Article Via Mind Body Green…
As we approach the New Year, I know I am not the only one who is getting tired. But now is precisely the time to make huge changes, right? We can do better! We can run faster! We can eat more kale … all in 2015.
Hm, let’s think about that further. Goal setting is a wonderful thing. It is what inspires us to leave a prone, passive position in our lives. However, the excess of “doing better” can have us running at a frenetic pace. We try answering every chirp of our Smartphones, while logging our workouts and baking a cake from scratch. Especially in today’s age of constant communication, the decision to do more all the time can sometimes do us more harm than good.
Recently, I tested the concept of unplugging by simply turning off my phone. I read books with real pages, rather than electronic ones. If I got inspired to write a story, I jotted down the idea and let it be. I let my ambition take a breather. As expected, when I came back to earth, I was more focused and less irate.
If you are in the midst of “shoulda woulda coulda” mode — in the form of New Year’s resolutions — consider putting your ambition on hold. That itself can be your most important resolution. It may seem ironic, especially at a time of year that seems ripe for goal setting, by definition.
But sometimes what we really need to do good work, to make the changes we want and need to make in our lives, is to give ourselves the space for our creativity to breathe and for growth to actually happen. So try to incorporate one of these ways to take a break instead into your list of New Year’s resolutions …
1. Establish cut off times.
You are always available. This isn’t as appealing as you may think. Think about it: your email comes straight to your phone, and your phone is always in your pocket. Anyone — including your boss and co-workers — can theoretically reach you at anytime, anywhere.
So keep boundaries. Set a time and commit to it by muting the sounds of your text messages and phone. As your technology reboots, so too can your mind.
2. Own your vacation.
When was the last time you went on a vacation technology free? There is Wi-Fi everywhere, making it possible to keep everyone in the loop of what you are doing and what you are eating. But social media isn’t necessarily making us any happier.
Why not just be present in your enjoyment and tell everyone about it later? The days will feel longer and you will feel more connected to the world around you by your deliberate choice to disconnect.
3. End your day with a sense of endlessness.
At the end of the workday, we rush home. It is only a matter of time before work at home begins — be it household chores, an urgent rush to go to the gym, calling back friends we haven’t been in touch with for a while. But this kind of attitude — that the day is too short, and that we need to rush to get everything done — is not helping us feel happier, or be more productive.
I am not suggesting that you forgo chores to live more mindfully. But you can visualize your day with a sense of endlessness, spaciousness.
In concrete terms, take a break between your work and home life. You definitely have the time. Enter the door and sit down. Take (at least!) two minutes to breathe and to feel gratitude for another day done well. When you go back to your tasks, try to treat each one as an exercise in mindfulness.
4. Stop talking.
If you want to do something with the core of your being, stop talking about it (or writing it down on a to do list). Period.
Talking incessantly about the things we want to do — whether simple tasks on our agenda or loftier resolutions — just deviates us from our goals. By contrast, the more you are in the moment, the further you will be able to reach. Talk less and do more. Do it for yourself because your opinion (and really your life) is the one that truly matters.
5. Discard (some of) your goals.
Some of your past goals may be dragging along behind you, even though they may no longer make sense. Free yourself up mentally by casting them to the wind. Unapologetically make some space for the you in this moment. The goals that matter will rise to the surface.