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Find your personal Mantra

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and there are messages of love all around us.  Maybe you’ve got plans with your significant other; perhaps you’re sending messages out to your Galentines to let them know how much their friendships mean to you.

But what about you?  Do you remember to appreciate yourself?  Amid all those professions of love for everyone around you, do you take time to recall how amazing you are, too?

Having a personal mantra is a powerful way to remind yourself of what you’re capable of, how far you’ve come in your life, and how strong you truly are.  It is especially powerful as an ally through big personal journeys – for example, during a weight loss journey, or when you need an especially big confidence boost.  Your mantra is the ultimate positive reflection of your spirit.  It feels, in many ways, like an uplifting affirmation. 

There are many ways to create a personal mantra, but the following exercise (adapted from Susie Moore) is our favorite at Sound Medical Weight Loss & Aesthetics because it leads to a mantra that is specific to you.  It elicits powerful memories and is like writing a love note to yourself.

  1. Start by listing five accomplishments in your life of which you’re most proud. Don’t tone it down, please – this list is for you!
  2. Next, score each accomplishment on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how much pleasure each memory brings you today. 1 doesn’t excite you at all; a 10 still gives you goosebumps and makes you want to jump for joy as you remember it.
  3. Finally, for the highest-scoring accomplishment, write a mantra that represents how that memory makes you feel. It should be stated in the present tense.  If you have multiple accomplishments that are tied for the highest score, pick the one that makes you feel most proud and joyful.

I’ll share my own example with you.  The accomplishment of which I’m most proud is having left a big executive job at Amazon to follow my dream of starting my own business.  My mantra? 

I have the courage to make big power moves that fulfill me.

It’s personal to me – every time I say or think it, it reminds me of that courageous move I made.  I was scared but exhilarated and so proud of myself.  Now, when faced with other situations I’m fearful of, I use my mantra to remind me that I’m capable of following my dreams.

Once your mantra is written, use it daily, especially when you need it most.  I say my mantra in the car, have it on a sticky note on my desk, and always say it before major meetings.  I’ve also used it in the past to get myself back on track with my weight loss journey (as many of you already know, I’m not just a Wellness Coach at SMWL – I’m also a patient!)

Moore has advice on how to take this concept even further: “Say you want a mantra to use in a dating context. You can still take the same steps: Recall great relationship experiences, fun dates, and happy times you had with someone you cared about. These need to fuel positive emotions and capture a feeling that makes you feel good about yourself and excited about being in a relationship again. Maybe your mantra becomes ‘laughter,’ ‘be open,’ or simply ‘summertime.’”

With all the love surrounding us this week and month, don’t forget to love and appreciate yourself.  A personal mantra is a fantastic way to kickstart the process.  Let us know in comments what mantra you choose!

Mariel Ilardi  Mariel became a weight loss coach with SMWL after being a patient herself -- having lost 65 pounds through the program! In addition to coaching SMWL patients, Mariel is the founder and CEO of Haven Coaching, an executive and career coaching company.

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