Forget Resolutions, Let’s Pick a Mantra


Picking a mantra for the coming year has been my style for the last few years for a few reasons that might resonate with you, but it also takes the pressure off of setting big goals. There’s no disappointment if your year veers off course from the word or phrase you’ve chosen. And let’s face it, after a pandemic and its lasting effects on our mental health and expectations, we should be as low-key into 2022 as we can be. If 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything, it would look a lot like, “Don’t make plans set in stone.”


Choose a mantra or phrase to guide your new year.


This year, 2022, as hopeful as I want to be, I’m going to approach it with “momentum.” That’s my word for the year. Ideally, forward momentum, but moving along in a direction is plain ol’ good enough for me. I don’t want to overthink it. I just want to know that there is momentum to my day-to-day and little things along the way to look forward to. 


My phrase for 2021 was “as-is,” and that served me well. New state, a job change, Covid in my house, a getaway to another country for a beautiful wedding – all came as-is. I didn’t try to make it more than what it was. I took the good with any bad. It was there, and I was in the moment – at a standstill in the midst of life’s tornado. Plus, literal tornadoes. And I had to take that as-is as well. 


The year before, my phrase for 2020 (the year that shall not be joyous, ever) was something along the lines of growth or making the most of the year. I learned quickly that 2020 was a wash for goal-setting. Just getting through a single day was plenty.


Some years before that, I chose “be memorable.” I wanted to make an impression; stop blending in. I could bring that one back around again. Maybe for 2023? Another year was “just go with it,” and I think that could apply to any year if you don’t have grand expectations or are trying something new.


I like to ask my daughter what word or mantra she would choose to guide her year, especially since she is so young and has so much to look forward to in a much simpler view. Sometimes all I need is a reminder from her point of view that we don’t have to overcomplicate really anything. Then I’m back on track with my mantra to guide me.


When choosing your mantra, keep it simple. Let it be a phrase that feels kind to your soul. Ensure that it applies to what you see yourself doing this year. Write it down. Share it with a trusted friend. Hold each other accountable. Ask the children what word they want to name 2022 and put it on the family whiteboard or chalk wall. Celebrate their choice to participate! And above all, do your best to make the most of this next year we are given. Let your mantra be your guide. 😉

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Maria has had a long flirtation with her passion for writing since childhood. She truly enjoys sharing imagery in a creative capacity through words and photography. A transplant from California, she is eager to make the St. Louis area feel like home. When she isn’t snapping away at a shutter, or happily clicking on a keyboard, you can find Maria exploring her new surroundings, sipping wine with friends, or making the most of her adventures with her little family. Maria is happily married and the mother of one daughter and one furbaby.


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