Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Free

A Mindful Approach to Your New Year’s Resolutions

You can do anything when you literally put your mind to it. Just follow this mindful advice from Sonima's psychologist and meditation teacher.

0 0
Author Image
Contributing Writer
SHARE:

Dear John,

Can mindfulness techniques or a meditation practice help me achieve my goals in 2019?

Sincerely,
Resolute

 

Special offer! Make the new year your healthiest yet with Elev8d Fitness, Sonima’s exclusive 8-minute home workout program. For a limited time, when you sign up for a free 14-day trial, you’ll receive access to our premium Elevate Your Life in 2019 wellness program. Receive daily expert advice on healthy eating, fitness, and mental balance when you register today!

 

Dear Resolute,

This is such a meaningful and timely topic. I am a deep believer that the path of mindfulness can provide you with effective resources to achieve your goals in 2019. In this article, I will draw from applications of mindfulness in organizational settings to discuss how this technique can help you stay focused on your endgame.

I acknowledge this is a very large topic, and I am limited in how much I can get into in a short article. Therefore, I am going to highlight a few conditions that I believe need to be present for accomplishing goals.

The first is that you need to know what your goals are. Seems simple enough, but many people struggle with this. As you prepare for the new year, I suggest you take time to reexamine your values and where your passions lie. It is helpful to look across all domains of your life, including personal, professional, physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and so on. If you’re not clear about your goals, meditation can help you. A sacred pause and reflection is likely most needed for you in your life right now. As you sit with this question and listen for the answer, it may get things moving forward for you. Spending regular time with this type of inquiry will help deepen the process.


Related: A Meditation on Intentions for a New Year


After you list your priorities, rank them in order so that you know where to specifically direct your focus. As human beings, we are all confronted with limited time and energy. Therefore, we must remember that, ultimately, everything is connected. This concept means that shifts in one area of your life will likely bring shifts in others. Once you have your organized list, identify your starting point. Break down bigger goals into smaller, actionable steps and figure out what is the easiest way to get the momentum going.

The second condition is to train yourself to notice when your focus has waned. One symptom of reduced focus is mind-wandering. When your mind is not focused, goal-directed behavior diminishes. Researchers suggest that mindfulness may be an effective antidote to a wandering mind. For instance, one study published in the journal Emotion demonstrated a relationship between higher levels of dispositional mindfulness and lower levels of mind-wandering. They also found that eight minutes of mindful breathing attenuated mind-wandering. This suggests the importance of establishing a daily practice in order to train focused attention. With more efficient focus, you will likely find yourself moving forward with greater ease and freedom.

A third condition is to ditch multitasking. Research has shown that media multitasking is associated with higher depression and social anxiety symptoms. In my clinical experience, I can say that clients who experience depression and anxiety find it very difficult to accomplish goals. Minimizing behaviors that feed these unhelpful states of consciousness is in service of goal completion. Mindfulness has also been shown to effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety and mood problems among clinical populations.


Related: 3 Ways Meditation Puts You in the Success Mindset


Even though you still may be able to finish disrupted tasks efficiently and at a similar level of quality, researchers have found that we tend to make up for interruptions by working faster. This has numerous consequences, such as increased stress, frustration, time pressure, and effort. Mindfulness, through its emphasis on single-pointed focus, trains the practitioner to stay focused on the task at hand and minimize task switching.

Furthermore, researchers found that those trained in meditation stayed on tasks longer, made fewer task switches, and reported less negative emotion after they completed their task as compared to their counterparts, trained in relaxation. Improved memory for the tasks performed were also found both in those trained in meditation and relaxation. These findings clearly suggest the importance of developing a regular mindfulness practice in order to maximize the opportunities to achieve more with ease and gracefulness.

My perspective is that the more we stay connected to our values, the more we can offer to this world and receive back. I am reminded of the poet Rumi’s words, “Now is the time to unite the soul and the world. Now is the time to see the sunlight dancing as one with the shadows.” Mindfulness is a practice that keeps us connected to ourselves and our community. Mindfulness gives us the mental and emotional clarity to draw from all our inner and outer resources to move forward and accomplish with integrity.

