I have to admit, I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions – because actually, everyday is the start of a new year and everyday offers the opportunity to reflect, reset and refocus. Some days you have the energy and the drive, others you don’t and it isn’t necessary to have ideas or goals ready for the new year – it’s a process, a journey….
That said, it’s difficult to escape the tradition of New Year's resolutions or at least not to take the opportunity to reflect on the past and set intentions for the future. However, all too often, these well-intentioned goals are abandoned as quickly as they are set. So why not try incorporating mindfulness into your approach to goal and intention setting this year?
Mindfulness, the practice of being fully present and engaged in the current moment, can significantly enhance our ability to stick to our goals. It can help us take a more flexible approach, encourage us to cultivate a sense of awareness and acceptance, and create a more sustainable path to self-improvement.
Here are a few ways in which mindfulness can complement and enrich the pursuit of New Year's resolutions, goals or intentions – whenever you choose to set them:
Before hastily jotting down resolutions, take a moment to reflect on the past year. Mindfully consider what worked well, what brought joy, and what areas might benefit from improvement. Take the time to savour your accomplishments, consider your learnings and be clear on your purpose. This reflective practice can guide the creation of resolutions that align with your values and aspirations.
Mindfulness teaches us to be realistic and gentle with ourselves. Instead of setting overly ambitious, unattainable goals, break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. By focusing on the present moment and taking one step at a time, you increase the likelihood of achieving your desired outcome.
Enjoy the Journey:
Mindfulness emphasizes the importance of enjoying and embracing the journey rather than fixating solely on the destination. Apply this philosophy to your resolutions. Celebrate small victories along the way and savour the progress made rather than dwelling on perceived shortcomings. This positive reinforcement can boost motivation and resilience. Progress not perfection.
Remain Flexible and Open:
When we're mindful, we create a space between our thoughts and actions. This space allows us to reflect, adapt, and approach our goals with an open heart and mind. Goals are dynamic, and life is ever-changing. Mindfulness equips us with the power of adaptability. Instead of resisting change, we learn to flow with it, adjusting our sails to navigate the unpredictable waves along the way.
Stay Present in the Moment:
It can be easy to lose sight of our goals and the intention behind them. Mindfulness allows us to stay present, anchoring our focus in the current moment. Whether it's through meditation, conscious breathing, or simple mindfulness exercises, these practices can help you stay connected to your goals. By balancing this clarity with presence, we create a sustainable and fulfilling journey towards what we want to achieve.
In the coming year, let mindfulness be your companion on the journey toward self-improvement. By integrating mindfulness into the process of setting and pursuing New Year's resolutions, you create a foundation for positive and lasting change. Embrace the present, celebrate your progress, and watch as your resolutions transform from intentions into achievements. Cheers to a mindful, positive and transformative new year!
Melissa is owner and founder of The Kindfulness Effect, providing life-enhancing wellbeing courses, classes, workshops and coaching, for individuals and organisations. Her journey to Kindfulness began during her recovery from PTSD in 2007, when she discovered the transformative power of mindfulness, positive psychology, and yoga. After spending 15 years working in various management positions in a global company, she completed a degree in psychology and philosophy as well as teacher training in mindfulness, meditation, and yoga - and subsequently created The Kindfulness Effect.
Mindfulness + Kindness + Gratitude = Kindfulness
"My vision is to inspire and empower individuals to lead happier, healthier, and more conscious and fulfilling lives. To create a community of like-minded individuals who embody Kindfulness and create a ripple effect of positivity and compassion, which spreads throughout our communities and beyond." ~ Melissa