Our theme this week is “goals.” In order to find and achieve balance in life, setting goals is essential in the process, but doing so mindfully is key. When setting goals for yourself, consider the reasons for wanting (or needing) to make the change. This is where you’ll observe your thoughts and feelings in a nonjudgmental way. If you’re thinking, “I should stop smoking” or “I must stop smoking,” you’re thinking in limiting terms. If you change the way you think & feel about your life, and how you narrate your life story to yourself, you can set yourself up to succeed. So if your issue is “smoking,” try wording you goal like this, “I want to stop smoking.” This communicates your desire to make a change, rather than communicating something you “have” to do or that someone told you, you “have” to do.
When incorporating mindfulness into goal setting, you’ll observe the moment that you’re in, without judging yourself, and look at the things you want to change in a different light. When you sit down to write your goals, observe your surroundings (again, without judgment). Take some deep, relaxing breaths. Notice your environment. Notice how it looks, how it smells, how it feels, how it sounds, and if applies, how it tastes. Now notice, without judgment, the thoughts and feelings aroused by what you observe. Is there anything there that you notice, non-judgmentally, that is uncomfortable? If so, then this may be a good start to setting your goals. Maybe you noticed clutter -a good goal for organization. Maybe you noticed some discomfort around your middle section as you sat -a goal for improving nutrition and physical activity. Maybe you noticed you couldn’t deep breathe without wheezing -a goal for smoking cessation.
Applying mindfulness to goal-setting will help you identify things you want to improve/change without the negativity typically involved in the process of change. With mindfulness, you’ll seek improvements you want to make, rather than changes you “have” to make.
In our main theme this week, goals, found here, I touch on the SMART method of goal-setting. I also discuss the need to celebrate your small achievements along the journey toward reaching your main goal. Please do this, and do so mindfully. If you incorporate mindfulness into your daily life, you’ll begin to feel more relaxed and fulfilled. With mindfulness, you not only observe your present moment, you’ll learn to live in and appreciate every single moment you’ve been blessed with.
Happy (Mindful) Journey!