A mantra is a word or phrase that we repeat regularly. Traditionally mantras are used to help maintain concentration when meditating. Obviously this is the first way we can use them. If you find it hard to concentrate whilst meditating you can use a mantra not unlike the Buddists and Hindus. But that is not the only use for them. In fact we can use them to accomplish and maintain many different things. They can even be fun!
The way a mantra works is when we say or think our mantra, it puts our mind into a certain state through association. This is done by programming our minds through repetition. We teach our minds to not think something or think something when the trigger word or phrase is said. We can use this not only for the mind but for the body and self also.
Let's take a look at some examples of how diversely a mantra can be effective and how coming up with a mantra can actually be fun. In the first Matrix movie the female protagonist Trinity jumps through a window, falls down some stairs and ends looking up with guns drawn at the window expecting the bad guy, Mr. Smith to fly through it after her. She lays waiting for what seems a long time. Realising that Mr. Smith is not going to fly through the window, she decides she had better get moving and says to herself "Get up Trinity!". When my alarm goes off in the morning and I am feeling lazy to get up I say to myself "Get up Trinity!". Over the years I have educated my body to spring out of bed when I say it. So my mantra is not only an effective way of getting up in the morning. It is also a homage to one of my favorite movies and movie characters.
Some other examples are as follows:
Like with everything in life the only way mantras will work for you is if you take the time and effort to find your mantras and use them regularly in order to establish the triggers. Once you start and over time it will get easier and easier and in the end you will find you will use them without even thinking. Use phrases from your favorite movies and/or books. Use quotes from people you admire or just create your own. Mantras are a personal thing just for you so make the most of them and have fun.