Mantra motivation

With my foot still in a cast, I’m obviously not running my typical 15 miles a week. Since I can’t take to the streets, I have been doing a lot of reading about running instead. I’ll admit, it’s a bit frustrating to read about something I can’t do, but I’ve learned a great deal and will use this knowledge when I start running again.

During my readings about running, I came across an article in the February 2011 issue of Runner’s World magazine that has potential application for unclutterers. The article “The Magic of Mantras” explores using positive self-talk to help push you through the difficult parts of a race, and could easily work for helping you continue through the onerous parts of uncluttering.

So what makes a good mantra? One that’s short, positive, instructive, and full of action words. Walker suggests preparing multiple mantras before a race tailored to various challenges. And don’t limit yourself to “real” words. A made-up word works for Tara Anderson, a 34-year-old runner in Boulder who recites, Lighter, softer, faster, relaxer. “I repeat it with each footstrike, and if I’m having a problem, I’ll repeat the relevant part until I’m in the flow,” she says. Her phrase helped her set a three-minute P[ersonal] R[ecord] in a 10-K in 2009.

Here are a few mantras I think could work for someone embarking on an uncluttering and/or organizing project:

  • One box at a time.
  • Less stuff, less stress.
  • Love it or lose it.
  • A place for everything, and everything in its place.
  • Five minutes or less? The answer is yes.

Do you have a mantra? Could using some positive self-talk help you to achieve your uncluttering and organizing goals? Tell us what you tell yourself in our comments section of this post.

64 Comments for “Mantra motivation”

  1. posted by Kencho on

    One day is better than none days!

  2. posted by Kencho on

    Clear your space to clear your mind!

  3. posted by Kencho on

    A little each day can go a long way!

  4. posted by Natalie in West Oz on

    when i was a runner (oh, so long ago) I used “breathe, breathe, in, in, out, out”. Now we all know we dont breathe in twice or breathe out twice but it was a way of slowing my breathing down (breathe in til I say out) AND i said one word with each foot fall so it also got me into a rhythm.

    As for cleaning…”I am so sick of this mess” doesnt seem to work. Sincerely telling myself ” I dont need this ” has had a degree of success at the shops, both physical and online. My issue is more getting rid of what I already have. When I’m REALLY angry I can make great ditching decisions that I rarely regret. Shame I’m generally really happy!!!!!

  5. posted by Kat on

    Nice one Ann! I love “erase the trace”.

  6. posted by Bryan on

    There is No Tomorrow

  7. posted by Jasmine on

    Does singing along to “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” while working or exercising count? :)

  8. posted by KT on

    Doing a little bit is better than doing nothing at all.

    Also when walking I say I am walking with purpose and cleaning with purpose. Sounds silly but it keeps in mind that I have a goal.

  9. posted by Andree on

    “Set aside”. When lot of thoughts going in and out in my head, this mantra reminds me to set those aside and focus on the present instead.

  10. posted by Joy from Just Plain Joy on

    This too shall pass.

  11. posted by Carrie on

    Beautiful or useful?

  12. posted by Ann on

    What can I do now to make it easier for myself later?

  13. posted by Alex on

    “Do I love it? Does it love me?”

    This works particularly well when I’m cutting down on the size of my wardrobe. Sure, that shirt is REALLY adorable (I love it) but on me, it’s really unflattering (it doesn’t love me). I love these shoes, but I can barely make it out the door without developing a blister, so they don’t love me.

    And, of course, if I don’t love it, it doesn’t matter whether it loves me or not; we can part ways peacefully and it will find another fish in the sea – one who loves it back – at Goodwill.

  14. posted by The Slapdash Sewist on

    First comment, but I have been reading and benefiting for several months. I have found mantras essential to my decluttering!

    1) “It’s a process.” I don’t have to do it perfectly or all at once. It’s a process.

    2. “Fight the junk!” This is my mantra for when I start a new area and, more importantly, for when I am in a store. I’m not really a mindless shopper anymore (not having a car and not going to big box stores helps), but I still make the occasional dumb purchase. I’m hoping “Fight the junk!” will keep me from acquiring more, well, junk. Stuff that seems shiny and exciting now but will eventually become junk.

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