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mindfulness

the meaning of mindful living

What does mindful living mean to me? Mindful living means to live in the moment. Through mindful living I am being conscious, and aware of my present using all my senses. It means that I’m not living in the past nor am I worrying about what the future will be.

When I concentrate on being in the present, I focus my attention on the task at hand. I give my undivided attention and let go of the outcome. Seizing the moment allows me to make each moment more meaningful and valuable.

Of course, this does not mean that I will forget about planning and setting goals. I should be able to do all these things and at the same time enjoy being in the present. For instance, through the act of setting a goal to exercise each day, I am living in the now. I enjoy planning the process, such as brainstorming ideas for exercise, taking advice from friends, or setting an appointment with a personal trainer.

Great Expectations

Everyday we place huge expectations on ourselves. We are always on the go and rushing from place to place. Sometimes we move from task to task and never enjoy the process. Haven’t you noticed that we tend to be completely oblivious to why we carry out in such a way?

We don’t stop and think about where we are. We miss the point of just being there. Instead, we should rely on the power of mindfulness.

When we live in the past, hanging onto hurtful experiences we are inflicting pain onto ourselves. Mindful living is about releasing that pain and finding pleasure in the simple things.

Living in the now means that you need to trust in the future. You are positive and optimistic in the present. By this simple act of being, you open to the possibility of a promising future.

What does mindful living mean to me?

Mindful living in the now allows me to begin to notice the beauty and wonder of the moment and the surrounding things. I learn how to focus and manage my energy on what is most important. This is just one of the benefits of living in the now.

Living in the moment is beneficial in many ways. From physical health to your mental status, being mindful enhances life. Here are several ways living in the moment benefits us:

Better Physical Health

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By reducing stress and anxiety we are able to avoid the health consequences associated with them. This includes high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity.

Better Psychological Health:

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Being mindful improves our psychological well-being because we are more in tune with what is happening around and within you.

Improved Relationships

Most of us have been with someone who is with us physically, but their mind is a million miles away. This makes the relationship extremely difficult. But when we are with someone who is fully present, the experience is enjoyable and it creates a deeper connection. By living in the now, we can be the person others enjoy being with and make your relationships easier.

Better self-control

When we are living in the moment, we are in better control over our mind, your body and your emotions. We no longer have a racing mind and unpredictable emotions controlling our life. 

Better focus

Living a mindful life allows us to stay focused on what’s happening in the present. We are not worrying about what happened in the past or stressing about what might happen in the future. We are able to focus fully on the now.

Healthier choices

Being mindful helps us make healthier food choices because we are paying attention to what we choose to eat and how much you eat. Food tastes better because we are paying attention to all the sensations of each bite. We savor each bite by putting your fork down between bites. 

Better decisions

Living in the now helps us make better decisions. We are more aware of your circumstances and opportunities.

Feeling less overwhelmed

Living in the now helps us see what needs to be done now instead of being overwhelmed by the scope of a large project.

Feeling less stress 

We are more in tune with the world around us instead of being lost in your own thoughts all the time. We are able to identify what bothers us and not stress over it. 

Living in the moment has an abundant number of benefits that can help us improve our life. It helps us stay healthier, have less stress and be more aware of each moment of the day. The way that we conduct ourselves in our personal and professional life begins with how we use your mind. We can teach our mind to accept ourselves and gain empowerment – or we can stay stuck in self-defeating behaviors. 

How to Accept Yourself

Once you learn to accept yourself, you will be able to have compassion for yourself, too. This will defeat any negative internal talk that you may have been practicing. Meditation is a strategy that you can use to achieve mindfulness in order to accept and empower yourself. 

It helps those who practice meditation quiet the mind. A peaceful mind allows you to be fully in the present and accept emotions and thoughts.

For a peaceful meditation, choose a place where you will be comfortable to be more relaxed.

Some people choose to sit while meditating and others prefer to lie down. You can also practice mindful meditation while you are walking outside or in your home. Relax and focus on what is around you and how you are inhaling and exhaling. 

Be aware of the sensations you feel and the emotions that you are experiencing. Another strategy that is often used is deep breathing. You can start this the same way that you would with mindful meditation where you find a comfortable place and begin. 

