Could a Mantra Help?

I’ve always been a reluctant exerciser.  I think it stems from the backpacking trips my parents forced on me starting at age 4.  I was the most miserable child; they knew I was ok on the trail because they could hear me crying even if they couldn’t see me.  They thought I would marry a librarian who would never make me do anything outside.  But alas, I married an outdoorsman so I had to adapt.

In the early years of our relationship, I would hike with him once a year–it was part of his birthday present.  We almost broke up on the Hanging Lake Trail in Glenwood Canyon.  He claims old ladies with walkers were passing me.  I don’t remember any walkers but do remember old ladies and people in flip flops.  I still don’t like that trail much.

Over the last twenty years, I’ve turned myself into a daily exerciser.  I recognize that it is good for my brain and my body.  My personal mission statement even incorporates how important exercise has become to me:

I want to seek out active travel and social opportunities and help others to identify and achieve their financial goals.

I accomplished something this weekend that will absolutely shock my parents.  I hiked from Aspen to Crested Butte, with a pack on my back.  It is 126 miles by car or 11 miles by foot–7 miles up and 4 miles down.  It is scary because there is no turning around–two of our husbands dropped us off then headed on that 126 mile journey to pick us up.  That’s me in blue with three of my best pals.  It was unbelievably beautiful and something I’ll remember forever.

west maroon

There are a lot of lessons from this– we can accomplish more than we think through preparation and planning.

I think my mantras helped.

We often have negative self talk in our heads–I think women are especially prone to this.  We speak to ourselves in ways we would never speak to a child or someone we love.  I borrowed this from my friend Angie at  It is incredibly important to treat ourselves with kindness.

I’ve learned to replace that negative message in my head with positive mantras.  On this hike, “What can I control? Speed and Attitude” ran through my head.  Once I decided I was going to do it, I couldn’t control how my feet felt (terrible!), I couldn’t control how steep the trail was or the people in front of me who were strolling and not letting me by.  I could really only control how fast I walked (once I got past the strolling folks) and my attitude.

On my bike ride today, it was “You can do it” and “Almost There”. I often use Slow and Steady Wins the Race”.

As we think about our financial goals, any of these mantras would work.  We can control our speed and attitude about saving and paying off debt.  We can control how much we earn and how much we spend to some extent–many would argue to a great extent.

We can control whether we continue to plug away (Speed) to make progress towards our goals and how we feel about that progress (Attitude).

Oh, and remind yourself to celebrate your success – my friend made sure we summited that pass together!

What mantras work for you?

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Author: Ms. Liz

A CPA, I retired at 51 and I am helping people create their fantastic futures!

3 thoughts on “Could a Mantra Help?”

  1. My mantra has been “Hey! I’m in charge here!” I don’t say that out loud to other people- it’s just for me. It’s not to say that I think I am the boss of the world- but I am the boss of me. Much like Ms Liz wrote “what can I control?” I try to remember that I am accountable for my actions, thoughts, feelings etc. – no one else. I am an agent of action, not an object to be acted upon. I am learning how to apply this to my finances. Mindful budgeting is a huge part. I am in charge of my money, I tell it where to go. Then at the end of the month I don’t have to wonder where it all went, I know where it is because “Hey! I’m in charge here!”

  2. Ooh, I love that “Hey, I’m in charge here”. I may borrow it. We are each the boss of ourselves. I love the strength in the statement “I am an agent of action”. With those two lines in your head, I feel like you can accomplish anything!

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