As we start a new year, it’s the perfect time to prepare to become more mindful. Mindfulness is simply conscious awareness of what’s happening in the present moment—not in the past or future.
The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that mindfulness has many benefits including stress reduction, memory improvement, and better focus. When you take the time to track your moments of mindfulness, you’ll be better prepared to build on them and turn greater awareness into a healthy habit. Here are three steps to successful tracking:
Step One: Recognize Mindful Moments
If you don’t have a clear sense of when you are being mindful, you won’t be able to easily track times of mindfulness. To recognize a mindful moment:
Once you are able to focus on your breath and notice when your thoughts wander, you have recognized a mindful moment! Prepare to record it. (See Step Three.)
Step Two: Use Deep Breathing
Sometimes you might find yourself becoming mindful without thinking much about it. But most of the time—particularly as a beginner to mindfulness—you may need to intentionally create a mindful moment.One of the best ways to do this is through a deep-breathing exercise.
To breathe mindfully:
Step Three: Understand Tracking Options
Now that you know both how to recognize and also to create mindful moments, it’s time to capture them by using a reliable tracking system. There are several different tracking methods that you might consider:
Now You Know How to Track Your Mindfulness
Keeping track of your successes can help you stay motivated to reach your goals. Make mindfulness a priority this year, and use tracking methods to help you capture each important moment of awareness and attention.