But you can also practice deep breathing while you are active at home or at work. You focus on drawing in deep breaths and slowly release them.

Another strategy is mindful thought replacement. This method is a mindfulness cognitive behavioral technique. Rather than simply letting the thought pass through your mind, these are strategies that call for you to be aware of your thoughts. Whenever any negative self talk pops into your mind, you make a conscious choice to stop and correct the thought. 

You correct it by replacing it with accepting words that help you accept yourself as you are. This helps you reprogram your thoughts to enable you to feel empowered rather than listening to words that hinder you and create self-doubt. 

Why Living in the Moment is Difficult

Even though there are many benefits of living in the moment, it can often be difficult to do. All our lives we’ve been encouraged to think about the future and remember the past. Advertising, notifications, messages, reminders, alerts are all geared to what’s coming up or what happened previously. We tend to get caught up in what’s going on around us that we don’t pay attention to what’s happening in the moment.

Why is this a problem? 

The problem comes from the stress, strain, wear, and tear of living on a day-to-day basis causing us emotional and physical problems.

Here are other factors that contribute to living in the now:

When you’re in the flow in what you’re doing and you end up getting pulled away from it by a notification on your phone. This pulls you away from the present and being aware. This is one reason living in the moment is difficult.

The basic nature of our mind is to dwell on our pas and worry about our future. We face a lot of uncertainty that causes anxiety when we live in the moment. When you are fully into the moment you aren’t thinking about what will happen in the next, which can cause worry about the future.

We have a hard time keeping focused on the moment. Our minds naturally wander. We have an innate ability to always be thinking, wandering, asking, pondering, and just having random thoughts.

We don’t worry about the present moment because it’s already decided. That means our mind naturally goes to the past or to predicting the future. We use our past as the basis for what the future will be. This tendency can get out of control, and we begin to see dangers that are not actually there.

There is comfort in the possibility of what’s to come, something that lies beyond today – hope. We have hope that tomorrow will be better than this moment, this now. So, we are constantly thinking of what is next.

These thoughts, assumptions and fears keep us from living in the present moment. It can be hard fighting these issues, but we are can change the tendencies of our brains. Practicing mindfulness helps us get stronger at it and makes it possible to overcome the harmful or destructive choices and make better ones

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mindfulness

can mindfulness increase your self-esteem?

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.

— Golda Meir

Haven’t you noticed how confident individuals have a certain charm in how they present themselves? They have a swagger in their walk and a captivating smile. Confident individuals are self-assured. Confidence allows them to have a positive view of themselves. You can be like that too! You know how much you are able to achieve. But first, you will need to figure out the following: Can mindfulness increase your self-esteem?

The potential is definitely there. You need to trust that your instincts, thinking, and abilities are sufficient. When you don’t believe in yourself, you struggle to simply accept who you are. Basically, you question yourself because you don’t trust your thinking. Essentially, you live in self-doubt.

Learn to let go. You go through life feeling as if you’re not educated enough or talented enough. Then, you think that you are not pretty enough. You carry out an imposter syndrome, a collection of feeling inadequate if you reach a certain success.

How Imposter Syndrome Affects Your Self-Esteem

Initially, imposter syndrome was studied in white, upper-middle-class women. It was thought to be a phenomenon of over achievement in this population. Studies later showed that the imposter phenomenon was not an isolated event. Men also experienced imposter syndrome. A recent study shows that some minorities are vulnerable to imposter syndrome. Minority status can become a source of stress in achieving goals. The study showed that African American students reported higher minority status stress compared to Asian Americans and Hispanic students. However, Asian Americans reported greater imposter feelings. The researchers believed that many Asian American students have a higher inner pressure to achieve.

These lead us to think about our own inner pressures to avoid imposter syndrome. You judge yourself, thinking of what you should have said or done. You find that you fall short. So ask yourself, can mindfulness increase your self-esteem and how?

What mindfulness does to help you change your low self-esteem is to build your confidence. You replace the feelings that you’re not good enough with the trust that you are better. Using mindfulness calls for you to not dwell on any negative experiences where you feel that you failed.

