The Little Prince once said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Having an intention, yet not knowing where you are actually heading, you might end up somewhere different than expected. Therefore this week our focus will be entirely centred on planning.
It is enough to plan one activity per week that you will do regularly
Depending on what you set as your intention it is now time to start acting upon it and it is much better to do this step by step rather than all at once. In order to feel more balanced and happy here are some ideas of daily activities you can do: a morning walk, meditation or reading positive affirmations every morning to inspire you to be positive during your day. If you wish to do more than one a day you can make a more detailed plan – morning time for yourself, afternoon free time to nurture and cherish yourself and evening introspection. Remember, only when you continually focus on your goal and consciously plan the tasks that might bring you closer to what you truly desire, you will succeed.
Here are some tips which will make you get active and improve your focus:
- Use your breath: Close your eyes and let your breath flow naturally, focus on your heart and imagine your favourite colour and a shape around your heart. Then with each breath observe how this colour is getting bigger and bigger, spreading around your entire body. Just be present focusing your entire attention on this colour. If any thoughts arise, just notice them but do not pay any attention and instead refocus your attention back to your heart centre. You can use the following incense for improving your focus: rosemary, lemon, lavender or lotus.
- Feel and connect: Observe yourself and your attention during the day – how consciously are you fulfilling your tasks? Are you thinking of your plans for the evening while talking with other people or are you truly listening to them? Be present, observe your thoughts, try to refocus your attention on purely what you are doing at the moment in time. Do not let your mind escape for too long and if it does bring it back to the moment of now. You can also use music to focus better while performing your tasks. Try it and see what works out best for you.
- Nurture and take care of your digestion: To stimulate concentration add the following foods to your diet: blueberries, avocado, whole grains, wild salmon, dark chocolate or the following teas: green tea, rosemary, ginkgo biloba or ginseng.
- Create: Make a vision board. Collect poems, people you respect or admire, places you like, jobs and activities you would like to do more often, anything you want to work on, or anything you lack focus on. Draw or choose a picture of yourself and put it anywhere on the board. Imagine yourself after the realisation of your intentions. How do you feel, behave, act? Then develop a plan – either in picture, writing or sculpture – step by step how to get from where you are now to the place where you stand on the picture. Be grateful, put the plan in a visible spot and remember it every time you pass your vision board.
- Move consciously using Asanas or Yoga postures for better focus: VRKSASANA – TREE POSE.
No matter which of the tips you choose to practice this week, try to introduce it in the form of a daily routine to improve your focus. Keep on practising vigorously, even if you take only 5 minutes each day. Having a fixed structure will help you to ground your practice, feel confident, grow from week to week and finally make you feel joy with ease. Remember it is the continuity that matters!
An Example of a Daily Practice Plan:
Let this plan serve as an example. Create your own plan with as many activities as you know you would be able to practice each day on. If you do not have enough time, then start by being aware of the possibilities you have.
1. Take a Moment Every Morning
Consciously take time every morning to practice being present, observing your breath, going for a walk or doing any other activity you enjoy. Just take a moment, put your hand on your belly and breathe deeply. All you need to do at this point is to observe your belly inflating and deflating, just like you did in previous weeks, do not engage with your thoughts but let them flow freely and focus only on your belly moving.
2. Take Time and Care of Your Food
There is a saying: "You are what you eat". If you want to feel joy, become conscious about your meals. Take time for them, prepare your food with love or at least be conscious of what you are eating. Chew well, so that your body can produce enough saliva for your digestion to be smooth and your body receiving what it needs.
3. Take Short Conscious Moments Throughout the Day
While at work, talking, walking, playing – no matter what you do – practice being present. Try to be completely involved in what you are doing rather than thinking of your holidays, your dinner, etc. When you notice that you are pulling your shoulders towards your neck, sit back, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Then go back to what you were doing and feel joy.
4. Schedule Time for YOURSELF Only
Every day, or at least once a week, schedule some time for yourself only. This is the time that you spend alone or doing something you truly like. You could go for a walk, paint, read, listen to music, or visit a friend you haven’t seen in a long time. Make sure that your 'you time' is also done with a conscious awareness. Being joyful at least once a week will help you to transmit joy into other activities, which you might not find so enjoyable.
5. Practice Being Grateful
Every evening, before you go to bed, take a moment and think of three things that happened during the day, which made you feel joy and you are grateful for. Being grateful will help you to remember how wonderful life is and how lucky you are. Consequently, you will feel more joy.
Set a Small Goal Each Week
Weekly motivation will help you to focus your energy and give you an additional push for a successful and persistent practice.