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Thoughtful mature womanAre you familiar with mantras? Within the practice of meditation and yoga, a mantra is a word or a sound repeated to help with concentration and to help create a sense of calm.

But a mantra also can be a statement or slogan repeated frequently to remind yourself of what’s really important. Mantras are a bit like big-picture New Year’s Resolutions. As we enter a new year, consider creating a mantra or two to define your overarching priorities for the coming year, from which all other goals follow. Here are some examples:

I will forgive

“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” Maya Angelou. Almost everyone has been wronged by someone. Yet studies show that holding on to negative feelings about other people and/or certain events in the past is definitely not good for your health and well-being. Forgiving someone else doesn’t mean that you have to forget or excuse what you experienced; it just means that you’ve acknowledged it and have decided to move on.

I will be kind

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” The 14th Dalai Lama. Being kind to yourself, your loved ones, your planet, your friends and even people you don’t know can have a profoundly positive impact on your life and your community. Being kind encourages others to be kind as well.

I will be a force for good

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Gandhi. You may think that you cannot make much difference in the world. But the truth is that you can. Every act is important, big or small.

I won’t give up

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Confucius. We live in a society that is obsessed with immediate results. Instead of beating yourself up for not achieving things as quickly as you would like, take heart in the progress you are making toward your goals.

I will be positive

“Wherever you go, no matter the weather, bring your own sunshine.” Anthony J. D’Angelo. A positive attitude will take you further in life than any manner of success. Learn to be happy, grateful and joyful, and you will be more successful than you could have ever dreamed.

I will never stop learning

“The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss. Life is about learning and growing. Make an effort to always acquire knowledge in whatever form it may take, and you will find your life will be rich.

Wherever you go during this year, remember these wise words. Life is about the journey and our struggles along the way. Find your own mantras and use those words as your guiding principles every day, all year long.