It helps you to not focus on the future. It helps train your mind to focus on who you are right now. You see that who you are is simply good enough. You learn to accept yourself – and with that, you build strong confidence in yourself.

Ways that Mindfulness Can Boost Self-Esteem

Practicing mindfulness can boost your self-esteem. Mindfulness can lead you to a life being lived in the present. With living in the now comes a non-judgmental acceptance of who you are.

Many people have an internal voice. This internal voice has been conditioned to speak this negatively by us. The disturbing results are that when we allow this internal voice to have a negative way, we can trigger stress, anxiety, and even depression.

This self-talk impacts your well-being and how you feel about yourself. Learn to be aware of this negative self-talk. If you call yourself names, that’s a sign that you engage in negative self-talk.

Some people call themselves stupid. When they consider taking action this internal self-talk tells them why they can’t. You start telling yourself things like “I’m not smart or pretty enough”.

When you allow these thoughts to run wild, you can get into the mindset that you can’t do something. You feel unworthy and then your feelings follow that internal self-talk until it becomes a belief.

This habit can be so automatic within you that the negative self-talk plays constantly in your mind. It becomes like white noise. It buzzes and you get used to it. What mindfulness does is bring your attention to the inner dialogue that’s destroying your self-esteem.

You learn what this internal conversation is doing to harm you and how it’s impacting your emotions. Mindfulness helps you learn to accept yourself without expectations or blaming. You gain skills to raise your confidence and accept yourself.

With acceptance, we learn about ourselves. It helps us see that we are not perfect. People who aren’t accepting often blame others for all problems, even when it’s their fault.

The key is to find the right balance of learning about yourself and keeping up your self-esteem.

3 Top Confidence and Self-Esteem Boosters

  1. Always evaluate each situation you find yourself involved in. Don’t make assumptions as they can be wrong, without the right information. You want to collect information to form a choice. You want to eliminate any possibility that might influence your thinking. For instance, you might believe that you are the cause of a problem without gathering any evidence. If you are the cause of a problem, own up to it and try to make the situation right.
  2. Don’t just take the blame for everything. If you discover that you are not the cause, then speak up and let that be known. Self-critical people will tend to blame themselves automatically.
  3. It’s important to pick your battles. If you find something minor that came up, you may want to be mindful and let it go.

If you find it difficult to trust yourself, it may be a sign that you lack confidence. You cannot develop any trust without confidence. Feel secure in your abilities and be strong in your convictions. But, know when to accept your faults.

Acceptance of your strengths and weaknesses helps in developing confidence. That may seem new to you. But think about it, no one is born with confidence. Confidence is a process that you learn to develop. You learn to have a swagger in your walk. You learn to portray yourself as self-assured. Take steps to develop your confidence and trusting yourself will flow.

The biggest detractor from confidence is fear. When you give in to your fears, you will diminish the chances of building up your confidence.

Start out with small steps that you have been afraid to try in the past. Many outcomes will turn out better than you imagine.

Visualize the positive. If you try to anticipate what will happen, and it is always a negative outcome, you will never make a decision.

Take on those small tasks without thinking about what will happen. Be mindful and open about the outcome. This action will build up your confidence as you’ve never seen before.

You should ask questions when you aren’t sure about the situations you face.

Confidence is not about having all the answers. It’s about knowing where to find them and whom to rely on with the knowledge that you need to move forward. It’s also about giving up on one way to solves a problem and finding a new solution.

Confidence is about taking responsibility for your choices and actions. When you make your decisions, you own them, even if they don’t work out. When you increase your confidence, you will automatically grow to trust yourself. Then, you can accomplish more than you ever imagined. Can mindfulness increase your self-esteem? Yes, it can especially if you use loving-kindness.

To learn more about loving-kindness listen to this free mini podcast:

Loving-Kindness Activities

These activities are proven to help your self-esteem. By following these activities you will learn to accept yourself. This is key to a loving-kindness practice. Remember not to be harsh towards yourself. Soften your stance to quiet the inner voice within you.


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mindfulness mindset

how to balance your lifestyle with mindfulness

People are always asking me how I get everything on my to-do list done.  How do I find the time to read ? How can I travel while keeping up with my blog?  How do I maintain a healthy work life balance? What’s my secret for a balanced lifestyle? 

