We've sifted through the glitter and confetti, popped the champagne bottles, and counted our way down to the start of a fresh, new year. It's an exciting time to be starting off with a clean slate to set some easy New Year's resolutions for 2016 that we can all actually keep. Really. And with the exciting promise of new beginnings and goals, comes the opportunity to recharge, reflect, and readjust to having a more positive mindset.
To be able to make the most of our resolutions and cross our aspirations off our lists (no matter how grounded or how lofty), it's important to maintain that can-do attitude and to remind ourselves just how much we are capable of. Most of us have been there — we start the year off with high hopes and expectations, determined to eat better, workout more, read more books, etc. — and then maybe by week two our yoga mats are gathering dust in the corner and we've given up on chapter two of that new book. It happens.
As important as resolutions are, I think it's just as important to adopt some positive mantras to help keep us going and see these resolutions through. Let's kick off 2016 with some of the following 16 mantras for the new year.
1. "If you live off someone's compliments, you'll die from their criticism."
I think this serves as a great reminder for our sources of self-worth. Sometimes we lose sight of our value when we inadvertently depend so much on others for approval and validation. Remembering not to rely on others' judgment and to instead do things for ourselves and know we are always enough is important to accomplish the things we want and to feel the way we want to feel. No one will take that away from you unless you let them.
2. "I am here now. I'll be there later."
This is all about being present, living in the moment, and practicing mindfulness. Another great favor you'll be doing yourself is to take each moment as it comes. While it's important to set goals for yourself, try not to fast forward through it all by either only focusing on the outcome or envisioning an even better future situation. Embracing the process within everything will help make great moments even more beautiful and not-so-great moments more bearable.
3. "Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn."
Finding the value in a crappy situation when things don't quite pan out as planned is difficult. But of course, there is something to be learned from every experience, especially a bad one. What's the harm in trying to extract the good from something? You'll only be benefitting yourself and walking away with some insight to apply to another experience down the road.
4. "We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."
Travel is a beautiful thing. The temptation to escape our realities to a "better" place is strong. Like there's a reason people send postcards of castles and palm trees rather than cubicles and office plants. But you'll feel so much more fulfilled if you view it as an opportunity to experience more, rather than simply as something you're running away to.
Because if you think about it as that escape from whatever reality you need a break from, all of that will be there waiting for you when you return. And that's just a depressing way to go about it. Traveling is so much more than that. It shouldn't really ever end, because you bring those experiences back with you. It inspires new thoughts and ideas. It adds a little more adventure in everything you do. Traveling opens your eyes just a little wider and helps you see the world that much clearer and more vibrant. And that is why travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
5. "Don't give up what you want the most for what you want now."
Here comes that pretty little game of patience. When we want something really badly and we've been pursuing it for what seems like forever, it can be easy to lose sight of things in the long-term and let things go for maybe what's easier or just there. Yay culture of instant gratification. But as you may have gathered from your personal experience by this point, those things are almost never nearly worth as much that one thing you have to fight for. I know you know what I mean — so keep those pretty eyes on the prize.
6. "Love yourself first and everything else falls into line."
Because we all know that you have to love yourself before you can love others, and truly put yourself in all you want to do. Love is fuel, my friends, never forget that.
7. "Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try."
Fear of failure or rejection is one of the silliest excuses to hold yourself back from trying to accomplish something you want. Why take that opportunity away from yourself? Go tackle that list of resolutions you've scribbled down for yourself and you're already closer to succeeding than from where you started.
8. "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
So after you've finally mustered up the inspired bravery to go after those goals of yours — whether it's fitness, learning a language, or maybe just drinking more water — you'll see just how you can surprise yourself with all you can do by having a little patience and perseverance. What once seemed like a giant project can just as easily become second nature to you if you keep at it.
9. "Do not forget small kindnesses and do not remember small faults."
Enough of the petty bullsh*t that always seems to follow us around and keep us down. Holding on to a heavy grudge doesn't really do anyone, much less yourself, much good. You'll feel so much lighter if you work at your ability to forgive the little things — and maybe even some of the big things. Life's too short to stay mad at people and hone in on their flaws. And there is so much good that gets unnoticed. But once you start taking note of those little things, you'll realize just how much people care. And that's an awesome feeling.
10. "It is the greatest of mistakes to do nothing because you can do little."
A lot of the time, the world can make us feel small and insignificant, which is why we may not bother doing things like voting, volunteering, and just getting involved with the important causes that seem so much bigger than us. Oh they'll take care of it, we may think. There's always those people who seem to have it covered for the rest of us because they know what they're doing. And how much can one person really help anyway, right?
At the risk of sounding like an over-saturated save-the-planet ad, never underestimate your power and how much of a difference you can make. Because if you can do something — however little it may be — why not do it? Doing a little of something is always more powerful than doing nothing. Plus, it'll just make you feel good. There are so many different ways to become a happier person that are also good for the world.
11. "Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness."
I know this sounds weird, but the two parts of this mantra don't always go hand in hand. You may not necessarily be happy with your freedom, and you may not always have freedom in happiness. The key here is to try your best to match the two; the great news is that we all have the power to, if we so choose. There are scientifically proven things that make us happy — all we have to do is embrace the freedom to tap into them.
12. "Action is the antidote to despair."
Sure, it takes a lot less effort to wallow in our pools of self-pity when we're unhappy with a situation. But not doing anything about it pretty much guarantees that we'll continue to feel awful. Make this your year to take action and do something about it. Because you can. There are plenty of little ways to feel happy when you're sad, and they're so do-able. Despair never looked good on anyone, no matter how grand of a theatrical tragedy they may have been in. Sorry Romeo and Juliet.
13. "Happiness is the consequence of personal effort."
This is one of my favorite Elizabeth Gilbert quotes, taken right from her Guru's teachings of happiness. Because just as many have said about happiness, it isn't something that just happens on its own for a select lucky group of people in this world. Happiness is something we can choose to feel and strive for, every morning we wake up.
14. "It's not about having time, it's about making time."
If I had a dollar for every time someone used the excuse "I just don't have enough time," I'd be Donald Trump chillen. Well, probably not. But still. Time is never going to effortlessly lend itself to us conveniently. And as the years go by, that seems harder to grasp. If there is something you want to do, you can always make the time for it. Start thinking outside the box a little. While we can't stop time, create more hours in the day, or become Edward Cullen and never have to sleep again, we can exercise control over the way we manage our time and give ourselves the space to do what we want with it.
15. "It's never too late to become what you might have been."
Speaking of time, I hate this notion of the ticking clock. Like there's never enough time for anything, or there's only one time for something. As a society, we've locked ourselves into this rigid mindset of an unwritten timeframe that tells us who we are after a certain point. But the thing is, you can constantly reinvent yourself and pursue unfulfilled aspirations until you're 100 years old. I mean Ellen Degeneres was a paralegal and an oyster shucker before becoming a comedian, for crying out loud. It's always the right moment to figure out what you were "meant" to do — it's yours for the taking, whenever you want.
16. "Work hard because you love your body, not because you hate it."
This one goes beyond fitness goals. I think loving yourself and your body is a wonderful mindset to have as a reason for doing anything in life. The things you do for yourself, and anyone else for that matter, are always much more effective when coming from a positive place.
Work hard, have fun, stay positive, throw in a mantra or two, and your 2016 is bound to be amazing.