The Super Bowl and New Year’s resolutions have a few things in common. They each involve preparation and can generate excitement, hopes run high for both, and, often enough, by early February they’re over. The ever-present consolation is that there’s always next year.
Resolutions run the gamut from those that are health focused (diet, exercise, and sleep), to safety concerns (not texting while driving), to performance (becoming better organized and spending less time on technology), to the personal (being kinder to others, less hard on oneself, and a more attentive listener). All of these noble causes reflect good intentions, notwithstanding their often-short-lived status, year in and year out. In this month’s column, we’ll zero in on another resolution—one that has more recently emerged on the scene: to practice mindfulness, which, in addition to offering numerous benefits, may meaningfully influence the likelihood of the other resolutions coming to fruition. This column and countless others extol the benefits of practicing mindfulness; they will not be addressed here. Rather, we’ll consider how to execute on the seemingly simple yet sometimes challenging resolution to sit for a few minutes each day and settle a little more fully into the present moment. You may find doing so akin to placing that crucial puzzle piece or figuring out the crossword puzzle answer after which the rest effortlessly falls into place.