There are many answers, but one of them came to mind this morning as I sipped my morning cup of tea– mindfulness.  Being in the present placed my usual monkey mind to rest.   Mindfulness freed my mind from the thoughts of an unclear perspective as I concentrated in the here and now.  

I no longer had the problem of not enough time and balancing my life with my work; I had the gift of more than enough to do. 

Why is this a gift? Consider this. When you are invited to brunch with your best friends.  You are served many delicious foods, more than you can possibly sample.  From among the offerings, you choose the ones that you want most. What you choose will depend on your needs, desires, and values. Do you want to try something new?  Is there a dish you want to make sure to taste again? 

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Sure, you could approach the brunch in a state of “reality show” drama as a die-hard-diva.  You can show a face of frustration because you were invited to a brunch to be forced to eat all the selections of food on display. Clearly, it’s more than you can possibly eat.  But why would you adopt that point of view? What would you possibly gain? 

As I thought about this notion of having more than enough to do, I knew intuitively that I did not have to write every thought on my to-do-list. I don’t have to eat everything at a brunch buffet either. I also knew that accepting that I could not do it all was part of acknowledging my choice.  I’m free to choose what I want to do.

Mindset Shift

This mindset shift frees your thinking: 

  • When I notice that I have more than enough, it is natural to ponder on what I want most and why.  Asking “what and why” motivates me to set priorities. What would be the most fun? Why do I need to accomplish this task? What would be the most productive? 
  • When I notice that I have more than enough, it is fine to look for how I can share it.  It gives a whole new twist to the notion of delegating work. Who would enjoy helping me with this work? Who would enjoy learning how to do this? 
  • When I notice that I have more than enough, I allow myself to act from gratitude and to express gratitude through good stewardship. For the sake of what shall I make this choice? What makes the most sense under our current circumstances? What selections support healthy ambition? How can I preserve or conserve opportunities for another person or another day?

I encourage you to become self-aware of the things you have to do. Check your work life balance and emotional climate as it relates to planning either for the day or for a specific project over a period of days. Then notice the physical sensations that correspond to this emotional climate.   How does this change if you move towards a positive growth mindset?

Once you have made your way into this different mindset, see what new possibilities show up. What actions flow from your growth mindset?

Choose Your Actions

So many of us rush blindly through our days, fall into bed exhausted, and wake up the next morning to do it all over again. For many of us, our lives are composed of millions of meaningless moments, all strung together – perhaps with a sprinkling of cherished moments.  I’m sure you can think of a few cherished moments in your own life. Maybe your marriage, the birth of a child, or perhaps a heartfelt moment of connection with a good friend. These are the moments when we are consumed with joy and awe. At these moments, we are fully being present.  We aren’t worrying about tomorrow.  We aren’t trying to rush through the experience to get to the next. We are in the now.

But, why do we wait for major events to honor these moments? Why can’t every day be a cherished moment? Every moment – if we decide to make it that way. I stated above that our lives are filled with meaningless moments, but those moments are meaningless only because we don’t value them. We are hurrying along, focused on other things, not stopping to notice them at all. They come and go without so much as an acknowledgement from us.

Cherish the moment

Cherishing the moment means simply choosing to make each moment count. It is a tiny shift in perception that assigns meaning and importance to each moment. It means stopping to notice the beauty and love around us, and within us. It means being fully present in each moment, because only the present moment truly exists. So many of us worry about the future, hold regrets about the past, and completely ignore the present. When we give the now our full attention, even mundane tasks can become important.  Nothing can be changed except our perception, but it makes all the difference.

So how do we shift our mindset? What does it mean to stay in the present moment? Let’s use an example: washing dishes. When most of us wash dishes, we hurry through it, often thinking about the other things we need to get done that day (or the next day). Our minds are scattered all over the place, focusing on everything but what we are doing now. Who can blame us? Washing dishes is not the most exciting experience. However, if we choose to make it a cherished experience, we will want to focus on it. We want to take our time and really pay attention to how the water feels on our hands, how the soap cleanses away the grease and grime, and the sense of satisfaction we get as each dish moves from the dirty pile to clean. 

