Creating Professional and Personal Mantras
As professionals, we desire to help others in health and wellness through our knowledge, experience and training. We continue to learn and grow and provide the best practices for our clients and companies. There are so many options for certifications and avenues of wellness that it can be overwhelming sometimes to know what we should be learning or where our focus should be. A mantra can help us to fine tune our focus on what we want for our career and even personally in our life.
A mantra is defined as a motivating chant, or any repeated word or phrase. In my coaching practice I call it the vision statement; a picture of who you are and what you desire. The word mantra is derived from Sanskrit word meaning “a sacred message or charm”. Many might also use the word “motto” as a similar description. The difference between a motto and a mantra is how personal the phrase is. A mantra is a phrase that describes your passion, your desire, or your goals. It’s personal. It is a representation of your purpose and who you are as a professional or as a person.
Our mantras can sometime be the same for our career and our life, or we may choose to create a separate mantra for each. Our mantras can be vague, covering a bigger picture of our goals, or it can be very specific and tailored to a specific event or timeline. For example, a vague mantra would be “I help others and I increase my knowledge consistently.” A more specific mantra could be “I am certified nutritional coach in 2018”.
A mantra can be created annually, monthly or weekly. It is preference. If you are interested in creating a mantra today, below is a basic guide to finding your mantra. I challenge you to first take time to reflect on your thoughts, feelings and aspirations. Maybe write down a few things that are in the front of your thoughts this month or year. You decide how vague or specific your mantra will be. Add more detail or specific goal as desired. Feel free to make one for personal and one for professional, or one for both. If you make a separate one for each, tailor your answers to just professionally or just personally.
1. Write down 3 words that describe how you wish to feel in 2018. For example, mine would be happy, energetic, and confident. If you have more than 3 ideas, write them all down. Then reflect on each and circle the 3 that are most important to you in this moment.
2. Write 3 things you wish to accomplish this year. For example, mine would be to help others, improve health, one fun adventure. Again, if you have more write them all down and choose the 3 that are most important to you in this moment.
3. Now, circle one word in each list that stands out to you the most today. The one that connects to your heart, the first thing in your head that really sticks out. Then use those two words to develop a statement; a positive, future tense statement, as if you are already accomplishing it.
4. Write down your mantra on a piece of paper. Then below list 2-4 action steps that are needed to obtain this mantra. These can be small or large action steps, just be sure to use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym when setting these actions steps (Smart, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time sensitive).
When I first went through my coach certification, I created a simple mantra which was “I am able, and I am happy”. It appears as a vague statement, but I know it represented very specific things I was feeling and dealing with at the time. I had experienced health struggles and burnout from my job. That statement represented the goal I had of overcoming my health obstacles and getting back to enjoying what I do in a positive and nurturing environment. This year my mantra is one word, which is “flourish”. It’s the basis for my blog. Your vision and needs change and shift in importance over time, so a mantra is a great way to narrow focus in a phrase that is easy to remember and repeat often.
Whatever your mantra becomes, write it down where you will see it the most, or write it down in multiple places. The nightstand, the office computer, wherever you will be reminded of this statement. I like to type it into a colorful phrase and then frame it by my desk. Remind yourself of this desire daily, and create action steps to help you achieve your mantra in 2018.
Ashley Denney is wellness manager and certified health and wellness coach for a continuing care retirement community. She has earned a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from Old Dominion University. She is a AFAA Group exercise and yoga instructor. She is also a Certified health and wellness coach through WellCoaches. She lives in Virginia with her husband Todd and two dogs. Ashley enjoys anything outdoors, and teaches yoga and paddle board yoga in the summer. She is passionate about helping others live well in all areas of wellness.