New Year, New View – Resolve to focus on mindset and attitude

Asata Reid | 1/20/2017, 6 a.m.
One in three Americans makes some sort of resolution toward self-improvement every January. But a week into the new year, ...
Life Chef Asata Reid will demonstrate an easy and tasty recipe at 2 p.m. Jan. 28 on the Main Stage at the Mall at Stonecrest.

One in three Americans makes some sort of resolution toward self-improvement every January. But a week into the new year, about 75 percent of those people are still on track.

Studies also six months later, only 46 percent – less than half – are still on target. This year, instead of resolving to “fix” behaviors, habits and activities that are “broken” or “damaged” or “not enough,” let’s focus on our mindset and attitudes.

Your mental dominates the physical, as has been proven time and again by world class athletes and new-age gurus; mantras and vision boards; and books and films like “The Secret.”

Yet working on our mental landscape can be hard work, often unguided, and rife with setbacks. So it’s no wonder we focus on building biceps and trimming inches – thing we can see and touch - versus taming the wilderness of our thought processes and perceptions.

Working on the unseen and intangible real estate upon which our beliefs and motivations are built can lead to a lot of introspection and kick up a lot of emotional dust, so this work isn’t for the faint of heart. However, garnering control over our thoughts and emotions is one sure way to bolster your intentions and set ourself on the fast track to goal attainment.

Most of us have days that do not differ tremendously from another, much like the movie “Groundhog Day.”

We navigate on auto-pilot through many of our hours and interactions, not entirely present, with our attention divided amongst many stimuli like the talking heads on the news, the apps on our phone, the music on the radio or the ever-present 'To Do List' which is constantly dragging us into the future.

This lack of presence, or absence of Nowness, causes remorse for the past and what could have or should have been, as well as anxiety and worry over the future and things that have yet to happen.

Instead of running on autopilot and letting our thoughts drift to the future or the past, we can harness our thoughts, like gathering a group of excited Kindergarteners, and focus that energy and concentration into what’s happening right now.

In this present moment, when we are breathing and being, and can give ourselves fully to this experience.

nWhat can we do to enhance this very moment by contributing our thoughts, actions and intentions?

nHow can we open new doors, create new possibilities and new opportunities by full engaging with those we interact with and our environment?

nWhat have we been overlooking, passing by and dismissing while running on autopilot?

By simply becoming aware of our thoughts and harnessing their tendency to drift, we re-orient ourselves in the captain’s chair of our lives. We are the rein-masters even when our thoughts and feeling are chomping at the bit and threatening to pull away from us. Thoughts and words have tremendous power to create and shape our reality and our destinations, so when left unchecked we leave that power unchaperoned without intent and clear purpose. Then we wonder, “How did this happen? This wasn’t what I wanted. I can’t achieve my goal. Something must be wrong with me.”