Mindful Meditation for Goal Setting
As we creep into the last month of this very unique year, — 2020 — some of our goals have gotten lost along the way. With gyms shutting down, restricted travel, and some areas on lockdown again, staying mentally and physically sound can be a challenge. Around this time of year, people start defining their New Year resolutions and devising a plan to tackle them.
For the New Year, I want to take a different approach to goal setting by using mindful meditation.
In this blog post, we're going to define mindfulness, walk through the steps to meditate mindfully, and journal our experience through the next 3 days.
What is Mindfulness?
Have you ever heard the saying, "healthy mind, healthy life?" Our thoughts play a big part in how we live our reality. For instance, If you think you can't do something, then most of the time you don't even try. Do you ever ask yourself why you can't do it? Better yet, have you asked yourself, how can I do this? That's where mindfulness comes into play.
"Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us."
— What is mindfulness?, mindful
Our lives tend to run on autopilot and we fall into the habit of "going with the motions," but in order to actively achieve goals, you must be present. Understanding how you feel, your strengths, your weaknesses, and how to let go of things all happen mindfully, not passively. Everyone has the natural ability to be mindful but practicing mindfulness daily makes it more readily available.
Meditation, but Make It Mindful
Meditation is all about exploring with no fixed destination. When you meditate you explore your mind sifting through thoughts, memories, emotions, and discovering things along the way.
Mindful meditation asks you to get rid of judgments, ignite your natural curiosity about how our minds work, and approach your experience with warmth and kindness.
I read an article posted on Deepak Chopra's website that spelled out how-to-use guided meditation for goal setting in 14 steps. I followed these steps for 3 days and here's what I discovered.
Day 1: The First Attempt
I'm calling this the first attempt because I decided to do my mindful meditation after an exhausting day and fell asleep while meditating. I guess it really was relaxing. Note to self — Don't meditate laying in your bed unless the goal is sleep.
I went into this first session with a lot on my mind and as I closed my eyes I started unpacking my day and organizing my thoughts. After about 5 mins, I felt a sense of clarity and began focusing on my breath. My muscles started to relax, my eyes got heavy, and then I woke up the next morning — well-rested might I add. I decided that I should start my day with mindful meditation rather than end it because I spent most of the time unpacking my day versus focusing on how to achieve my health and fitness goals for the new year. Let's see what day 2 has to offer!
Day 2: Breaking the ice
Starting my day with mindful meditation felt really good. When I opened my eyes I felt more energized and had a clearer vision of my health and fitness goals. I came to the realization that in the past my fitness goals have mostly revolved around losing weight. For the New Year, I want the main focus to be on self-love and self-discovery.
I felt like I broke the ice on Day 2 because once I reached my calm state (through deep breaths) I started to visualize the area of my life I wanted to make changes, chip away the obvious cliche goals, and start to piece together more meaningful ones.
Day 3: From the mind to reality
Each day I practiced, the more involved I became in the process. I’m not going to lie and say I wrote down my goals after each mindful meditation session this week, but on day 3… I did. I also set aside more time to meditate — going for a solid 30 minutes with no distractions.
Following all the guided meditation steps gives you a feeling of power! You’re able to take the intentions in your mind and bring them into your reality. Taking the extra time to write down what you visualized gives you a tangible plan to follow moving forward. It gives you direction.
Even if you only set aside one minute to mindfully meditate, set aside another minute to write down something you gathered in that one minute. Reading that entry could spark the direction of your next session — further building and clarifying your intentions.
I’ve dabbled with meditation and mindfulness, separately in the past, but usually fall off the wagon when things get too busy. Being on autopilot and reacting to things without taking a moment to think, works in the moment, but doesn’t set you up to discover new possibilities.
My autopilot response to when things get busy is to drop my self-care activities and divert that time towards other tasks... only to feel completely drained when it’s all done.
In actuality, the self-care activities need to be given a permanent spot in my daily routine because when you feel good — mentally and physically — you perform better in the other areas of your life. These 3 days of mindful meditation further helped me understand that. Imagine the things you’ll discover and understand when you practice daily.
Give it a try and see what you discover. We would love to hear about your experience!
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