It’s the New Year and I haven’t hit any of last year’s resolutions. #BLESSED
It was January 1st 2016, and I felt like I could fit on the cast of Walking Dead from the festivities of New Years Eve. I was a zombie with one hell of a hangover from doing damage on some dancefloor at a Brooklyn Warehouse. With a fuzzy haze, I started to surf the web (who says that anymore lol) and saw a reoccurring theme of articles — how to set your New Year’s resolutions and stick to them.
FOMO. I felt as though I was missing out on the opportunity to kickstart the year on the right foot and decided to lock myself in the next weekend. I spent hours reading articles and listening to podcasts about goal setting and ways to stay motivated for 365 days. I ended up with a monthly plan to read 12 books, run 5 miles with an average pace of 7 minutes, and give at least 10 public speeches.
Did I ever follow through on any of it? No. SMH.
Resolutions are great because it helps to have a north star with where I want to be at, but I fail to achieve them every year. Continuously, I look back and get down on myself for getting sidetracked and half-assing them. As 2017 approached, I knew I did not want go through this self-critical cycle again, but I wasn’t sure what would replace my lockdown session.
This changed a few days ago when I went to Flavorpill’s #QuietMornings series at the MoMa. Lodro Rinzler, co-founder of MNDFL, led a guided meditation with the focus on looking at the intention behind our resolutions. In other words, looking at the why behind the what or how.
We started off the practice with a few deep breaths then looked at mindfulness. Mindfulness is fundamentally about awareness of what is happening in the present. Through looking at our breath, looking at our senses, and scanning the body with a sense of curiosity, we can practice returning to the present when we wander off. This is important because wandering off typically leads to thoughts that create stress, anxiety, and self-criticism.
Being present slows down the mind. Mindfulness creates the space for wisdom, overlooked emotions, and new ideas to arise.
Lodro then asked the group to briefly think about a resolution we have or some change we want to happen. What immediately came to mind was Zen Compass. I visualized my desire to become a relatable millennial meditator and to build a community to bring mindfulness to my generation.
He then said, “What is the motivation for change this year?” I asked myself, why do I want to tell my story of how I am managing the chaos of living in NYC with meditation? Why do I want to build a community where milennials can practice mindfulness and feel safe enough to share what is happening internally?
Compassion. I have been so focused on me these past few years. How do I achieve maximum efficiency? How do I get to the next level in my professional career? There has been a lack of helping others and giving back in an authentic way. I believe I have this ability to easily understand and be sensitive to someone else’s feelings — empathy. 2017 is going to be about pushing further by focusing on the desire to allieviate someone of their struggles — compassion.
I want to help my generation manage their thoughts through meditation, mindfulness, and sharing what’s really happening inside with compassion.
Leaving the MoMa with this intent, I said I would try to focus on this for the next week and see what happens before committing to it for the whole year.
This past week has actually been a bit tough for me. Friday will be my last day at Prolific Interactive as I pursue Zen Compass full-time. After two and a half years, I’ll be leaving a company that has allowed me to pursue my passion within engineering and product. I will be forever grateful for the projects I have been involved in and the people I have worked with.
What also has been tough has been the stress and anxiety inducing thoughts that have come up along the way. I’ll wander off and start to question if I have what it takes to be successful and if I am making the right decision by leaving a great opportunity. Needless to say, right now there is A LOT going on internally.
Meditating on my intent every morning has kept me on course and reminds me why I am really doing all of this. It has powered me through negative thoughts that are the only blockade from me accomplishing what I set out to do. I will be making this part of my daily meditation practice for the next 357 days.
Intentions are a guiding light when obstacles or challenges get in your way of accomplishing your resolutions.
“Intention is the starting point of every dream. It is the creative power that fulfills all of our needs, whether for money, relationships, spiritual awakening, or love.” Deepak Chopra
To figure out your motivation behind your resolutions:
- Sit down for 10 minutes
- Take a few deep breaths
- Practice mindfulness by becoming aware of the space your in and following your breath
- Briefly ask yourself what is your goal or resolution for change
- Then ask yourself what is the motivation behind the change?