5 Ways to Improve your Mindfulness Practice

Hey there January!

Is anyone else kind of relieved the Holidays are over?? December felt endlessly busy. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hustle and bustle especially around the holidays. But I felt I lost traction a little bit and I can’t wait to get back to my routine!

This weekend, I put the Christmas tree away, did some winter house cleaning, and rearranged my space a bit in hopes that this New Year is going to bring organization, efficiency, and accomplishments. I’m a firm believer in cluttered space = cluttered mind, so on any given day when I’m asked what I’m doing? Tidying my room.

Whilst tidying my room, I noticed how much I rely on my cell phone and social media to break up the monotony of folding laundry. For some reason though, it didn’t register in my mind that if I put down my phone, I could finish my chores faster — Duh. Consequently, this month of January is dedicated to Mindfulness.

Mindfulness – Wherever you are, be all there.

Mindfulness: Enjoy the Now

This month, I’m excited to take a step away from my phone and my ever-racing mind, and practice mindfulness. I often fall victim to the wrong kind of multitasking; I’m talking writing my to-do list and blog ideas while I’m sitting in class, or sending Emails while I’m out to breakfast. Multitasking has its helpful moments, but I definitely don’t use it the right way. The goal here is to focus on whatever the task is at hand. Whether I’m doing the dishes, driving to school, or out with friends, I want my mind to be there, too.

1. Commit to a Happiness Jar

The idea behind a Happiness Jar is to focus on the day by day. I want to find something each day that filled me with joy. At the end of the month, I’ll be able to reflect and focus on all of the good that happened, rather than the not so good.

2. No Phone First Thing in the Morning

A lot of these resolutions are going to revolve around my phone, but for good reason. When I downloaded the app Moment, and it tracked how much time I spent on my phone, it was frankly…gross. Nobody needs to spend that much time staring down at a screen each day. One of my main problems is scrolling through my feeds as soon as I wake up. Without even realizing, I reach for my phone and repeatedly scan my Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. I waste so much time each morning when I could be spending the time being productive or even getting in the habit of making breakfast in the morning. Either way, my phone does not need to be the leader of my morning routine.

3. Leave Phone in the Car When at Work or School

There is simply no need for my phone to be glued to my desk at school, or constantly in my pocket at work. Having my phone on me only makes me want to check it during any downtime. I find myself applying for internships while waiting for customers, and that’s not the type of employee I want to be. I want to focus and do the best I can at whatever I’m doing in that moment. Going forward, my phone will be staying in my car or even at home when I know that I don’t need it.

4. Use the Pomodoro Technique

When I first discovered this strategy in my freshman year of college, it seriously changed the way I studied. Upon entering college, I realized that I had no clue how to effectively study material. I never had the need to hardcore study in highschool, and that’s not a skill they teach you. It wasn’t until I met with a student success specialist that she taught me the best ways to retain information. One of her strategies was the famous Pomodoro Technique. Essentially, you cut out all distractions from the task you’re working on for 25 minutes. No phone, no food, no TV, no music (unless you KNOW that it helps you concentrate, it doesn’t for me). Then, once your 25 mins is up, you have 5 minutes to distract yourself, grab a quick snack, anything you need to do. There’s even a handy timer to set up on your computer. The goal here is to use this technique when I have blog work, studying, or chores. That way, I’m more mindful of the task at hand, and more productive.

5. No Phone/Laptop when out with friends, fam, or SO

Mindfulness: Enjoy The Now

Normally, I’m good about not using my phone at the table. I feel it’s super disrespectful to be committing to a meal with someone, but consistently on your phone or stuck behind a laptop. This month, I want to make it a rule to not bring my technology to a meal table, or be on my phone when I’m hanging out with others. Even if my friends and I are sitting in a car at the beach, I want my focus and attention to be with them, not on my blog stats. Not allowing myself to do blog or school work when I’m with others is going to teach me some more time management, and efficiency when I do get the chance to sit down and work.

I’m so excited to start this month with these resolutions. I have an abundance of good energy about this coming year, and a lot of things that I want to accomplish. Learning how to stay in the moment and always be mindful is an amazing skill I’m hoping to hone as January goes on. I wish you all the most productive and goal-achieving January!!


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