I have a history of making long lists of New Year’s Resolutions which have varying degrees of success and duration but which mainly get repeated year after year (because I never keep to them). This year I am just making one new New Year’s Resolution: To meditate.
I am not even going to make it completely SMART. It won’t be specific, or measurable. It will be action-based, and realistic, but not time-based.* My resolution is to meditate regularly by having an intention to meditate everyday. If I plan to do it everyday, but accept that this won’t always happen, I will probably end up doing it 3 or 4 times a week. So far – it’s the 8th Jan – I have meditated for 20 minutes every morning, so let’s hope I can keep it up.
There are many scientifically proven benefits of mindfulness and meditation, but as my teacher, Ed Halliwell, says in this Guardian article , it can also be an incredibly powerful spiritual path that cannot be measured by science alone. For me personally, mindfulness and meditation has changed my life. Instead of being ruled and battered by the powerful ups and downs of my emotions, I am now learning to interact with these same emotions in a more mature, calm and mindful way. Not only do I feel happier, but my children are happier and I am much more productive and efficient at home and work. Ed runs 8 week beginner courses in Sussex for those of you who may be interested.
Another good place to start, if you are interested in mindfulness and/or meditation, is headspace where you can try out their Take10 ten day beginners course for free. I also recommend downloading their app because it has some amazing short simple videos explaining the concept of mindfulness and how it can help you.
I wish you luck with your New Year’s resolutions, and I’d love to hear if any of you are planning on including mindfulness or meditation amongst them.
All the best,
*If I were SMARTer, I would choose 3 times a week, for 20 minutes at 9am, because this is realistic. But sadly in reality, choosing which days I meditate allows me to sidestep my commitments and in the end I would probably only do it once or twice a week, and eventually lapse. I have learnt that building daily habits is more effective for me than weekly scheduling. I need to know that everyday I have to meditate, otherwise I talk myself out of it.