Maybe that still doesn’t sound very thrilling. Let’s look at what else is happening. As we give our full attention to washing the dishes, we are not only “doing,” we are being present. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing or not doing in each moment of our lives, it matters only that we become aware of our own state of being. In those moments, we are fully alive and conscious. 

Kindness

By being in the now, you can show kindness to yourself and others.  Kindness is a generosity of spirit. It comes to life when we give of ourselves and our time to be of help to others, without expecting anything in return. When you show kindness to somebody you bring out the best in yourself.

Pay attention to the impact your behavior has on others.  Notice your own feelings in association to their reactions. Think about how you feel yourself when somebody else shows you kindness. What you give comes back to you in even greater quantity. When you are kind, you not only get an immediate payback in terms of a feel-good factor, but you will also receive kindness from others .

It is so easy to find ways to be kind to others. Say something supportive when you instinctively feel someone needs to hear it. Offer help without being asked for it. Smile and listen without judgement.

Being kind to yourself means getting your needs met. Be gentle with yourself instead of critical when you feel you’re not performing at your best. Forgive yourself when the need arises instead of beating yourself up. When you get into the habit of treating yourself with kindness, it becomes much easier to extend that consideration and behavior to others.

How to balance your work and lifestyle

We all feel a little off balance at times. Maybe we are having difficulty sleeping or we are stressed. Often during these times our life is focused area too much in one or more areas. Dividing our attention between different activities and finding routines helps us to restore balance.

Here are some tips that may help you to restore balance, especially when working from home. With the COVID-19 pandemic, my situation still hasn’t changed. I am still teleworking. Since we are at home, the fine line between work and home life becomes blurred.

So how do you keep a balance between work and “you” time?

Have A Separate Work-Only Space

Whether you are an entrepreneur, or your company allows you to work remotely, you need to have part of your home that is only used for business. A separate room for a home office is the best solution, but if you don’t have the space for that, a dedicated workstation will do just fine.

Make sure that this space is only used for business purposes (this can be important for tax reasons too). If you’re in your living room, make the boundaries clear by keeping the television and radio switched off and avoid the temptation of doing housework in between tasks. Keep work and home life as separate as possible.

Schedule Downtime

Downtime is just as important as work time. You’ll soon suffer from burnout if you don’t ensure that you get some relaxation. Signal the priority you give to your downtime by scheduling it in your calendar. Be clear about your working hours and resist the temptation to peek at your work emails when you’re supposed to be relaxing.

Stick to A Working Week

Weekends are essential – you need time away from work to recharge. Keep to having specific days that are workdays and two days a week when it’s your weekend time. That doesn’t have to be Saturday and Sunday; you can choose which days work best for you and your business but do take a weekend’s worth of time off.

Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care is vital when you work from home. You might feel tempted to work all hours, but just as you need time to chill, you also need time to exercise, get some pampering, and take care of yourself.

Working from home makes it easier to stick to a healthy, nutritious diet as you’re in control of what food comes into the house. Be sure to take lunch breaks, stay well-hydrated, and get a good night’s sleep.

These techniques may seem too simple to work, but they are actually perfect for helping you change your focus. While you are thinking of good things in your life, it challenges the thoughts that are making you depressed. And by choosing things to look forward to in this day, you notice and appreciate them much better when they come. Happiness does not lie in circumstances as much as it does in our thoughts. There are some who feel lonely even though they are surrounded by loving family, and others who live alone who feel blessed by the love in their lives. Some people have lost so much in their lives, and yet live each day overflowing with joy, because they focus not on what they have lost or don’t have, but rather on what they do have.

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how to replace multitasking with mindfulness

A quick animated video explaining multitasking and mindfulness.

Multitasking and mindfulness? I’m guilty of multitasking or doing more than one task at a time. I can read an article, text, promote my blog, and write at the same time. Do I get anything accomplished? Yes, but slowly and with much effort. Multitasking creates a paradox. You might think that you will be more productive, but in reality, you are not.

Brain in overdrive

Because all of those tasks are happening simultaneously, your brain is forced to react quickly, moving back and forth by shifting your focus. Studies have shown that not only individuals that multitask are prone to not get things done, but they’re more apt to face burnout. Other findings include higher levels of stress and a poor quality of life for those individuals who engage in endless multitasking. A study from the University of Pittsburgh showed that adolescents who have multiple social media accounts suffer from greater depression and anxiety. Clearly, multitasking has its drawbacks.

