by Satya (Tricia) Hurley, M. Ed.
Reiki Master Teacher and Co-owner, Cup of Life Healing Center
How can you set yourself up for success in 2020 or at any time in your life? Habit experts say to create specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are excellent advice for the essential tasks we want to accomplish. AND, there’s a bit more to it than that. What sets the foundation for any long-term success is our mindset, our way of BEing. With the right mindset and inner-relationship, anything is possible.
So, how do you get there? The most effective method I have found is simple but not always easy. Create daily intentions, daily rhythm, and daily reflection. These three key points are the focus of this article.
KEY 1: DAILY INTENTIONS.
The first and most crucial step is to CHOOSE, choose HOW you want to show up, for YOU! Key questions to ask yourself regularly, “How do I need to show up for ME today so that I can BE the best version of myself possible? What inner qualities do I want to cultivate so that Life flows no matter what obstacles arise?”
Ask yourself an INTERNAL question of the state of BEing you desire for yourself. Every day I resolve to be balanced, grounded, and focused. I offer all that I do for the highest and greatest good of all and invite this intention to live through me in all of my actions. Your answer to this question may look different. The critical takeaway is to choose something you desire from your heart. It might be inviting optimism, hope, inner transformation, or something else. Most importantly, tune in with something that is meaningful for you and supports the internal values and qualities you desire in your life.
Deeper intentions based on values guide the power to create lasting and sustainable change. Yet, we often get caught up in the day-to-day. Or worse yet, we let outside circumstances have control over how we feel and react. When I consistently and intentionally choose the tone of my day, everything seems to flow better. Challenges become more easily navigable and turn into opportunities and blessings. Mindset makes all the difference.
KEY 2: DAILY REFLECTIONS.
While intentions set the tone for the day, reflections reconnect you to your intentions and support continuous growth. It is an opportunity to pause, check-in with you, and ask, “How am I doing in this moment?” or “How did I do today?” Regular reflections allow you to see what’s working and what’s not and make micro-adjustments to realign you with your intentions. We will look at this in more detail in the context of the third key, daily rhythm.
KEY 3: DAILY RHYTHM.
Daily Rhythm is HOW we incorporate both intentions and reflections into our lives. Rhythm means creating some predictability in your day. Research through clinical trials designed by a contract research organization shows that when we have a healthy amount of form and predictability in our world, anxiety reduces, stress reduces, and we more readily access our inner resources that support our overall well-being. While intentions set the tone, supportive routines and rhythms cultivate a fertile internal environment for your intentions to grow.
Simplicity is KEY. Here are 4 Essential Steps for Daily Rhythm:
- EVERY MORNING – Set your intention. Ask yourself those essential questions of what tone and energy you want to bring into your day. COMMIT to HOW you want to show up for yourself.
- EVERY MORNING – Do simple centering practices that anchor your intention. Focus. Begin anew.
- MID-DAY – pause and reconnect with your breath.
- EVERY EVENING – reflect, breathe, and give thanks.
We’ve already covered the first item above, the importance of daily intentions, so let’s break down the remaining three steps in setting a daily rhythm.
Anchoring practices are an essential part of rooting your intention into your being. They are the glue that helps your intended tone stick, so you begin to live out your purpose. Incorporating these practices can be a simple act of getting up just 15 min. earlier each morning.
For me, this often looks like:
- 5-10 minutes of self-Reiki every single morning before I get out of bed. Since Reiki is an energy of unconditional love, I begin every day by inviting it into my being, which promotes balance and inner peace.
- 5-10 minutes of quiet sitting. If I haven’t set my intention yet, I do it here. Then, I center, ground, and breathe. The actual practices vary depending on what I need that day but always involve bringing stillness to my body, awareness to the present moment, and attention to my breath.
- 5-10 minutes of self-reflection or journaling. Journaling is especially helpful if I have awoken “on the wrong side of the bed.” In general, it allows me to further anchor in my intention or process and release any worries or concerns I have going into the day.
Once the day gets going, we tend to get busy and end up on automatic pilot. If your intention is not entirely a habit for you yet (or even if it is), setting reminders a few times during the day to reconnect with it can be a powerful way to support your inner transformation. One of my favorite ways to do this is to pause for just 60-seconds at pre-set intervals throughout the day. In that 60-seconds, step away from whatever you’re in the middle of, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Remind yourself of your intention. Anchor back in. When the 60-seconds are up, you’ll still have the next 59 minutes of the hour to continue with your daily “doing.”
End of Day Reflections.
Changing your mindset and underlying beliefs are some of the most potent internal shifts you can make to impact your life positively. They don’t always happen overnight, so it is truly an act of continuous self-improvement. That is why it is essential to take a short inventory before letting our head hit the pillow.
Each evening, ask yourself, “How did I show up for myself today? What worked well? What got in my way? How can I adjust tomorrow to be even better? And, most importantly, what am I thankful for about this day?” With that, it’s helpful to spend a few more minutes in quiet sitting and, if you’re attuned to Reiki, give yourself a treatment as you fall asleep to round out the day.
All of the above is a practice, so be gentle with yourself and keep your attention on your development. Remember, progress not a linear process; it is a dance. Cut yourself some slack when you have seeming setbacks. When you take charge of your mindset and beliefs, you also take charge of how you respond to life’s ups and downs. Take inventory of what you can learn and keep moving forward. When you are proactive about your mindset each day, you begin to lead an empowered life. No matter what your goals and aspirations, you can accomplish anything with a reflective outlook.