What We Say to Ourselves Matters…but we don’t spend a lot of time designing the scripts we hear in our head. It’s like improv in that we don’t plan it, but in the absence of developing new skits (or even having script-writers!), the same skit tends to play over and over again. If the scripts that play in your mind are like mine, the same ones get old and tired, and, well, they need a re-do!
Even if the mantra playing in your mind works for you, you still may want to give it a re-write. Whether or not you’ve ever thought about putting some intention into your thoughts to help you organize yourself in a particular direction, here are some tips to do so!
3 Ways to Tune-up Your Daily Mantras
1-Speak in the present: if you want to make healthier choices, for example, and your mantra is “I will make healthy choices” it is not as powerful as “I make healthy choices”. The word ‘will’ implies the event is going to take place sometime in the future. Whereas, “I make” implies it is happening now, already. Thus programming you for immediate adoption of the desired behavior.
2-Make it specific and do-able: if you want to spend more time with your family, you need to state when and how you plan to do it, as if it’s happening already (see #1). For example, “I commit at least 30 minutes every day to eat a meal with family members.” Similarly, if you commit to not doing something, that is not do-able, it is only not-doing-able. Rather than “I’ll spend less time working”, you can commit to time for reading or walking in the woods (or whatever it is you do want to do, and not what you don’t want to do).
3–Show gratitude for what is already happening: If I want to feel better about (or less critical of) myself, it is powerful to show gratitude for how good I do feel (even if I want to feel better). For example, “Thank you that I love and accept myself.” In saying a mantra like this, I am already showing love and acceptance to myself. Just by saying the mantra, I am doing what I am saying I do. Doing this and doing it with gratitude sets a powerful intention!