Confetti sprinkles are all cleared away, the party hats stored and the calendar page has turned to a new year. For many of us, the new year signals that mindset of “a new me.” Before you go drafting a laundry list of resolutions, most of which won’t stick as long as the gum you stepped in last week, stop. Step back. Resolutions require some serious willpower, and most of us are lacking in that trait. But fear not! A little mindful preparation can help you set lasting goals, since being mindful is all about awareness and living in the present moment.
Not convinced? Try this. Focus on acting with intention towards your goals. Look deep inside to see what your goals really are. Weight loss, or vowing to hit the gym daily, for example, is not really about the act of exercising or stopping that cake from passing your open lips. Your underlying goal, what you are seeking, is a desire for healthy habits, contentment and a better lifestyle. Mindfulness, and setting intent, focuses on today, not long term goals. It makes the process of transformation that much easier. Not that goals aren’t important, but how you reach them through mindful practice will set a new learning curve, leading to a healthier lifestyle.
So, it’s 2017, a new year, and we all have goals in mind- little (or big) changes that we want to improve ourselves and our lives. Guess what? Research shows that binge setting goals – yup, that long scrolled list you pinned to the fridge, is actually detrimental to your wellbeing and success. We all need to learn to stop forcing change. When we push beyond our comfort zones, for example again- weight loss – it becomes a temporary change. Directing our minds to conscious lifestyle and habit changes offers a slower, but more lasting attainable result.
Some of the ways you can develop mindful intention towards lasting change are:
- Focus on Progress: When we try to stick to a hard, fast goal, there is a larger chance of failure. Give yourself permission to take it slow, seek progress, not perfection. And remember above all else, show yourself a little kindness. You need to be open and compassionate in order to form new and lasting habits.
- Take it one thing/step at a time. Remember, just one teeny tiny change, if done consistently, can change your mindset and create new, better life habits.
- Create a physical representation of your intention. In my new studies of meditation, some of my instructors talk about using parts of the body, specifically hands or fingers, to affect the flow of energy and contain your aura. Sitting in a peaceful comfortable pose, holding your hands near your heart, bring your right fist (thumbs up for positive energy) to rest in your open left hand. Give yourself a mantra here, and say it aloud. I’m currently working with “I embrace my life and its purpose, and I can do this.” What “this” is depends on your goals.
- Meditate. Really breathe deeply and take a few minutes every day to meditate. Keep in your mind your deepest desires for change. Listen to what your heart and soul say. If you’re a newbie like me, this may take a few tries, and it may come in the form of words, images or even a random melody. We’re all individuals here, so it varies.
- Love Yourself. Now that it’s a new year, focus on your life. Instead of seeing all the things that you think need “fixing,” take inventory of what can stay. Be mindful and look into your heart with loving-kindness, one of the main principles of mindfulness. Cultivate a positive mindset.
Summing up, take some time to reflect on last year. Rejoice in your achievements and all the good things that happened. Think about the things you want or need to change. Breathe, and imagine the healthy ways you can accomplish these “goals.” Use a positive, mindful, calm head to redirect your new healthy habits and transform yourself this year. By replacing resolutions with a mindful approach to life, you can use positive intention to create healthy, lasting change.
Stay motivated and caffeinated!
Helene Furst has written many poems and short stories, both fiction and nonfiction. She has been published in several literary magazines, most recently in Wordhaus. She writes a positive psychology blog and is almost certified as a Life Coach. She lives in sunny Florida with her husband, three amazing kids, a schizophrenic maltipoo and two crazed cockatiels.
Please visit at https://www.morningbeansblog.com/