5 MINDFULNESS PRACTICES TO KEEP YOU ON TRACK
Before I left my last 9-5 office job, I would sit at my desk and daydream about how incredible it would be to be my own boss, to wake up, run my own day and design my destiny.
Fast forward two years, and I am grateful to be in the position of starting my own business and moving forward in this direction- however, while I now have the freedom to map out my own time, I am faced with a whole new set of problems.
Every day I experience the guilt of not getting enough done, anxiety, overwhelm and the financial stress of not having a reliable monthly income. Self-doubt plagues me constantly and at least a few times each week I convince myself that all my ideas are worthless and consider giving up.
Pushing beyond all of my own self-defeating thoughts in order to progress forward is my biggest challenge. I have had to do some serious work on my mindset and am constantly looking for new ways get myself feeling inspired and motivated.
Practicing mindfulness each day allows me to stay focused on the big picture and implementing specific daily habits for productivity have been key to managing stress, setting priorities and achieving my short-term goals.
Here are 5 mindfulness practices I have in place to keep me on track each day.
- Morning Meditation
Meditating each morning is a way to calm your mind and focus on what really matters. Most of my best ideas and insights come to me during this time. Mediating is a way to cut through the noise of a busy mind so you are better able to reconnect with yourself. I use the Calm App which has a variety of guided meditations curated by topic which I have found to be incredibly helpful.
- Intention Setting
Setting an intention is like drawing a map of where you wish to go — it becomes the driving force of your higher consciousness. By having a higher intention of what you want to create in your life, you are able to make decisions with the confidence that your choices are in alignment with your big picture objectives. Whenever I feel stuck, I always go back to the question – “What is your intention here…?”
- Manage Distractions
One of the most difficult challenges we all face, is being productive and effective in the face of constant distraction. Some distractions are unavoidable but there many that we can control. Placing time limits on my use of social media and checking emails has been one of the best mindful practices I have implemented since starting my business. It takes an average of 20-25 minutes to get back into a state of focus once we have been distracted, so managing distractions is hugely beneficial for getting more done and keep stress levels down.
- Ask Yourself Better Questions
When we are faced with challenges, our ‘inner critic’ can be quick to bombard us with reasons why we are headed for failure. In essence, our self-doubts are a byproduct of fear. In order to rewire our mind’s tendency towards disempowering thoughts, you can challenge the thoughts by asking the right questions. Instead of asking – What might go wrong? What’s wrong with me? Or What’s the point? – ask questions that lean towards possibility, potential and opportunities, for example – What are my options?, What can I learn from this? or What action can I take to move forward.
- Make Time For Fun
It may sound strange but when I started my business, I completely forgot about the importance of having fun. My idea of a successful day was ticking everything I could off my to-do list, this took priority over laughing, connecting with my friends and doing all the activities that bring me joy like dancing, painting and going out to eat. The result of living in this way – was emotional burnout and a bout of depression that I found really difficult to shake off. Scheduling fun activities into my week is now a “non-negotiable” part of my plan, having pre-planned down-time also means that I actually get way more done in my working hours. After all, what’s the point of reaching your goals if you don’t feel happy?
By Amber McCormick
You can connect with Amber