Use Mindfulness to Create Intentions and Habits
So you are ready to set personal intentions and create a healthy routine to go along with it. I often hear people wanting to get started in developing an entirely new routine or new habits but don’t take the time to get crystal clear and intentional about what they are wanting to achieve.
Does this sound like you?
You feel like you begin something new, get really excited to get started and by the 5th day or 10th day you start to fall off. Maybe you have a vision of how you want your life to look or how you want to feel, but you don’t know where to start. You feel like you are ready to accomplish this goal, set out on a new journey but you have no idea where to start.
If any of this sounds like you, do not worry. You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now.
What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.” (Thank you Google Search Engine)
Mindfulness comes from the roots of the Hinduism and Buddhism culture and is a practice from the early Eastern religions of life. It has now been passed down to the Western culture, where scientific research is noticing a vast improvement in our cognitive and physical ability.
Mindfulness can be used in everyday life at any given moment. It is often talked about in yoga, meditation, and deep breathing, but it can be used at any present moment. It is about using our awareness to come back to what is happening in the now and releasing any judgment that we have towards our thoughts, feeling, emotions or the moments we are in.
“Mindfulness is a state of being that facilitates freedom from attachment to the need for people, things, or events to be a certain way… tranquility comes with mindful awareness and acceptance of the way people, things, and events actually are. Mindful acceptance does not require your approval. Many events in life will occur, and even persist, with or without your approval. Mindfulness enables you to take a step back from your experience, take the blinders off your eyes, and see the present moment in the light of day… just as it is. “
So how can we use mindfulness to set intentions and create healthy habits? Let’s begin with 3 simple steps.
Step 1) Get clear on your BIG goal.
Firstly, begin by thinking about this goal you want to achieve. Close your eyes and imagine yourself accomplishing this goal. Maybe this goal is you developing a new healthy routine such as practicing yoga regularly. In accomplishing this goal, notice how you feel, notice all of the positive shifts it is bringing you, notice how alive and excited you feel once you start. Also notice if any feelings of self-doubt or inner criticism pops up for you and allow it to move through you. An important part of mindfulness is “non-judgmental” awareness. It is important that we let all thoughts, feelings, and emotions come to surface and let it pass by.
Step 2) Become aware of what intentions you are wanting to create.
Take a deep breath, a few moments of gratitude, use mindfulness to come back to where you are, what you are thinking, what you are feeling. Notice the room around you, the noises you hear, the smells, the chair or place that you are sitting in. Become aware of all of the things around you. Now take a moment to feel where you are currently at in your life. Intention is all about taking action through purpose. It is about coming back to your why and the outcome of the steps or actions you take.
Begin asking and answering the following questions:
What habits am I currently practicing that are holding me back from my goal?
What do I need to let go of in order to achieve my goal?
What can I do to let go of this habit that is no longer serving me?
Why am I wanting to let go of this habit? (finding you intention)
Example: You want to reduce how much time you are spending on your phone because it is taking up too much time when you could be practicing yoga. You notice that in order to achieve your goal you need to lessen the amount of time you spend scrolling on Instagram or Facebook. You ask yourself what you can do to let go of this habit so you can achieve your goal and you begin by becoming aware of how much time you are spending on it. Then maybe you start with turning your phone off at night time. Then you might set time limits on your phone apps. Eventually this “habit” will begin to fade. Come back to your intention of WHY this habit isn’t serving your or your big goal.
3) Implement what intentions and healthy routine you want to take.
Use the mindfulness tools such as meditation, being present, using non-judgemental awareness to get intentional (purposeful) about what steps you can take to reach this goal. There is always a reason why we want to create new habits or accomplish a goal. Now that we have let go of the barriers that are getting in the way of setting intentions and creating new habits, let’s dive into what steps we can take to get there.
WHY do you want to accomplish this goal? What are your intentions?
WHAT will this goal bring you?
HOW will you begin to start this goal?