“What one does is what counts. Not what one had the intention of doing.” ― Pablo Picasso
How often have you set some intentions or resolutions for the year ahead? Full of positivity that quickly turns to disappointment or self-loathing when they didn't come to fruition? No wonder the nation's mental health is at an all-time low, come Blue Monday in January with broken resolutions being a contributory factor. I think it can be helpful to have some direction in the way of intentions, whether that be just for the next task in the workplace, the day or year ahead. I believe the key is to take a flexible approach and set realistic, achievable and authentic intentions that come from knowing why you wish to achieve them and how you can make them possible, rather than forcing yourself to take a path that you 'think' you 'should' be taking.
Of course, Pablo is correct in that our actions are what counts rather than simply the intention to do so, below are my top 5 mindfulness tips to help you supercharge those intentions and put them into practice:
#Tip 1 - Resolutions for every day
From waking it is so easy to be driven by autopilot and get caught up in a "Groundhog Day" of thoughts, feelings and emotions that seemingly control the day. A short mindfulness practice each morning can help to break that cycle and allow you to choose who you wish to be and act as a reminder to come back to when you get pulled off-center. Listen to this short mindfulness audio to help you get into a positive habit of mindful intention. CLICK HERE FOR DAILY INTENTION MINDFULNESS PRACTICE
#Tip 2 - Quieten the noise to listen to your true self
Do you sign up for the gym every year but never go? Have you set yourself a work goal but your gut is telling you something different to your head? Sometimes we make decisions on what we think we 'should' be doing, or what we believe is expected of us rather than what we 'must' do. Big firms like Bosch and SAP have meditation rooms so leaders can connect to a deeper knowing and trust they are making the best decision they can. Our deepest wishes can be obscured by mental and external clutter so why not try some mindfulness practice for yourself to see if the clarity of mind that meditation gives you can help to make the right choices for you. Yes, you might want to get fit but deep down you know you hate the gym. Open your mind to other possibilities, reminding yourself that you enjoy being outdoors so a running or Nordic walking club might be more enjoyable, for example. Trying listening to this Breathing Space mindfulness track to help you think with clarity. CLICK HERE FOR BREATHING SPACE MINDFULNESS PRACTICE
#Tip 3 - Don't forget the 'why' the 'how' and the obstacles
Great, you now have a deeper knowing of your 2020 resolutions going forward but research suggests that having positive reasons for your intentions and writing them down may help you to stay on track. Again, whilst in mindfulness meditation see if you can get a deeper sense of why you want to set a particular intention. Is it really important, is it actually necessary? Why is it important to you, what is it that you hope to gain from it? How will you achieve it, is it a realistic goal? How will you fit it in to your day? Do you have the time? Will you need help from others? Most importantly, what are the obstacles you might face and how will you overcome them?
#Tip 4 - Flex and Let Go
Be prepared to fail or adapt your intentions. Don't be hard on yourself if things do not quite work out the way you planned. Life throws curve balls and things can change day by day and even moment by moment. One beauty of mindful living is the ability to let go of a fixed mindset and be liberated to flex, adapt and go with the new flow. Let go of self-criticism and judgement that will only serve to keep you stuck. Notice when you slip into a negative state and use it as a trigger to take a pause and choose to take a different path.
#Tip 5 - Be Grateful and Celebrate!
Feel gratitude and celebrate every day, not just the big wins but the small ones too. Remember, baby steps lead to much bigger ones; be proud of yourself no matter how slow you feel your progress may be. We are the only ones who can bring about change in ourselves so let's be our biggest fan, cheering ourselves on and being the best friend possible in the darker times.
If you feel you or your organisation could benefit from mindfulness or mental health coaching to achieve great things in 2020, please get in touch HERE