As the year draws to a close, perhaps you're reflecting on ways to make mindfulness a bigger part of your life in 2014. Here’s my three tips for you.
1. Treat yourself as if you’re your own best friend
New year resolutions may be something you use to beat yourself up with, when you fail. This year, don't.
Instead, use this time to be nice to yourself. Imagine what a kind, wise friend would say to you, if you didn’t manage to stick to your goals. ‘Don’t worry about it’, ‘try again next time’, ‘these things happen, don’t be hard on yourself’. Those are the sort of words I'd suggest you try on yourself.
You’ll feel better, and believe it or not, the self-compassion will make you better able to stick to your resolutions.
Tip - to remind yourself to do this, put a subtle message on your screen saver, leave a note in your purse or wallet, or place a picture of family or friends at work. These cues can be helpful.
2. Take one mindful breath a day
You probably know that meditation is good for you.
And you may be one of the millions of people that just didn’t manage to do their meditation, no matter how much you wished you could.
So, try one breath meditation. Resolve to take one deep in and out breath, in a focused way, everyday.
Anything else is a bonus.
That’s easier to do and can help to build your willpower for a longer meditation, if you so wish.
You may think that's not long enough, but there's only ever this breath and this moment. A mindful breath a day is a great way to start the day! And if you didn't manage to do your 10 minutes or 30 minutes or whatever length of meditation you were planning, why not just start with the one breath and take it from there?
3. Book time off now
Look at your calendar in 2014 and book some time off. Long weekends, vacations and regular days off. Time off from work or home responsibilities are nourishing for body, mind and soul. You’ll feel better afterwards and your work and home life will improve as a result. You could even book a retreat. We have one in Morocco in May.
Mindfulness, above all, is about living with awareness in the present moment. So, no matter what your goals for 2014, remember that you can only be mindful in the here and now. Stop, look and listen is the order of the day.
Thanks for reading! Do share your comments if you have a sec, and if you don’t know how to practise mindfulness, check out our bestselling online course, LiveMindfulOnline.com