30-Day Goal Hitting Program
Goals. We all have them, make them, and set them aside to wither like well-intentioned heads of lettuce in the crisper drawer. It can be difficult to watch deadlines you set for yourself whoosh by, and even harder to not reach the goals you set out to achieve. We can all relate to this experience. Sometimes an unexpected project or hiccup at work prevents us from reaching quarterly goals. A family sickness can prevent us from keeping a health and wellness routine. But that doesn't mean we should stop setting goals. It just means you might need a little extra help.
The average American worker in non-agricultural fields puts in a little more than half as much time on the job as the average worker in 1830. That should be great news, right? And yet the majority of working people report the struggle to find balance between work and personal life is getting tougher, not easier.
But is this sense of struggle all in our heads? Or are there real reasons we can point to that make balance tougher now than it has been in recent decades?
The truth is that no one has a 360° view of themselves. Not me and not you and not just in regards to our actual bodies: this goes for our businesses too. No matter how objectively we think we see our businesses, there will be blind spots.
In the realm of sports, most professional athletes have figured this out. This is why they rely on coaches, and many athletes have their own personal trainer/coaches in addition to official team staff.
The other day, I ordered a new battery for my iPhone. A few days later, I received an email that I could drop my phone off on Saturday to have the new battery installed. I got to the Apple store 15 minutes ahead of its opening on a beautiful Saturday morning, and there was already quite a crowd gathered at the front doors.
The whole debacle might have been prevented if I (think Lucille Ball) had not listened to my doctor husband (think Desi Arnez) who insisted that our two-year-old daughter’s hand-mouth disease was gone and that she was perfectly fine going to daycare the next morning. If I hadn’t listened, I would have had a fighting chance of getting a babysitter the night before.
The countdown to midnight on New Year’s Eve creates the sense that something profound is
taking place. We’re wrapping up another year of our life, with pride, regret, or nostalgia. And
then we turn with great hope to the new year about to unfold.
When we’re meditating, our minds will often start to wander. They might go off on a stream of consciousness for several minutes before we catch ourselves and bring them back. Often, we think of the mind wandering as a failure, and yet, in fact, the real success is not in keeping the mind from wandering but in the bringing it back and beginning again.
The sages define suffering as wanting things to be different than they are.
The experience of gratitude, however, renders the complete opposite effect. When we cultivate a feeling of appreciation, we feel happy, maybe even blessed. Gratitude requires a mindful attention to what is good in your life. When we’re not mindful, we are likely to give all of our attention to the squeaky wheel while losing perspective for the well-oiled ones.
Is it True? Is it Kind? Is it Necessary?
One of the benefits of mindfulness is, to paraphrase Viktor Frankl, the space it creates between stimulus and response. In that space between, we find choice. Mindfulness then creates time for us to choose our response. (Over time, the practice of making that choice helps us to create new neural pathways, which then become our new default responses.) One such choice is the words we use, or more generally, what we give voice to.
Over twelve years ago, I bought a refrigerator magnet about finding peace. I knew very keenly that the people I loved the most needed me to be calmer in my heart. The quote on the magnet challenged my inherent belief that I would only find peace when my kids were both in school all day, the house was cleaner, my job was better, my extended family stopped being so annoying, I finished writing my first book and got it published, and the stars aligned perfectly. The refrigerator magnet helped me see that equanimity is an inside job, independent of external circumstances.
Sometimes, investing time sitting quietly, can be perceived as self-indulgent navel-gazing. Here I present nine reasons why mindfulness is the best thing you can do to help others.
One: Meditation helps slow down your reactivity between stimulus and response, thus enabling you to carefully choose your response to, say, critical comments or back-talking teenagers.
How your body aligns in meditation is important, whether you are sitting on the floor or in a chair. It’s essential to feel a firm connection with the floor (either through the “sit bones” — the lower portion of the pelvis — or through the feet). It’s also always appropriate to keep the spine long.
Morning Resolutions (spoken like a mantra) are a great way to begin or complete your daily meditation. A morning resolution sets your intention for the day and brings it to the forefront of your mind, thus reinforcing your most deeply held values.
Gandhi suggested that “the first act of every morning be a resolve such as this:
Creativity is the ability to make connections between two or more things in a unique manner. For many people, creative expression is one of the joys of life, and for others it is also part of their livelihood. A certain line in a poem or song lyric, or a color used in a painting can enhance our experience of life and allow us to see the world in a new way.