As we all settle into the year and the new years resolutions get buried under the normal activities of everyday life starting up again it is perhaps a good time to take a moment and pause to consider- what are your Mindful Intentions for 2015.
Perhaps you started the year with the same list of new years resolutions that you have for each year- to loose weight, eat healthier, exercise and take more time for the important things in life, especially family and friends. Then as the days turn into weeks in the year those resolutions, as much as you still want to do them, get buried as too hard, too difficult, or you just don’t have enough time to do everything so you stop thinking about them, as the flow of the year sets in.
And as each year turns into the next year and the new years resolutions stay the same you start to feel a bit like Bill Murry in the movie “Groundhog Day” where each day, each year, feels like the last and the resolutions that you plan to do just never seem to get enough time or attention.
You end up on a kind of auto-pilot living your life and going through the motions as each season passes into the next. This breeds a sense of hopelessness that no matter how much you want to try and do things differently you are always fighting against having enough time to do it? So with not enough time to change things you accept that this is all that there is to your life. Or do you? There is another way, it is by working out what your mindful intentions are.
How do I work out my Mindful Intentions?
1/ Start with looking at your intentions in life.
The new years resolutions and other things that you are ‘going’ to do are all different parts of what you want to do. Look at these and see what the themes of these intentions are, for example, more travel, more exercise, more time with family or friends. Make a list of what these intentions are that keep coming up each year. Observe what seems to be something that you ‘want to do’ and what it is your think you ‘should’ do on this list. Don’t judge it, just notice what is on the list.
2/ Work out where you are already Mindful in your life.
People focus and pay attention in different areas of their life based on their values. Some people value cricket and are excited by all things cricket whilst others think that cricket is a very boring game and footy may be more their type of sport. Whatever it is that you value, and you know that you spend time and focus on, make a list of these, this is where you are already focused and mindful in your life.
3. Link your intentions to where you are mindful
As a kid the easiest way for us to learn was when we were playing games, so think of this as being like a game. The more fun you have doing it then the more likely you are to follow through on it. If, for example, one of your intentions is health (intention) and you like footy (mindful) then imagine you were asking a child how can you make being healthier more like footy as a game?
If your favourite team scoring a goal makes you feel like an invincible force able to do anything, then what types of healthy activities can you do that will give you the same feeling? Is it running in a certain time, swimming to a fixed point, or walking over a distance, whatever it is, what can you do to create that same feeling of invincibility? For many years my own feeling of invincibility was there when I channelled my inner Beckham to run after the ball in the rain and wind for 90 minutes and come out exhausted and elated at the end of the footy match. As years went by and injuries accumulated I had to let my inner Beckham hang up her boots and took up swimming. Now I combine my healthy intention with that same Beckham mindful energy to reach the swimming fixed points. The changing ocean weather is like the wind and rain of those old footy days and makes each swim just as exhilirating to complete- and look out fish, I feel invincible!
So to really feel like you are living and that you are present in your life in the here and now set up your Mindful Intentions for 2015. Let go of those resolutions and Groundhog days of the past and be the Mindful Leader of your life today!
Michele is author of the award winning ‘Mindful Leadership’ book and Founder and Director of On Purpose Consulting.
She works with leaders to develop leadership effectiveness using mindfulness. Michele’s approach is collaborative and inclusive, and results in the transformation of people, cultures, business systems and organisations.
Positively impacting on the bottom line of the balance sheets of both profitability and purpose. www.michelegennoe.com