A few weeks ago, I read an article about companies that use mantras to drive behavior. It was something like, "A mantra is two or three words that embody the values of the organization and guide people to act." Nike's "Just Do It." Google's "Don't Be Evil." Apple's "Think Different." Fast Company's "Be Awesome." Avis's "We Try Harder."
I could benefit from a mantra, right? Kelly has one, for example, "Good choices." She ends every post with it. Perfect. And she's lost triple digits, I'll bet one good choice at a time.
So I set out to come up with a mantra. Which is a little like a baseball announcer coming up with a historic home run call in advance. The individual words are alright, but they just don't have the "it" factor. A mantra just has to emerge.
Nonetheless, I tried to force it. In order I came up with:
Live for tomorrow. I had just read about a self-management trick to imagine yourself on your deathbed as a way to motivate yourself not to waste your life. But I don't want to wish away today.
Go low, or go home. A colleague uses "Go big, or go home." It helps to bring a little swagger to challenges, but "big" was a deal breaker. "Low" could apply to calories or weight, but just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Count everything. Now we're getting somewhere. It's specific to what I'm doing (counting calories, exercise, sleep, and water). But it's not exactly rousing.
Be All In. This one came to me today as I rode the exercise bike on day four of my newly focused calorie counting. It was spontaneous. Be all in means doing what it takes. Pushing through a readjustment to smaller consumption. Exercising with determination. Remembering the greater good at every decision point. Fully committing, because anything less will lead back to failure. Fully committing because being mostly in won't get it done. Fully committing because what I want is that worth it.
So that's it, I'm going with "Be All In." I can do it. You can do it. Be All In.