A mantra is, simply, a word or phrase used repetitively by someone. It may sound basic, but it can be a powerful tool both in your daily life and as you go after your health and fitness goals.
I’ve personally found that when I’m in a moment of struggle, if I can ground myself by using one of my go-to mantras, it helps give me strength and focus for whatever it is I’m trying to achieve.
I’d encourage anyone to find a few mantras that feel meaningful or inspiring to them and either use them verbally as needed, or place them somewhere you’ll see often as a reminder — or both. These are the five I find most helpful for myself.
1. Be the change you want to see in the world.
Chances are you’ve heard this popular phrase that stems from the words of Mahatma Ghandi. I make a point of starting each day reminding myself of this sentiment. Every morning, when my alarm goes off, I have a message also set to pop up that reads, “Be impactful with your actions.”
I often encourage my training clients to visualize what they want from their life, as well as how that will affect the lives of others. I ask them to write it down and place it somewhere they’ll see daily so they never lose sight of the vision they have.
I truly believe in the power of manifestation, and that you have to put out into the world what you want to come to life. So, if I want change to happen, I have to lead with the mindset that I need to be the change.
2. Live with purpose.
I was introduced to this concept from the book The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren. Purpose is a big word, but living with it simply means that you understand your “why” — or your internal drive or motivation.
We are all special and unique in our own way, so this will mean something different to each person, but I’d encourage anyone to first identify their “why,” then allow it to guide their actions — and be patient with process.
Learning your “why” can be a challenge, so as a first step, I’d suggest spending some time identifying your core values. You may experience some discomfort in the course of this, particularly if your actions now don’t align to them. But once you do and begin to live with purpose, you’ll likely find it to feel freeing for your mind, body, and soul.
(For more on living a purpose-driven life, check out our Life Time Talks podcast episode on the topic with Tim Hightower.)
3. Impossible is nothing.
This Adidas® slogan is, again, likely one you’ve heard before, but I love it because it removes any and all perceived limits. I’d challenge you to ask yourself, “What if?” Now fill in that blank.
Thinking in this way allows your mind to be creative. Take what you may have viewed as impossible, reframe that as a “what if,” and then come up with a plan of action to help bring whatever that is to reality.
This frame of mind takes time and requires patience. But I believe the best teacher in life is experience — and failure. Through each, you learn so much about yourself and about life, and are then able to grow and develop your mindset to become more disciplined and consistent when working toward a desired result.
4. Action is where the magic happens.
While I’m a huge champion of the power of mindset, it’s combining belief with the follow through of action that’s going to yield you the best results.
When going after a goal, I recommend creating an action plan — either on your own or with the help of a coach — to give you a guided course and something to hold accountable to. At the start of each week, create objectives based on that plan that will move you closer to your desired end result. Then, at the end of each week, take an honest look at your progress and adjust for the next week.
5. Mind right, body right.
Anyone who trains with me knows this is a motto I use often. Workouts are workouts, but it’s your mindset that’s going to make all the difference in your efforts.
“Mind right” means mentally being in tune with your own thoughts — this is important, as they will dictate your actions. “Body right” means your body is a byproduct of the time and effort you put into it. This includes all aspects of healthy living, such as movement, nutrition, sleep, and stress management.
This belief was created through my personal journey in life. I know that I am capable of doing anything — it starts first with my mindset, and then my body follows.