A Mindful New Year: Mindful Goal Setting

Yo party people. How’s it hangin’?

It’s that time again…when we all feel compelled to get our lives together, lose a million pounds, clear all the clutter, and then realize….that’s too much at one time so we give up on all of it.

It’s an odd thing to see once you choose not to subscribe to the notion that everything must be fixed right away.  You watch people you love publicly disparage themselves in an effort to motivate themselves in the new year.

We know it never works. We do it anyway. Humans. What are we gonna do with ya?

Goals are not the problem. It’s great to want to work on personal or professional progress.  It’s fantastic to want to be healthy and to work on our relationships.

The trick is how we go about setting these goals.

We make decisions based on one of two things: Love or fear. Sometimes it’s easy to see where we’re comin’ from. Other times, they can get jumbled and they can resemble each other.

Where are your goals coming from? Could it be that your goal is really fueled by fear disguised as love?

This past year, I resolved to remain more mindful and to work on a personal mindfulness practice.  No other goals were set.  As the year moved forward, I noticed that things I wanted to accomplish were getting easier.  It became easier to choose nutritious foods or to get a workout in. It became easier to enjoy the tasks that sometimes seem menial and inconsequential.  It became easier to deal with any sadness and anxiety that arose. I enjoyed my time more and it didn’t matter what I was doing. While I was definitely met with some challenges, I was happier than I thought possible.  With that one practice, I was able to turn things around.

Here is my daily mindfulness practice (you’ve seen it before and you’ll see it again):

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?

Take note.

If you have a planner or a journal, write down the date and what it brought up for you.

Mindfulness makes everything easier. It’s the way forward.

While mindfulness remains my number one goal, I created other goals as well and wanted to share the process:

Step 1: Set an intention to create goals and take action out of love.

A lot of people make goals because they are afraid of something.  Afraid of being fat, afraid of having heart troubles, afraid of financial problems….etc.  If you’re having some of these fears, take a moment to flip the script and see your goals not only as things to be obtained but as things that will sooth your soul.Right now, everyone is worried about their weight. In the past, I have set health and fitness goals based on the fact that I thought I’d be more worthy if I weighed a certain amount.  I thought that being a certain weight would make me happy. After stopping and taking a look around, I noticed that there are happy and miserable people out there of all shapes and sizes.

Misery loves company and it doesn’t care how big or small you are.  The great thing is that happiness does too!If you have a fitness goal, create it from love. Love of your body, love of your family, love of the challenge. Create a health and fitness goal because you love your body and want to cherish it with kindness, nutrients, and loving movement.This works with every goal you’ll set. Financial, spiritual, professional, getting rid of clutter….all of it.

Step 2: Check in with the feelings that come up.

Ever had a desired outcome that just seemed way too out of reach or too difficult to achieve? Ever felt not good enough to get what you want? Ever quit working on your goals on January 3rd? Yeah, me too.It’s okay though, because we’re doing this a different way now. Choose to feel excited and ready to get going on your BIG goals. Write it all down or create a vision board. Once you have a visual, you can chunk down each goal into smaller, easily achievable actions. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

If you fee like it’s too big, sit with that for a minute. Figure out why you’re trying to talk yourself out of what you want. There’s a lot of valuable information in these moments.

Step 3: Meet your thoughts and feelings with love and understanding.

Thoughts and feelings will arise as you work through your goals.  Meet them with love and understanding rather than using that information to punish yourself. It’s not helpful and it won’t move you toward your desired outcome.

Step 4: Revisit, rewrite, repeat.

Things change. Desires change. Feelings change. Goals aren’t a “set it and forget it!” scenario. Anyone remember Ron Popeil? He still around?

The most important part of all of this is that you create your ideal life. We can’t do that though if we’re stuck in the past, worried about the future, or too frozen with fear to take the necessary steps.

It all begins with mindfulness and these four steps.  Plan your work and work your plan, as my mother would say. 🙂 A mindful plan is the best way to get to where you want to be.

This approach gives you the opportunity to create meaningful and achievable goals in the coming year.

Let me know how it goes!

Sendin’ love,
Kami

 

 

The Mindfulness TRAP

Heya!

Has anyone spent some time being mindful? Is it changing anything for you? It can feel really weird at first but that’s okay! We all gotta start somewhere.

I always get some push back when I suggest that someone practice mindfulness or any other meditation technique.  It’s always uncomfortable to start something new, especially if it is the opposite of what we’re used to doing.

One common argument is that when we spend time in the here-and-now, how can we possibly be paying attention to things that need to take place in the future?

This is a clever idea that we use to get out of doing our mindfulness work. And sometimes it works!

DON’T FALL FOR IT!

Remember what I said about this feeling counterintuitive?

Practicing mindfulness is exactly what gives us the opportunity to properly handle life’s challenges.

Remaining mindful does not mean you ignore your responsibilities. It doesn’t mean that you don’t remember your lessons from the past or plan for the future.

So what does it do?

It makes all those things easier.

Being mindful gives you the time and opportunity to make choices that align with your values and personal vision.

As you continue with your mindful practice, you’ll find yourself resisting in different ways. This is what your notebook is for. WHen you take mindful moments and find yourself feeling an emotion, write it down. Journal about what is coming up for you.

A lot of people seem to think that these practices mean all we talk about is rainbows and unicorns.

What we’re really doing is giving ourselves the time and attention we need to live our best lives.

Sendin’ love,
Kami

A Mindful Holiday

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.

That’s it.

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?

Take note.

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!

Sendin’ love,
Kami