As January rolls around and we enter a fresh new year and decade, the whimsical, fun celebrations of New Year’s Eve often turn to more thoughtful, profound musings on our personal lives and careers. A New Year brings with it many resolutions, vows to change, to better ourselves, however, with the best intent in the world, many resolutions are broken mere weeks after the start of the New Year.
The core issue is that we head into a New Year with great intent, but as the pace of life picks back up, we get busy, overwhelmed and often, our resolutions get pushed to the side and never really become our accomplishments. We’re human after all. Imagine however, if we turned the situation around and used our core human senses to our advantage, not to our detriment. Not just for New Year resolutions, but for the simple pleasures in life – drinking our morning coffee mindfully by sitting back and relaxing, rather than drinking and running to work. Think about how great it feels on a weekend morning, knowing that you can take the time to simply be in the moment.
This is an example of mindfulness in action and can be applied to everything you do – savouring a beautiful meal, chatting to a friend or walking by the ocean. In the corporate environment, there are some practical ways you can practice mindfulness to increase your productivity and save your precious time. Mindful communication and e-mailing are great starting points to practice – speaking and listening clearly to avoid people having to repeat themselves and issuing clear instructions or advice to ensure a task is completed correctly the first time.
Of course, once you’ve mastered the art of understanding how you can implement mindfulness into your life, mindfulness practice can and should also be applied to the workplace. Research shows substantial benefits of being more mindful in the workplace, not least greater productivity, reduced stress and better communication. Corporate giants are jumping on the mindfulness bandwagon for good reason, and those forward- thinking companies who advocate meditation and mindfulness benefits (and who get it right) are reaping the commercial rewards.
The key to being more mindful (and therefore more successful) is to not overwhelm yourself by trying to do too much, too quickly. Choose one thing a month to focus on – or perhaps one thing daily just for a week and stick to it. It can be as simple as not eating lunch at your work desk, but it needs to simply afford you the time to be conscious of the present moment, without being concerned about the past or future. There should always be time for strategic future thinking, but this is separate to rumination in the present moment.
If you’re a go-getter who struggles to switch off or relax, try a meditation or mindfulness app to guide you – literally 5 minutes a day will start you on your own journey of mindfulness and you’ll likely surprise yourself with how much you benefit from this quiet, focused time for yourself. Of course, whilst an app might be a great introduction into meditation and mindfulness, it’s no substitute for an expert consultation and advice tailored for your situation. As with anything worth doing, it’ll take time and consistent practice to really start seeing the long-term benefits of being more mindful.
Give it a try, there’s nothing to lose. At worst, you’ll benefit from being more present in the moment and with that awareness, offer yourself a greater variety of choice. It’s not always comfortable to be present in the moment – a tedious work meeting or receiving some bad news for example, however, being more present allows us to absorb more information and avoid cognitive bias, allowing for better decision making and an increased ability to be proactive. At best, you’ll find a whole new sense of wellbeing, success and might even be able to stick to those pesky New Year resolutions!
For more information on mindfulness or to speak with Sabina ‘the personal trainer for the mind’ call + 61 (0)429 900 017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org