our intentions may be good, but the moment we lose sight of those resolutions we become guilt-ridden and usually give up on the goal altogether.
That’s why I always create a theme instead of a resolution, and here’s why and how to choose a theme of your own.
Resolutions are very specific.
In contrast, choosing an overarching theme allows it to take shape in various aspects of your life. For example, your resolution might be to follow a specific fertility diet by cutting out sugar, gluten and alcohol. That’s a great goal, but instead, you could make your theme for the year “Experience Health” or “Cultivate Baby Readiness.” Choosing “Experience Health” or “Cultivate Baby Readiness” as your theme could lead to much more than following a fertility-enhancing regimen, you may also begin to consider other aspects of your health such as mental clarity, healthy relationships or recognizing self-doubt that might be getting in your way.
A theme continuously unfolds, while resolutions are a one-and-done.
Another benefit of choosing a general theme instead of a specific resolution is that open-ended ideas take longer to develop. Let’s say you choose “Go Slowly” or “Be Present” as your theme. As the year progresses your theme may reveal itself in more ways than you initially imagined. Perhaps you’ll take more time to self-reflect before making major decisions, begin taking walks to clear your mind, or think about tuning into the needs of your your heart and gut more often. You might develop a practice of being fully present for your children every day for 15 minutes with zero distractions, or turn off your phone reminders for certain chunks of your day. The possibilities for your theme to manifest itself are endless.
Your theme can be your mantra.
One year, while I was struggling to get pregnant, my theme was, “Nothing Except Love Makes Sense.” It came to me in a meditation in which I noticed how mad I was at myself for not having started on my journey toward motherhood when I was younger and still fertile. I noticed how much of my time was spent beating myself up for past choices that had led me to having a baby alone later in life.
So, in the beginning, my mantra was about self-love, but then it began to evolve to apply to my attitude towards others. For example, when my fertility doctors gave me someone else’s positive pregnancy results, I used this mantra to see that the fertility doctors were not consciously trying to hurt me or make what seemed like endless errors.
Over the year, it kept showing up. Nothing Except Love Makes Sense, I would say to myself over and over, when I had conflict with friends or noticed I was not practicing self-love. My mantra was a recurrent soundtrack that helped me stay on track in so many aspects of my life. It was short and easy and applicable to just about every area of my life.
You can look back at the end of the year and reflect upon all the ways your theme took shape.
As the year came to a close, I could look back and see all the ways in which my theme manifested. I got pregnant, found myself defaulting to self-love instead of self-hatred, I let things roll off my back, keeping things in perspective more and choosing to cultivate love and kindness toward everyone in my orbit, instead of holding onto painful situations.
Taking time to reflect on your theme at the end of the year is a very rewarding experience and can also help you determine your new theme for the next year.
How to Choose your Theme:
Let’s talk about a few ways you can go about choosing a theme of your own for this coming year.
- Write a list things you would like to see come to pass over the next year or areas in your life you would like to make changes. Make sure you are listing outcomes over which you have control. For example, you might be tempted to list “get pregnant” but this is an outcome you cannot control. You can, however, list loose weight, follow a fertility diet, reduce stress, or clear any blocks preventing you from getting pregnant etc.
Also, think about what qualities you want to cultivate in your life. What quality and state of mind to you want to bring to the various outcomes you want to happen. Now, look over your list and find common threads that you can start to group into themes.
- Also try getting quiet, perhaps sit for a meditation (5 minutes is totally fine), and set the intention of seeing yourself having a deeply satisfying or nurturing year. What do you visualize? Do you see more patience, more organization, groundedness, or focus etc. Maybe more meaningful relationships, more connection or more authenticity? Use these images to determine which theme you could choose in order to help your vision come to pass.
- This next tip is very important: Always speak in the AFFIRMATIVE when choosing your theme. When we’re pondering changes we want to make, it comes naturally for us to speak about what we don’t want. Your theme will not be helpful if you focus on what you don’t want. Saying “I don’t want to be late,” projects the idea of lateness. Instead, you may say “The Year of Arriving Early,” or “The Year of Perfect Timing”, for example.
My theme is about escaping survival mode. Just like for so many, 2020 was a doozy for me. In many ways, I was just getting by, surviving the endless curveballs and challenges. I was overrun by a sense of survival—trying to get a million things done, while making endless difficult decisions. I was overwrought and over run.
This year, I want to cultivate the inner knowing that no matter what, I’m ok and that there is enough time and resources to slow down and do simple things with a quality of pleasure. Instead of cooking a meal as fast as I can to get it done, I aspire to act like I’m a chef on Chef’s Table, do things because they are fun and interesting and spend time with my child fully focused on him,, instead of worrying about the work I need to do or the list of tasks that needs to be completed.
My theme could be the Year of Slowing Down To Smell The Roses the Year of Being Present, or the Year of Thriving and Enjoyment.
I’m still working on the exact wording but that’s part of the beauty of a theme or a mantra. It can start with one theme such as Slow Down and continue to evolve.
As you embrace your mantra, be open to the many ways that your theme may manifest, and do use it often as your mantra so that you can remain focused on creating a beautiful new year.
I look forward to our continued connection. Sending you love, support and the opportunity of a new chapter to focus on becoming an even more amazing version of yourself.
I’d love to hear what mantra will guide you through 2021!