Your brain wasn’t meant to overload itself with sensory input in such little time. When you multitask, you’re splitting your attention between things on your to-do list and figuratively you’re also splitting yourself. You might be checking things off the list but your brain is not registering the present moment. You trigger a nervous reaction since your brain now cannot focus on a single item completely because it is processing the other items. For instance, when you’re in a relationship and your partner is speaking and you’re on your cell phone, you’re not truly listening to them. Taking a computer analogy, multitasking can overload the RAM in your brain.

Multitasking and Mindfulness

Multitasking can cause people to feel less empathetic toward others. People might not listen to your words, and they might not be aware of the full scope of the situation. There’s another downside to multitasking. When you’re not fully present with what you’re doing or who you’re spending time with, you miss things. You’ll discover that you have a tendency to spend a lot of time and energy on things that don’t matter.

Multitasking keeps you distracted. The cure for multitasking is mindfulness. This means that you’re focused on the present. You’re giving whatever task you’re doing 100% of yourself. It means whoever you’re interacting with isn’t having to compete for your attention because you’re 100% present with them. Being fully present can help to deepen relationships with those you’re keen on.

It can also make you better at your job, more understanding of your coworkers, and happier in all aspects of your life. When you’re being mindful, you’re focused. You engage your mind and your emotions together. By being focused, you’re aware of the task. Getting it done will be easier and you won’t be stressed.

When you focus on a person, you’ll be able to have a deeper connection without multitasking. You’ll be fully engaged in your own life and in the lives of the people you interact with. Mindfulness can teach you how to keep your focus on the moment. It can show you how to enjoy the day-to-day tasks and situations even if they’re mundane. Clearly, multitasking and mindfulness are not compatible.

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7 productivity tips and tricks for perfectionists to gain mindfulness

Are you a perfectionist? 

Let’s be clear. If you have very high but rigid standards, then you might have trouble adjusting to the daily demands of life. To overcome perfectionism, it’s important to grow your mindset. Accept that you will give it your best shot instead of feeling as if you are cutting yourself short. By trying one of these seven simple productivity tips and tricks, you can motivate yourself back into action. 

Give each of these tips a try over the next few weeks and find the ones that work best. You will know that they positively work for you when you suddenly realize that you are dancing in your kitchen out of pure joy. Your to-do list will be checked off automatically with no excuses. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating, needlessly postponing decisions or actions, come back to this list. Then, employ one or several of these productivity tips and tricks. Your productivity will soar. 

Sure to Work Productivity Tips and Tricks

Girl with hand on forehead.  Blog graphic pointing towards "now" sign.

Being mindfully aware of procrastination is a skill in itself because those individuals who procrastinate can do a great job of hiding it from themselves. You might find excuses like waiting for inspiration or needing more information before tackling a project. You convince yourself with more excuses and it becomes harder to differentiate which are the true hurdles. Be honest with yourself and you will start overcoming true challenges not those which you have imagined.

1. Pick Something Small 

One of the big reasons we procrastinate is because we become overwhelmed. There’s too much to do, so we choose to forget about it for a little while. It’s a coping mechanism, just not the one giving you accurate results. Instead, pick one thing, something small that you can do right now to move you in the right direction. Making small choices creates momentum and forces you to take action. 

2. Set A Timer and Go 

Another trick that works like a charm is to set a timer. Your cell phone has one built-in, as do most smartwatches. If you misplaced your smartphone or are procrastinating, setting the alarm, then let Alexa know that she needs to remind you. She usually replies that she didn’t get that. But no worries, Alexa understood you correctly. She’s just procrastinating like you. Repeat your command and allow double the amount you need for a particular task to complete it. For instance, if you plan for fifteen minutes to pay your bills, make that thirty. The same applies for uncluttering your closet. Again, the goal is to start and do something. 

