A year ago, I decided to stop making goals.
No personal goals. No professional goals.
No. Goals. Period.
I know it sounds weird but I was just done. Nothing I wanted to do ever happened and nothing ever changed. A wise person would say, “Well yeah, if you don’t make any changes, then nothing is going to change.” Duh. I know. I can’t explain it other than I was fed up.
Fed up with my inability to commit and remain motivated, I decided to just let it go. I know I’m not alone. It was clear to see that many of my friends were fed up as well. Our way of doing things just wasn’t working.
I decided to try something different.
Aside from setting no goals whatsoever, I decided to focus on habit.
One habit in particular: Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the habit of remaining in the moment. It’s a simple concept, not so simple to master as I was trained to project waaaaaaaaaaaaaay into the future and to dwell farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr too long in the past.
Is this you? It’s a lot of people I know. All their emotional energy was being spent on things that they had no control over. That’s a lot of wasted energy on things that cannot be changed.
Have you ever done that?
Why did I find it easier to make changes while remaining mindful? After all, I hadn’t set any goals. I didn’t write anything down or make a vision board.
Why didn’t I have to map out a hundred steps like every previous year?
Because I was in the here and now.
Remaining in the here and now gives us the opportunity to make different choices.
This is the key. This is when the magic happens.
Over the past year, I found myself making choices that helped me instead of hurt me. I can now identify what needs to happen without worrying and fretting about the past or the future.
Here is a simple mindfulness practice that I practice on a regular basis:
Take a mindful moment. 5 minutes to sit and be. Notice your surroundings, how your body feels. Take note. What do you smell? Hear? See? Feel? Does it bring up anxiety of all the things you have to do? Notice it and put it aside. You can be anxious in 5 minutes. Do you resist? Do you accept?
If you have a planner or a journal, write down the date and what it brought up for you.
Have you practiced mindfulness before?
It’s being used to treat depression, anxiety, and trauma. In the context of helping you reach a goal, it gives you an opportunity to make the choices that you may have missed due to being on autopilot. Autopilot isn’t your friend when it keeps you from obtaining the life you deserve.
And why in the hell am I bringing this up now: Because the holidays are full of stress, commitments we’d rather not keep, money issues, and can bring up some feelings. People are more prone to depression and anxiety at this time of year.
So instead of making a to-do list of tasks I have decided to have a mindful holiday.
—————>And guess who’s almost done with her gifts?!? This girl.<————–
How did that happen? It’s November 30th.
Last year I was up until 4 am on Christmas Eve trying to pull it all together.
This year, I’m in the moment, noticing my experiences, and doing what is best for me.
I know it feels counterintuitive.
I’m finding so much joy in making my gifts. In the past, it was stressful and I’m always pressed for time. This is the one change I’ve made and I’m finding it to be really enjoyable.
There have been years when it didn’t matter how good things were, I wasn’t having any of it. No Christmas spirit would be found, no matter how much my cute mama tried. Then there are other years that I hose my house down in red and green because I just can’t get enough.
There’s nothing wrong with either of these scenarios, but I forgot something in each one: to have the experience.
I’m remaining mindful and I’m noticing my experiences. Making choices that leave me feeling peaceful and at ease.
I challenge each of you to do the same. Please report back! I want to hear about it!