Last year, I talked about New Year’s resolutions and how changing your lifestyle is a process and not something you accomplish by January 3.

This year, I’d rather focus on intentions–more specifically, mantras.

Some of you might associate mantras with meditation, and rightly so; however, we can use mantras in our day-to-day activities. You can say or chant your mantra on the way to work, while you’re walking the dog, or even in the shower.

Why Choose a Mantra?

To me, repeating a mantra–and really keeping in mind what it means to you–helps your mind block out all the garbage and focus on one important idea.

I was already familiar with my mantra when I chose it (see below). I’d put it into effect a few times, I knew how well it worked for me, and so I went with it. When I say my mantra–aloud or in my head–my focus becomes clearer and my entire body relaxes.

So, the question really is, why NOT chose a mantra?!

So, How Do You Choose a Mantra?

Choose your mantra based on:

  • What you want to accomplish. This might be something visible, such as decluttering and organizing your life.
  • What you want to avoid. Jealousy, bitterness, anger–ain’t nobody got time for that.
  • How you want to feel. Do you feel tired, inferior, or scared most of the time? Choose a mantra to lift yourself up and give yourself courage.

Your mantra can be a sound, a word, or even an entire phrase.

Why I Chose My Mantra

Several words auditioned to be my mantra for 2014. For a long time, I thought “simplify” was the winner; after all, it sort of related to everything in my life. I need to simplify everything from my relationships with certain people to my closet to my email subscriptions.

Eventually, though, “ahimsa” won out. If you’re not familiar with ahimsa, it’s a yoga yama originating from Buddhist and Hindu cultures meaning “non-violence” or “do not injure.” (This is an extremely simplified explanation; I’ll talk more about ahimsa later.)

I chose ahimsa because, like “simplify,” it touches every area of my life; however, unlike “simplify,” “ahimsa” affects the world around me–not just me.

What’s Your Mantra?

So, what’s your mantra for the upcoming year? Or, life in general (no one says you have to change it each year!).

Have you decided yet or already use one? Share with us in the comments below.