Jon Kabat-Zinn, the person largely responsible for introducing and encouraging mindfulness and the practice of meditation in this country, teaches that the present moment is all we have. Our lives are lived in moments. Moments are wasted when we dwell on the past or worry about the future. The past is unchangeable, and anything that we want to do to change the future must be done “now.” We only have moments to live, so forget “Carpe Diem” (seize the day), and embrace “Carpe Momentum!” (seize the moment!). Strive to be fully present more often in the moments that fill the day - while you walk, listen, eat, work, and drive.
The New Year invites all sorts of resolutions and good intentions that can set us up for failure in a few days, weeks or months. Why? Often, it’s because we focus on outcomes instead of behaviors. “I am going to lose 10 pounds in 2017” is an outcome resolution. It does not address the behavior that needs to change to make losing 10 pounds possible. But, if I focus on the behavior that will lead to a desired outcome, such as, “I am going to increase my step count to 8,000 steps per day” or “I am going to allow myself only one sugar-sweetened beverage per day”, I am encouraged to immediately start achieving my resolution. The behavior resolution is measurable – you know, at every moment of every day, whether you are succeeding or not. It also offers the potential of developing into a habit, which will reduce the need to tap into a limited supply of will-power. And, finally, the behavior resolution will make losing 10 pounds a natural result!
Happy New Year!
- M. J. White, mindful creator of Lean Wellness