How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

Annie Dillard

Have you abandoned your New Year’s Resolutions? At the Wellness in Winter Retreat, participants wrote intentions rather than resolutions. They put their written intentions in a sealed envelope with their home address. Next, they gave the envelopes to me to mail back to them at a later time as a reminder of what they intended. Yesterday I mailed them, and I can’t help but wonder if the participants will feel proud or discouraged at their progress when they receive their intentions back. ***(This writing activity was adapted from a phenomenal teacher-trainer Gary Chadwell from Collins Education Associates).

Keep in mind we get a reset button every 24 hours. If you haven’t followed through with a goal, resolution or an intention, simply begin again. Throughout the day, practice deliberate intentions. You and I are a work in progress. You become who you practice to be. Which is one reason I titled my book, Practicing Presence.

 

Begin with a clear request

One way to practice is to begin the day with a request. For example, for me it might be, “Please teach me about presence.” When I wake up, before I open my eyes, I center myself by tuning into my breath and listing all the things in my life I’m grateful for. In the past, I’d wake up fully adrenalized, with a sense of panic. Now I get out ahead of this feeling as best as I can. Typically, my brain is very active, it tends to wander and begin running through my to do list or ruminating about past events. Scattered thoughts= scattered energy. Now that I’m aware of that pattern, I have put into place practices to counter my over active mind. It begins with taking control of your mind. Does your thinking create your environment or does your environment create your thinking? Personally, I have found that my thinking creates my environment. This means I have to pay attention to the habitual moves and thoughts I make throughout the day.

By the time we reach adulthood, most of us aren’t even aware of the practices that are running our life.

Focus on who you wish to become

The most effective way to have an intention come true is to focus on who you wish to become. Your identity emerges from your daily practices. If you want to change who you are, change what you do. If we would take the time to dial in our practices about the basics of life, we would not only have healthier habits, but we’d have more time, and we could devote that time to taking better care of ourselves and having more fun.

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