During a meeting on a cup of warm coffee, I had been asked a strange question.

What would you respond if someone asks you: “What is your motto?”

I had the chance to experience that in a recent conversation.

The person asked me: “Alex, what is your motto?”
I stopped for a while to reflect. I know a lot of companies have this catchy slogans, helping their brand to spread awareness and have one coherent and memorable message to their audience. So why would someone have a personal motto? What would be the benefits of that?
And since I like the practical approach in life. I decided to dig deeper into that topic. The first and most obvious question for me was how can I use such tool in my daily life?

Here is what I discover about the surprising benefits of having a personal motto.

1. Want to change a habit? A motto can help you!

Habits are hard to change. There is a lot of research done on that topic and there are even more misconceptions on how long you need to do something before it sticks to you!

Having a short sentence to remind us who we want to be in the future can really help us stick to our oath.

Three chocolates from Russia

I had experimented with this in the past. Every time I went to a store I had a habit to buy something sweet. One day I tried to break that pattern and survive 1 week without eating chocolate./I have friends who don’t like chocolate in general and they may laugh reading this 🙂 /

What really helped me to not break out from my oath was to remind myself that “I am a person who eats only healthy snacks!” and I needed to remind myself about this sentence every time I went to a supermarket.

And surprisingly it worked, and I broke loose from any temptations, even the one to buy an amazing dark chocolate which was 50% discounted at that time.

2. It can boost your productivity

Monday’s can be really exciting, start of the new week or extremely challenging. I had both cases.

Too much work and not enough time to have a break. This may trigger a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Having a motto, to remind us that there is a way. Even when it’s hard can provide us the needed energy to move on. There are a lot of tasks we may not feel motivated to do and procrastinate and delay them to the very last moment.

The price of the avoidance is that we spend less time on what we enjoy and we spend more time on avoiding to do the required work.

Motto such as

  • “There is always a way. “
  • “I can always change the way I see the work”
  • “Don’t work hard, work smart!”
  • “I will either find a way or create one!”

Can energize us and help us go on with what we are doing!

3. It can remind us of our core believes and what we stand for

Sometimes we may lose our motivation.

Don’t see the big picture. Giving up on long-term goals. Concrete example is personal health goals. After the initial enthusiasm, we may find ourselves regretting our new year resolution, especially if we don’t see any progress after two visits to the gym.

Having a personal motto of what kind of person we want to be can really make the difference between sticking to the goal or letting it go.

Motto such as

  • “I am a person who exercise each week!”
  • “I am a person who keeps his agreements!”
  • “I am a person who is financially independent!”
  • “I am a person who finish projects, no matter how difficult they may seem!”
  • “I do the right things for myself and for others!”

Will help us shift into our current negative state and focus on the why! Why we want to do it. To find what was our motivation in the first place and bring it back in to the present!

A way forward

Make your motto work for you.

Keep it short and simple

Create something you can put even on a business card. Something small you can repeat to yourself at those moments you need your motivation the most.

Add colors and sounds

Motto shouldn’t be a dry sentence we repeat to eternity. It should strike something inside of us every time we say it. It should resonate with our core values and believes.

Create your motto to sound energetic, or playful or passionate or motivational.

Make it visible

Once you have your motto, make it visible. Put it on a small paper in front of you. Or put it in your wallet. Make it as a screensaver. Everything that we see we remember. This will remind you of that magical sentence and keep you motivated.

Summary

Having a personal motto can help us to overcome feelings of anxiety, being stuck and help us to shift our focus from the negative thoughts to positive.

What is your motto?

Aleks Vladimriov is a Senior Software Developer, recognized Project Manager and Soft-skilled trainer and a coach.

Aleks Vladimirov

Solution Engineering Manager at Thales | Senior IT Professional | Startup Mentor and Product Manager

Aleks is experienced Product Manager with an engineer background and over 10 years of experience as a software developer. He works with different governments and is responsible for negotiation features and requirements, understanding the customers’ needs and supporting the senior management with regular reports and analysis. He held various positions starting as a software developer, moving to a team leader and software architect.

He strives in waterfall and agile environment alike. He is certified Scrum Master and Prince2 Practitioner and he knows how to design business processes and help teams optimize their work.
During his tenure, he had to wear many hats, prioritizing business requirements, delegating work and mentoring team members, creating mockups with Balsamiq, providing MS Project plan to the senior management.

He had worked in many international teams, located in the same city or distributed in different countries and continents. He had been a team leader of cross functional international team of 8 people.

In his current position, he is very much client focused. He has excellent presentation skills.
He delivers training sessions on presentation skills and leadership and he had helped hundred of people to improve their presentation skills.

He is also interested in creating more positive changes in the workplace by using entrepreneurship skills.
He had won startup competition where his team had validated and develop a business idea from scratch.

In his free time, he writes in his blog about effective product development.