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A New Mantra for the New Year
Posted: 1/3/2014 | Inspirational Comments
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We know how it goes. We resolve to make big changes for the new year, and we forget about them in a few weeks. According to Psychology Today about 50% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and about 88% of those people fail to keep them. Why? We sustain our enthusiasm and resolve for just a few weeks before our commitment fades. It’s just so easy to fall into old habits, and not so easy to create new ones.

Without specific strategies our plans often fall to the wayside, and we end up discouraged and resigned. Often we try to muscle our way through to goals without examining the underlying beliefs that keep our unwanted behavior in place. For example, if we want to lose weight this year it’s important to understand the beliefs and views we have about our bodies, often hidden from our conscious awareness. If we don’t, we don’t lose weight or we don’t keep it off for long. When we unearth hidden beliefs that keep us stuck, we can begin to trace them to it’s source which is often a message we internalized as kids. If you got the message, for example, that to be thin was to invite unwanted attention, you might keep on weight as a way of protecting yourself no matter what you resolve.

The process of unraveling these beliefs requires time and the willingness to see what can be a potentially painful experience. Sometimes it’s more effective to work with these hidden beliefs in partnership with your psychotherapist.

Here’s a suggestion. Rather than resolving to make change, try creating a mantra for 2014. A mantra can keep us engaged with our yearlong goals in a positive way. According to Merriam-Webster, a mantra is, “A sound, word or phrase that is repeated by someone who is meditating or praying,” and, “a repeated phrase that is said often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs.” According to the Vedas, a mantra has its own pattern of vibrations that can alter our physical reality.

When we repeat a phrase that resonates with us emotionally, we can help to change a counter belief that keeps us stuck. While mantras in many traditional spiritual practices use sounds and words from other languages, it’s great to use affirmations, even quotes, that have meaning for us and move us in the direction of our goals. We can focus our mantra on the bigger issues that hold us back, because what holds us back in one area probably affects every area of our lives.

If your goal is weight loss, the bigger issue to address might be self love. You might be inspired by the cultural icon Richard Simmons who said, “Love yourself. Move your body. Watch your portions.” One man I know had difficulty taking action in his life. He was inspired by, “Vision without action is hallucination.” It reminded him to move forward on the steps required to fulfill his goals.

You can repeat a mantra in a meditation, post it in prominent places around your home or work place, or even on the ceiling above your bed. Find a way to stay present to your mantra, and remember that repetition is key. There isn’t a right or wrong way to create a mantra. Choose a phrase, quote or affirmation that speaks powerfully to you.

Real change takes time, and you’ve got the whole year to follow through on your strategies and action steps. Regardless of your aims and aspirations this year, the most important practice you can implement is to go within, either with meditation, prayer or another spiritual practice that works for you. Be gentle with yourself. Keep in mind that the whole year can be a delightful exploration, a wonderful unfolding of a new awareness and greater connection with Self. May you receive a deeper level of fulfillment, peace and joy in 2014!

For further information on accessing your wisdom, happiness, fulfillment, and peace you desire, click here to learn about Dr. Howard's Multiple Award Winning Book "Your Ultimate Life Plan: How to Deeply Transform Your Everyday Experience and Create Changes That Last."


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