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Want to Stick to Your Goals? Develop a Mantra

Just as mindfully repeating a mantra can help you kick a bad habit, it can help you stick to a great goal.

Psychotherapist and best-selling author Amy Morin recently discussed the three things she does to break bad habits — one of which is using a mantra.

Using a mantra to help yourself break a habit makes sense. As Morin puts it, repeating something over and over is one of the “best ways to drown out” thoughts that encourage your self-doubt (“Not everyone is cut out to finish a marathon, go ahead and stop.”) or give you a false sense of entitlement or security (“You had a salad for dinner. You deserve an extra dessert!”)

Of course, it needs to be something you mindfully chose for just such occasion and not, say, your grocery list.

So, if mantras work well for breaking habits, how well do you think they’d work for sticking to goals? How about, say, your goals to:

  • Eat a brain food every day.
  • Avoid heavily processed junk that makes you feel physically and mentally sluggish.
  • Train for your city’s annual marathon.
  • Drink eight glasses of water a day.
  • Set aside three days a week for yoga.

Pretty well, I’d bet.

Way back in 2014, I talked a little about mantras and how to choose one. Let’s refresh!

How to Choose a Mantra to Stick to Your Goals

1) What Is a Mantra?

Simply put, “a mantra is a word, sound, or phrase repeated to aid in your concentration while meditating.”

A mantra can be as simple as the word ‘love,’ something you are thankful for, or a phrase such as ‘om shanti, shanti, shanti’ which represents all encompassing peace. You can also meditate on an affirmation, such as ‘I accept myself.’

On that note, don’t confuse a mantra with your “Live, Laugh, Love” wall hanging. That’s more of an “intention” or “affirmation”; of course, those can work just as well.

2) Develop Your Mantra!

Think of your mantra as your verbal vision board, and choose your words or phrase based on:

  • What you want to accomplish.
  • What you want to avoid.
  • How you want to feel.

3) Remember Your Mantra’s Meaning.

Finally, remember that as you repeat your mantra it’s best to keep in mind what it means to you. You might not always mean it, but remember what it means to you. Remember why you chose it, and why you’re saying it over and over right now.

Remembering what your mantra means to you will be especially helpful in keeping you on track for achieving your goal.

How about you? Are you going to develop a mantra to help achieve your goals? Or, do you already have a mantra that works well for you in various areas of life?

Want to Stick to Your Goals? Develop a Mantra

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind, Unleash Your Creativity, and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2019). Want to Stick to Your Goals? Develop a Mantra. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 1 Aug 2019
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