Often I’m asked by clients and colleagues how I’m able to maintain a busy schedule daily of being an entrepreneur, a speaker, lifestyle coach and mom… and it somehow seems effortless. My day starts early in the morning with 6am workouts and usually wraps up around 10:30pm after spending quality time with my loved ones at home. I refer to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness:
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
The answer I give is usually the same – being intentional about my day by thinking ahead and planning. By using mindfulness techniques, life is much less stressful and seldom on autopilot. Being mindful in your daily living is one of the keys to being able to live an integrated healthy lifestyle which I call the Warrior360WayTM.
Let’s have some fun this week on what it means to be mindful in every aspect of your life. Here is a checklist to help you determine if you are living mindfully or mindlessly. Even if you don’t answer “yes” to all of the questions, hopefully this post will help you to recognize how even small changes can have a big impact in your life!
- Do you create mindful moments of the tasks you perform daily?
- Have you decreased multi-tasking? You are actually more productive when you unitask.
- Do you allow yourself breaks to unplug and get away from your desk such as walks or 5 minute meditations?
- Do you offer your full attention in interactions with those closest to you, turning off the technology and listening attentively?
- Do you know that it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling and accept whatever mood you may be in at the moment without trying to control it?
- Do your relationships feel nurturing and fulfilling in your life?
- Do you shop the perimeter of the grocery store for fresh, whole foods that have never seen the inside of a box or can?
- Do you try new experiences or foods? Cook with healthy fats and build balanced meals that includes lean proteins and vegetables? Eat breakfast if you typically don’t?
- Are you aware of the energy you are putting into the food you prepare and eat?
- Do you understand the strengths and weaknesses in your body and build a fitness routine around that?
- Do you listen to your body, paying attention to pain and giving it the attention it needs?
- Do you get good quality sleep at night?
- Do you have your own spiritual practice – meditation or going to church or some other quiet practice that soothes your mind?
- Do you know that can improve your cognitive function and decrease inflammation that may be lurking in your body?
- Are you conscious of what you put into your body and your mind?
Being mindful is also learning to not take life too seriously all the time. Laugh through the ups AND the downs of life. Often our inability to live a more in the present moment is internal. We worry too much about our own problems. Maintain a sense of humor to deal with the daily stress and challenges in life.
Remember, above all else that life is short. What are you willing to do today to make tomorrow different?
Want to continue the mindfulness conversation? Please join me in a conversation with a Twitter chat on Friday, November 13th from 10 am to 12 pm CST. You can find me on Twitter @Gail_Warrior. I look forward to answering questions and discussing your own mindful practices!