Using Life Mantras to keep you on track with what really matters.
A few years ago, I started to create a Life Crafting notebook. It sounds important, but it was simply created using the Notes app on my phone to jot down things I wanted to remember to better my life.
My Life Crafting notebook has evolved to include various tidbits of things that I wanted to remember to enact in my life including my Life Mantras, life goals, date night ideas, quotes I like, and key highlights from books I have read (much of it has now landed on this site).
Yet nothing in this notebook is more important than my Life Mantras.
They have acted as the guide rails for my life.
They have helped me to make better decisions, and to continue to grow into the person that I want to be.
Create Life Mantras
Here are my Life Mantras. They are simple and memorable. I keep them in my phone’s notes and revisit, remove, and add as needed:
- Happy wife, happy life
- Hell Yeah! or no
- Build great relationships with my kids
- Live with integrity
- Never do something just for the money
- Continuously learn
- Always be responsive
- Follow through with commitments
- Have fun; try not to take things too seriously
- Never interview for a job
- Build cool things that matter to people
- Put family first
- Be in nature more
These are the guide rails of my life, and for the most part this I have attempted to live my adult life according to my Life Mantras.
It’s not always easy.
I haven’t always gotten things right, but they help me to get things right, more often than I have gotten them wrong.
The simple act of knowing who I want to be, has helped me to actually become that person.
Setting Life Goals
Life Mantras help you to remember to live the way you want to live.
Life Goals are what you desire to accomplish in your life.
I have found that goal setting to be important to my personal success.
But your success ultimately means nothing if your personal and/or professional goals are out of alignment with your Life Mantras.
Before I ever even had Life Mantras, I had created Life Goals. My initial Life Goals was created in 2011. Since then, I periodically go in and add a new date and update/modify goals as things have changed.
So here are my personal goals from 2011:
- Make my wife VERY happy
- Have kids
- Travel at least once a year to someplace new
- Own house outright
- Take a mini-retirement to travel
- Live debt free
- Own a vacation home
- Become an angel investor
- Own several rental properties as long term investments
- Make a million dollars by the time I am 30
- Retire Early
Now 10 years later, I have completed 7 of these goals! That is pretty cool. I still haven’t become an angel investor (probably never will) nor have I invested in rental properties, but I won’t rule that one out.
Here are my professional goals from 2011:
- Build roots in the Startup Community
- Learn negotiating strategies
- Build awesome shit
- Never have to apply for a job
- Run a successful company
- Have ownership stake in successful company
- Start and build a company from scratch
After looking at those, I would say that I have completed 6 of 7 of these, give or take.
Putting the goals down on paper give me focus and drive to complete them.
In some ways, I would say I have been obsessive in achieving my goals. BUT I haven’t gone overboard – I have been able to achieve what I want AND live life how I want to in accordance with my Life Mantras.
Like I said above, I haven’t always gotten it right, but I firmly believe that setting goals in the first place helped to give me the right targets to aim at.
Still I couldn’t have reached any of my goals without building the right systems for success.
Goals are not enough – you need a system and the right habits to support the goal.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but my success in achieving many of my goals was not just because I set them.
Having a goal is a step in the right direction, but the real win was in building the right systems to accomplish my goals.
So we have the first step in place towards happiness by setting Life Mantas.
We have the second step in place by setting Life Goals.
And the last step is creating a system to support your mantras and goals.
Whatever your goal may be, make sure to build a system to support that goal.
If you want to live debt free. Build a system to get there.
- Pay down your debt each month.
- Automate your paycheck directly to paying off your debt.
Set the goal -> then build the system.
If you want to become a writer. Build a system to write every day:
- Wake up an hour early.
- Do nothing but write.
- No phone. No TV.
- Just write.
Set the goal -> then build the system.
I think you get the idea…
I reached most of my goals, because I built small systems to support them.
I didn’t always do it right, but I found a way to keep at it year after year.
Building great habits
If you are interested in learning how to create great habits and build better systems, I recommend Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear.
It is hands down the most important book that I have read in a long time.
No matter what your Life Goals are, I highly recommend reading Atomic Habits.
Bonus: The Personal Mission Statement
One last thing that I have recently added to my arsenal of mantras and goal setting is a Personal Mission Statement.
This is a statement that I can refer back to at any time to ensure that I am on the right track:
Sometimes it really can be that simple.
On my path to achieving my goals and enjoying life, I have leveraged other Life Crafting tools such as tracking my daily happiness, journaling every morning via Morning Pages style journaling, tracking my time, and now building this site is a part of that.
It all works together to help improve my happiness, give my life some direction, and ensure that I am always enjoying life.
At the end of the day, do whatever makes you happy. Goal setting and matras have worked for me, but if it doesn’t work for you, try something else. Find your own path to enjoying life, achieving your dreams, and finding your happiness.
No matter where you are on your path, just keep going.
And remember, it’s a “Hell Yeah! or a no.”