I love to talk to people about their plans for the New Year. It’s beautiful how everyone enters into the New Year with their own unique approach on how to make it the best year ever. Some people tell me very exact details on what they intend to do in regards to improving their health and fitness. You know, like getting to the gym more, cutting down on sugar, sleeping more, and taking more time for themselves. Some people make it clear they do not set resolutions because they just don’t want to set themselves up for failure. I can respect that and relate to that very much.
In the past, I have created detailed lists of goals for the year, and to some extent, I follow them and achieve them. However, as I get wiser, I realize that lists cause me to feel anxious and overwhelmed. Lists certainly do have a time and a place.
I can be extremely productive at work if I create a “has to get done today” list. If I feel the need to get something done outside of work, I grab my phone and ask Suri to remind me to do that specific task at whatever time I know I will be responsive.
In my life at home, I have actually almost stopped making lists. Why? Because at the end of the week, I would look at all the things I did not get done and feel like I failed. I believe that what you focus on, expands. I decided that I don’t want to focus on failure but on gratitude this year.
My intention this year is to be more mindful and more grateful. As a wellness coach, I know that that goal is not specific or measurable, but it opens up a door to many possibilities that I think will have a very positive, enriching effect on my life.
How am I doing? LOL! Well, on a positive note, I am definitely practicing gratitude much more regularly. Looking around and noticing beauty, appreciating what others do, and feeling grateful for simple moments has had a powerful effect on my attitude. What I definately will keep working on is my ability to stay focused on one task at a time. I will talk more about that some other time as I learn and research more on the topic of focus.
Mindfulness is a huge topic these days, especially in the wellness industry. There are some great definitions of mindfulness, but Jon Kabat-Zin’s is so beautiful: “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” How can you apply this concept into you life to make it better?
It’s hard to improve mindfulness without practicing gratitude.
We hear about gratitude all the time, and sometimes it’s easier than others to find things to be grateful about. The thing I love about it though is that when you spend your time feeling grateful, you are not spending your time in negativity. It is important to experience the full array of emotions, but we need to be cautious about the negativity bias. Sometimes we don’t even realize how negative we are, and that is where mindfulness becomes an asset. Having the space to note what you are consuming, who you are spending your time with, and how these experiences are shaping your mindset is critical.
If being more mindful is something that you would like to use to enhance your life, what is one simple thing you would like to start or stop doing today?
Is it putting down the phone while you are spending time with your kids or spouse?
Is it focusing on completing one task at a time?
Is it writing in a daily gratitude journal?
Is it just taking time to stop and smell the roses?
Funny story about that….I was leading an exercise class at work one day, and we went outdoors over to the state capitol grounds during prime flower season. We stopped in front of a bed of roses and literally went into “dancer” yoga pose and smelled the roses while holding that position. It was so amazing! We really savored that moment.
What moments in your life do you savor? Would you like more of these moments? That is a silly question, of course you do! I encourage you to start living in a way that allows for you to experience more moments where you can
STOP: Press the pause button for as long as needed to take a break from the chaos.
BREATHE: This is like taking a hit of the best drug possible, and it’s healthy!
BE: Let go of feeling like you need to be doing something, and just savor the moment.
If feeling more peace and calm in your life sounds fantastic, let me help you out with this free 10 minute meditation. Find a quiet space and enjoy this 10 minute recording that will calm your mind, relax your body and help you feel like as a parent, you’ve got this!
Grab a pen and a piece of paper or your journal and check out this Fit Mom Moment video, where you will take 2 minutes to completely reset your day through a gratitude exercise.