This year slow down and take the time to set your goals mindfully.
Mindfulness is the practice of shifting your conscious awareness to the present moment and attending to it with acceptance and curiosity. During this process, thoughts, feelings, and sensations will arise, however mindfulness involves noticing and acknowledging these experiences without trying to resist or change them.
Mindfulness can lead to an increased sense of calm, heightened focus, and greater clarity to help you savour and enjoy the present moment. Mindfulness can also increase your self-awareness by helping you to become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and physiological sensations during any given moment. This will help you tune into how you are impacted by your day-to-day interactions, activities, and behavioural patterns.
You may notice that certain foods impact your mood negatively, or that you experience neck pain during certain conversations, or begin to ruminate about the past when you are in a specific situation. Importantly though, mindfulness equips you with the skills to develop greater insight into what you think and feel, so that you can consider what is important to you and set new year’s resolutions that align with your values.
Mindful Goal Setting
To practice the art of setting new year’s resolutions mindfully, you might follow the below process.
Start by finding yourself a time and space free of distractions that may inhibit the ability to engage your full conscious awareness.
Take a few deep breaths to bring a sense of calm and peace and increase your focus and clarity.
Once you have cycled through several deep breaths and you feel that you are relaxed and focussed, start to consider what is important to you. Examples might include spending time with loved ones, going hiking, reading, etc. Let your mind float to what comes to mind when you consider the question, it is your decision how long to engage with this step. You may spend five minutes, or 20 minutes, this is completely up to you.
When considering your values, try to notice all of the competing, negative, or self-critical thoughts and feelings that may arise. Acknowledge these with openness and curiosity, and then bring your attention back to your values.
When you feel that you have determined what is most important to you, set a resolution related to this. For example, if spending time with loved ones is something important to you, your new year’s resolution may be to have a monthly catch up with your best friend.
To complete this process, you might like to reaffirm this resolution by writing it down, repeating it several times over as a mantra, or sharing it with loved one.
This process should assist you to achieve focus, calm, and clarity as you consider the future and set a mindful resolution for the new year.
Being present is one of the greatest gifts you can give your relationship.
Dr Katie Stirling
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