Mindfulness and Achieving Goals: 4 Key Facts

It seems like every time you turn on the TV, open a magazine or go to a fitness class, people are talking about mindfulness—and with good reason. Mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress and improve cognitive function. But did you know that you can also use mindfulness to help you successfully accomplish your goals? We’ve rounded up a few key facts about mindfulness so you can use this technique to get ahead in school or personal goals.

Mindfulness and Achieving Goals: 4 Key Facts

By Julie Klukas

  • Mindfulness Helps You Gain Self Acceptance

    By Julie Klukas

    It's hard to motivate yourself to work on a goal if you feel you have no control in your life. That's why mindfulness teaches [radical acceptance](http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/10/04/what-it-really-means-to-practice-radical-acceptance/)—the idea that you should experience the present moment as it is right now and that you have the power to change your life at any given moment. When you feel empowered, you'll feel capable of actually achieving your goal.

  • Mindfulness Helps You Replace Negative Thoughts

    By Julie Klukas

    When you're feeling stressed and ungrounded, it can be a struggle to focus on the present moment, let alone future goals. Stress is often caused by negative thoughts about the past, present or future, and these thoughts can destroy any positive ideas or plans. Mindfulness teaches you how to replace these pessimistic views with [optimistic ones](http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/images/uploads/Keng-Mindfulness_Review_and_Conceptions.pdf). When you're thinking positively, it's much easier to work towards a goal.

  • Mindfulness Helps You Be Compassionate With Yourself

    By Julie Klukas

    We all slip up sometimes when we're working on a goal, whether it's because we spent money on something that wasn't in the budget or ate a sweet treat that wasn't a part of the meal plan. You may have a tendency to get discouraged when you slip up, and that's where mindfulness comes into play. Mindfulness helps you express [compassion towards yourself](http://www.mindfulselfcompassion.org/downloads/pdf/Germer-Neff-MSC-RCT-2013.pdf) when you make a mistake because it emphasizes the idea that every day is a new beginning—you can always begin again.

  • Mindfulness Helps You Follow Your Intuition

    By Julie Klukas

    Have you ever been in a difficult situation and decided to follow your gut feeling? Often, our natural instincts know what's best for us, even if we feel uncertain. This is important when it comes to achieving goals because your intuition helps guide you in your progress, or discern whether or not you should change your goals. It's easy to miss these gut feelings, but [being mindful of your natural instincts](https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/look-around-and-look-within/201307/why-mindfulness-matters) can help you achieve your objectives or set new ones if necessary.

Working towards your goals can be both exciting and frustrating, which is why mindfulness can be helpful. Next time you feel discouraged, take a moment to engage in some mindful meditation—you may just find your goal isn’t nearly as hard to achieve as you once thought!

Feature Image: Rosan Harmens