3. Bribe Yourself 

Make up your own rewards. Remember there’s nothing wrong with bribing yourself if that’s what motivates you. Your boss bribes you with a paycheck, so you know this tip works to perfection. Work on a home improvement project for an hour. Then watch as someone else does the same work on an episode of Property Brothers on HGTV. Maybe promise yourself ice cream when you finish painting the living room. Just come up with something that motivates you and go for it. Remind yourself of the prize at the end of the project whenever you’re tempted to put things off for another day. 

4. Find An Accountability Partner 

It’s all about competitive accountability and peer pressure. First, find someone else who’s either trying to be more productive or beat procrastination themselves. Second, start check-in with each other daily. Third, share what you want to accomplish and what you will get done today. Knowing you have to report to someone else makes you take action. It’s also motivating to see the other person do the same.  Accountability is the principle behind weight loss and other self-help groups. It is widely recognized as a highly effective approach. 

5. Measure Your Progress 

When you’re working on something long-term, such as losing thirty pounds, it can be tempting to procrastinate. Simply, it doesn’t seem like you’re making much progress. Your confident that those initial fluctuations are just changes in water weight. Instead, prove to yourself that you are getting closer and closer by tracking or measuring it. Make a chart, use a spreadsheet, keep a bullet journal. Find a way to measure your progress towards your goal and use it to motivate yourself to keep going. 

6. Remind Yourself Of Your Why 

There’s a reason you’ve decided to do that thing you keep putting off. Think about why you want to get it done. Is it so that you can get your tax refund? So you can find the clothes you want to wear? Find out your reason why. Write it down and then keep it front and center on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror. Look at it every day before you get ready to get to work. 

7. Just Start

I’ve saved the best for last. It’s the easiest but also the most powerful. Just get started. That’s right, sometimes all you have to do is just get moving in the right direction. Do something. Do anything even if it’s something minimal. You get over that initial hump and start to build some momentum with the use of these productivity tips and tricks.

Disclaimer: Procrastination is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behavior. That means that you will not just break it overnight. Habits are broken when act on not practicing them. Please use as many approaches as possible to maximize your chances of overcoming procrastination. 

Don’t let your perfectionism stop you from reaching your goals

You wake up in the morning motivated and ready to tackle whatever it is you’ve been procrastinating on. Maybe you’re excited about a new project. You drink your coffee, get dressed, and get ready to get to work. Then something suddenly comes up. You are a perfectionist so you get suckered into a non-productive task because you find your to-do list not good enough or pretty enough. 

Perhaps you open your Instagram and get sucked into spending the next few hours on your phone. Maybe you feel that you need to finish your binge-watch marathon on Netflix. It doesn’t matter what it is, the point is that there are things that will try to distract you into procrastinating. 

Gain Mindfulness

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Take Action With A Simple Productivity Strategy

There’s a simple strategy you can use to keep procrastination from happening. It’s to make the important project you’ve been delaying a priority and work on it first thing every morning. The whole process starts with planning the night before. Before you call it a day, sit down, and think about the tasks you want to get done the next day. Identify what needs to get done.

Write these three tasks down in your journal. 

These tasks don’t have to be long (see tip. 1). In fact, I find it helpful if they are all items I can take care of quickly. When you get up in the morning, look at your list and work on these three most important tasks before you do anything else. Don’t look at your email. Don’t text. If at all possible don’t even answer the phone or attend meetings before these three tasks are crossed off. Make them your number one priority. 

Aside from that, simply being mindful of smart devices that decrease your productivity is helpful. When you find yourself putting something off, look back and see if you can pinpoint what caused it. Then take action towards preventing it from happening in the future. 


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Do you want to be able to overcome your procrastination? Get your free ebook, Growth Mindset, and learn how to learn from your setbacks. Overcome your fears, by clicking on the link.

Categories
grit mindfulness mindset

finding your growth mindset with grit and mindfulness

Finding you growth mindset with grit and mindfulness blog post cover graphic with pink background.  A woman with a business suit on top of a cliff.

Scrolling down my Instagram feed this morning, I noticed that there is so much speculation over mindset, especially on social media. Influencers and business coaches on Instagram sell online courses on achieving a positive growth mindset and overcoming negative thoughts. On Facebook, there are dedicated groups on the subject to grow your business presence. The posts in these groups are all about manifesting through unlimited positivity. The exact definition of a growth mindset becomes lost in a sea of posts. After my morning tea, I thought about the possibilities of finding your growth mindset with grit and mindfulness.

