Using Meditation to Achieve Your Goals

Jennifer March, MS

Don’t get ahead of yourself — you still need to conquer today

I’ve always had the feeling that I wasn’t doing enough.

You know that pain you feel inside that’s just gnawing away at you. It’s as if you have missed out on a significant opportunity because you weren’t enough. Now all of those missed opportunities that live in the back of your mind are cumbersome. Each memory that you have reflected on is another blaring reminder of your failure in life.

Or maybe I’m just a little dramatic — but you get the idea. At some point or another, we all have felt like we are lagging in life.

I used to sit and constantly reflect on where I’ve been, where I want to be, and how I had failed to make it there. I acted as if there was a fast track to success in some way or another.

But all good things take time.

When it comes down to it, nothing happens overnight, and neither will your dreams.

No one wakes up one day with the life they have envisioned.

Yes, our future may be exciting, but there is plenty to focus on the right in front of us. There are so many moments in front of us that can make us see the beauty that the present has to offer.

To help myself stay grounded in the present, I practice mindfulness and meditation to help center my thoughts.

What is meditation, and how can I do it?

Meditation is a practice where a person learns how to focus their attention. There are many different ways and reasons why people meditate. With meditation, there is a significant focus on centering and controlling your attention. Meditation takes consistent practice to see long-term results.

There are five steps to meditation with goal setting in mind that Yoga International has identified:

  • Set your intention
  • Focus only on what you can control
  • Be consistent
  • Allow room for bumps and setbacks
  • Revise and repeat

Out of the list above, I want to focus on intention. Your intention is so important in achieving your dreams and meditating. You are setting your purpose and your effort into yourself.

You are consciously taking a step back from reality to simply exist without any thoughts or distractions. I can get so caught up in where I want to be that I stumble on the path to making it there.

I use meditation with steady breathing, following a specific pattern. I am a fan of the ‘box breathing method’:

  • 4 second inhale
  • 4-second hold
  • 4-second release
  • 4-second rest

And you repeat until your heart desires. Box breathing method is very steady and easy to keep track of your breathing.

Meditation will never thoroughly look the same from 1 person to the next. The possibilities with meditation can be breathwork, gazing out at beautiful scenery, or even going for a nice walk. Anything that allows your mind to be still can be a form of meditation.

Utilizing meditation can help you get through challenging times. I have always found meditation helpful during the times that cause me the most stress and anxiety.

Your today is not your forever

There are crucial moments in time that we overlook. I have noticed a consistent theme through every moment where I have struggled to appreciate where I am in life. These vital moments occurred when I kept my head in the clouds instead of living in the present.

When I found myself with failure in my path, I had to make a crucial decision to carry on or give up. Falling is easy, but getting up is the hardest part.

I use meditation during these crucial moments to reflect on past regrets or a current dilemma I may be experiencing. I breathe and stay consistent with working through the pain and worry. Through my meditation, I will take this time to remind myself that tomorrow could bring me something amazing.

Where you are in life right now, at this very moment, is not where you will be for long.

When I am stuck in moments of self-loathing — or even self-pity — I feel this is how my life will be for eternity. As if the moment I am currently in is all I will ever experience. But everything in life is temporary. From relationships to feelings, everything in life changes no matter what.

Life is meant to change and evolve; nothing remains the same.

The life you have now will evolve into something far more significant. By practicing mindfulness and meditation, we can find stillness. Creating stillness can help us appreciate the moments we are currently living.

Don’t overthink your future; live in the present to capture those special moments.

Stop worrying about your future

We all want to know that we are doing the right thing. This constant worry leads us to doubt the progress we have made constantly. From there, we begin to compare our lives to other people or begin to set goals of what we should have accomplished. But in reality, there isn’t much use to envisioning your future — It’s simply wasting time.

Of course, planning and having a goal are great ways to reach those dreams, but there isn’t much use in getting ahead of yourself. But don’t sit around all daydreaming about having the life you want.

You have to work hard to achieve a better future. Stopping to think about the pretty roses on the path ahead will not get you there any faster.

The more we dream, the more time we lose.

I left my head in the clouds for way too long, only to see that I hadn’t gotten nearly as far as where I wanted to be. We have to stop and take in where we are and acknowledge our work in the process. It is essential to always keep your sights set on today.

How can you live in the tomorrow without conquering today?

With the use of mindfulness and meditation, we can begin to experience the present more fully. We can conquer each day if we set our sights on today.

Our end goal is never the actual prize; it’s the progress we’ve made along the way.

Through steady breath work and centering yourself, you can find a better sense of peace.

No matter what, don’t stop; keep going because the road ahead of you is so much better than you could have ever dreamt.

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As Originally Posted on Medium

mental healthself improvement

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MS in Psychology | Mom of two cats and some house plants | Taking in the New Mexico sunshine | #MentalHealthAdvocate | https://linktr.ee/JenniferMarch13

Albuquerque, NM
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