Mindfulness, it can really change things for you.
As I am writing this and listening to the “Mumford and Sons” album “Wilder”, I think of all that I have accomplished in the past years.
Let me expand… For example, I always loved music, it’s vital to me. But for the longest time I just did not take the time (actually I didn’t think about making the time) to listen to music anymore. For the last few years, I have made a conscious effort about it. Such a small easy thing to enhance my life tremendously!
There is almost always music playing in the background now, I carry a music player with me when I go for walks. I use my local library system extensively to discover new musicians and a myriad of other things that I will talk about another day…
But I had to start by a simple step to make it clear to myself.
I had to write it down for myself to see daily:
“Listen to music; it makes you happy”
My yearly Review and Plan: it works for me!
I do a yearly review of each year at the end of December. I have been doing so for the past 4 years. I also try to do reviews throughout the years (quarterly if I can) to course correct myself if needed. It has been a slow integration, a lot of adjustments to what seems to work best for me. It needs to be easy to refer to and clear enough that it propels me forward. And that is where the yearly plan comes in…
After I have taken a look at what I feel I have done well for myself, I see what I want to maintain and/or improve for the upcoming year. I start with a more general sense of it, then go into specifics in the different fields I wish to focus on. I like to start with a quote that feels right and a short paragraph to sum up what I wish for myself.
I then decide on actionable steps and clear ways to accomplish the results I want. I try to stay on track, but I also try to be compassionate with myself if things don’t pan out the way I want. In 2015, there was a lot done, a lot to be thankful and happy for, but it’s at the beginning of August that everything really clicked. So if it seems like things are going slowly, be strong, keep following your path with resolve but be kind to yourself too!
Why I think Reviews and Plans are better than Resolutions
I do think that, ultimately when we hope to implant new habits in our life and create change, the goal is to feel and Be Epic* in your own way. Now, it doesn’t mean that you have to completely turn your life upside down and make drastic changes. I mean it to be doing something that feeds into your true essence. What you feel brings you great happiness, enhance your life, makes you feel like the best you. Big things, small things; it doesn’t matter. You want to work your way towards running a marathon, excellent for you, but unrealistic for me.
And here is where I believe Mindfulness is important…
You have to know what goals are realistic for you. If you need to, break it into small steps that can be doable. Celebrate your small victories along the way. People abandon resolutions because they pressure themselves to make gigantic changes all at once and hope it will stick right away and forever.
You have to make your goals clear. And you have to ideally write them down and keep them somewhere where you can see them daily. If you are into details like me, do a general bold statement for your goal and then detail the steps/parts underneath. People abandon resolutions because they forget about them.
You have to understand why reaching that goal will enhance your life. You have to envision and feel how it just makes sense for you to go for it and make it happen. People abandon resolutions because their mind and heart are not truly into it.
Some details of what I do
I detail here some of the areas I like to divide things in. Of course, it would be different from one person to the other. But it can give you ideas; feel free to borrow from it to set your own review and plan system!
I try to make a summary of all that is the most important to remember. I make it attractive for myself. It’s the quick view I will look at the most thru the year.
– Title of your choice (2016 Plan and Goals)
– A quote to amuse and motivate myself
– An images with or without quote (optional)
– I want to continue to: (habits to maintain)
– I also want: (habits to integrate and/or try)
– My Personal Mission Statement (in point form)
– Important Areas Quick tips (what you want to remember to do because it would make the most impact in enhancing your life)
I divided that section in the different areas I want to be mindful about. What areas you choose is something that you have to decide for yourself. I use a point form in each area and after a quick blurb on my goal for it, I detail steps and ways to make it so.
Social Life & Friends
2016 Plan and Goals Additional Detailed Notes… Now this is where I just pour it all out. Ideas for meditations, list of things I want to learn, etc. I guess this could be optional, especially if you do this for the first time. This section can be a long process.
Mindfulness, it changed me…
When it comes to planning for the year ahead (and reviewing the past one), The one piece of advice I can give you is: Be mindful, realize what is important for you and has meaning. Concentrate on that; life will get richer and you will feel Epic!
* For more on the subject of Being Epic, please check out my posts in my column : “Epic Living“.