What is mindset?

Carol Dweck
Photo: Carol Dweck Credit: Satheesh Gopalan / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

According to Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, mindset is the view you adopt, which determines how you live your life. It determines how you see the world and make decisions. In other words, it is your perspective or your view of the world. It’s your beliefs about your abilities and qualities that form how you do things or see things. It’s your usual attitude or mental state.

Think about your many strengths and talents. Are you artistic? Are you creative? How you answer these questions defines your mindset and provides clues as to how you view the world and yourself. Your mindset shapes your reality and your perception of what you can do beyond your limits.

growth mindset is created by believing that your talents can be reached through effort, hard work, and strategies. It is not innate like a fixed mindset, which depends on your gifts. The growth mindset strives to achieve through learning, while the fixed mindset can stagnate.

Let’s be mindful of the matter.

Most influencers have a distorted view of a growth mindset. One of the pitfalls is thinking that our mindset is always in a state of growth. As you encounter new experiences, your mindset develops and evolves. To do so, we need to become aware of our mindset, including failure. Take, for example, the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. He successfully pioneered telecommunications with the iPhone and grew his company, but he lacked growth in relationships, especially with his daughter.

What is mindfulness?

Almost all mindsets are mixed. Hence, this is where the concept of mindfulness fits in. Mindfulness is a state of awareness in the present moment, when your mind is conscious of your experience. It includes thoughts and feelings, sensations, and breathing. In mindfulness, you accept everything with an attitude of non-resistance and balance. Thus, you can experience everything fully without self-judgment.

With this mindful awareness, you will notice that there are moments in which we fail to reach our goals or compare ourselves to others. Once we recognize our vulnerability, our fixed mindset, then we can nurture it. If we become mindful of our unresolved issues while acknowledging the unsung moments of joy, then we can handle our mixed mindset.

Your mindset is the force behind whether you thrive or avoid challenges, view failures, setbacks, or persevere. It is more about the process than the destination.

Grit

You will also need grit, which refers to a passionate perseverance toward a goal even when overwhelmed with challenges. Mindfulness will make you aware that grit is needed to reach your goal.

These two concepts, grit and mindfulness, are compatible but not exclusive. A new study showed that being aware is correlated with grit in students in individualistic societies, such as ours. Collective societies might not depend on mindfulness. Definitely, more research is needed in this area.

Grit is the tendency to maintain effort and interest towards long-term goals.

6 top tips to finding your growth mindset with grit and mindfulness to deal with the following belief system:

  1. Poor self-image. If you constantly see yourself as a failure, sending self-defeating messages to your mind that you will fail at whatever you try to accomplish. Solution: Turn failures into challenges. Keep a journal describing your thoughts. It will help with problem solving no matter the challenge. 
  2. Self-victimization. If you’ve been a victim of bad experiences or been hurt by others, then you might still be holding onto those moments. Solution: Use mindfulness to let go of the past and live the present. 
  3. Social media envy. If you see the unnatural glamorous lifestyles of other people online then, it might make you feel worse about yourself. You might devalue what you have. You focus on what you don’t have or aren’t doing. Solution: Think about what you do have and show gratitude. Own it up!
  4. Feel work is a burden. If you dread going to work or complain about doing the work, then change your outlook. Solution: Think about your job as a means of providing value to others and as having an impact on you and others around you. Being able to work gives you the opportunity to contribute to society.
  5. Obsess about things you can’t control or change. If you complain about what you can’t control then your mind will fill up with everything you don’t like. Solution: Identify how you can change and control your own actions and thoughts to make the experience more positive. Stop complaining and start taking actions that will bring you a greater sense of accomplishment and abundance. 
  6. Lack gratitude for what you have. If you focus on what is wrong with things or the world then it is difficult to learn to let go of the negative. Solution: Focus on identifying the positive things you are grateful for every day.
Infographic on mindset vs. mindfulness.

Failure

If you want to learn more, listen to the top six ways that failure is as important as success in this 2 minute audio podcast:


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Book cover:  Growth Mindset.