The new year is a beautiful time to clear open the psychological and emotional space needed to create a vision and forge ahead. We, as human beings, are always an unfinished project. We must remember—and stay connected to—our creative power and our natural belongingness. Even when we are confronted by great challenges (and life has no shortages of them), we must remember to dance between sunlight and shadow, becoming one.

I invite you to hold the intention in this new year to accept all that comes, and from that place of stillness and love within your own heart, to meet each moment with dignity, courage, and authenticity. Trust in yourself. Trust that the path of mindfulness will allow your authentic self to bloom and your muscles of courage to flex and move you toward your goals. There are many great resources and meditations on Sonima to get you started with a practice.

I wish you the best in 2019 and thank you for writing in.

Many blessings,
John

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • Paramaguru Sharath Jois’ new book, Ageless: A Yogi's Secrets to a Long and Healthy Life, is now available for shipping to the U.S.!
.
.
The teachings in this book are centered on creating healthy lifestyle habits and ways we can prevent sickness to live long, peaceful lives. Sharath includes great yogi wisdom from his grandfather, Guruji, along with pranayama and asana practices.
.
.
You can download the book on Google play or order it on Amazon! Visit the link in our bio to purchase. This book was co-written with his student, Isha Singh Sawhney.
  • “The Primary Series in Aṣṭāṅga yoga is called Yoga Chikitsa, which means yoga therapy. It is designed to bring stability within us.” – Sharath Jois
.
.
Come practice Primary Series with Paramguru Sharath Jois when he visits the U.S. this year.
.
.
Registration is now open!
.
.
Stanford, California,  April 22 – 27
Miami, Florida,  May 1 – 7
New York, New York,  May 11 -16
.
.
Follow the link in our bio to join in this incredible experience of learning yoga right from the source. #SharathJoisUSA2019 #LiveSonima (photo by: @ilfilmyoga) .
.
.
.
#SharathJois #Sharath #SharathTour #AshtangaYoga #AshtangaCommunity #Astanga #AshtangaPrimarySeries #YogaLife #YogaLiving #ParamaguruSharathJois #YogaDiaries #YogaTour #YogaTherapy #YogaHealing #LiveWell #LiveBetter #BalancedLifestyle #YogiLife
  • Did you catch our Instagram or Facebook LIVE yesterday? Deepak Chopra, MD, gave a profound keynote speech on the neuroscience of self-awareness and higher consciousness at the 2019 Yoga and Science Conference in NYC. Visit the link on our page to hear it and check out or Instagram highlights for a recap of the conference. #YogaAndScience2019 #LiveSonima
  • Day 2 of the 2019 Yoga and Science Conference began with a restorative yoga session led by Gail Parker, PhD. Participants welcomed one another through partnered listening exercises followed by a brief meditation and restorative postures. ❤️🙏 #YogaAndScience2019 #LiveSonima
  • We’re at the Yoga and Science Conference this weekend in NYC! Head over to our Instagram and Facebook Stories for our coverage on the research behind mindfulness-based practices. And be sure to tune today on Instagram or Facebook at 2:30PM for a LIVE video of Deepak Chopra, MD, exploring the reality of science and yoga. ❤️🙏
#YogaAndScience2019 #LiveSonima
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#yoga #science #mindfulness #mindfulpractice #deepakchopra #yogaandscience #yogaheals #healthylifestyle #yogahealing #yogaresearch
  • We are so excited to announce that registration is now open to all! Join Paramaguru Sharath Jois in the U.S. this Spring. Spaces will fill up quickly, so be sure to reserve your spot on one or more of his teaching weeks:
.
.
* Stanford, California,  April 22 – 27
* Miami, Florida,  May 1 – 7
* New York, New York,  May 11 -16
.
.
Follow the link in our bio to sign up! And once you do, we’d love to see how you’re preparing for it. Share your practice and plans with us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by tagging @LiveSonima and #SharathJoisUSA2019 ❤️🙏 We’ll see you there!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
 #sharath #sharathustour #sharath2019 #sharathjois #yogawisdom #livesonima #ashtanga #ashtangacommunity #asana #yogaliving #yogaeveryday #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #balance #yogilife #yogamaster #ashtangafamily #practiceisprayer #miamilifecenter #stanforduniversity #sharath #sharathjoistour #astangalove #ashtangalove #ashtangapractice #ashtangayogalove
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!