As a personal finance blogger,you would probably expect me to have a big money-related goal like pay off my student loans this year. While I do have a few finance related goals for 2015, most of my energy will be focused towards a different goal that has nothing to do with money or finance. My goal for 2015 is to practice Mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness
The other night I was vegging in front of the TV and 60 Minutes happened to be on.. The last segment featured Anderson Cooper talking about Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn. You can watch a clip of this story here or read the story here. It’s super interesting! I had never really heard of Mindfulness until now. Mindfulness is about the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment. Mindfulness is about being present and living more.
The Mindfulness movement is starting to gain traction in the United States. Companies like Google are incorporating aspects of this practice into their work environment. For example,Google will start many meetings with a minute or two of silence to help calm every down and get focused. If Google is practicing mindfulness, then that must mean it’s legit, right?
Anderson Cooper admits that he is terrible at living in the moment. Anderson says that he is always thinking about something that happened in the past or something that is going to happen in the future. He is also attached to his phone and checks his email several times an hour. Wow, does that sound familiar.
What 2014 was like
When Anderson confessed he never lives in the present and was addicted to his email, I knew that I really needed to listen carefully to this story now. I can completely understand how Anderson feels. I’m constantly checking emails and living in a different moment than the present. Have you ever driven to work and then wonder how you got there? Like you can’t remember any of your ride? Maybe I shouldn’t be admitting it, but I’ve had days like that!
As someone passionate about personal finance, I’m constantly scheming my next move: saving money, making money, credit card churning, paying off debt, investing etc. I also fantasize about my life after we pay off our debt. I am so excited to finally start saving and investing more. I’ve been living a lot more in the future than in the present this year.
Let’s not even get started on blogging. Blogging fuels my addiction to email and social media. I am constantly looking for new blog posts and seeing what’s hot off the press. What are my stats? How can I get more hits? What will my Alexa score be next week? Is there an email from an advertiser waiting for me? Blogging can make it so challenging to unplug. It’s hard to live in the moment when you are staring at a computer screen all the time.
What I want for 2015
I still want to finally pay off our student loan debt in 2015. But even more so than paying off our debt, I want to live more. I want to be present in my own life. We will hit these financial milestones as long as we continue to live responsibly and on a budget. There is a lot more to life than money. You should be able to enjoy life and live in the moment regardless of how much your net worth is. This year I want to re-calibrate and live in the moment more often.
How I’m going to get there
To achieve this goal, I want to start practicing meditation as Anderson Cooper has. Meditation is about calming the mind and managing your stress. I know myself pretty well and I can honestly say that this practice is going to be a huge challenge for me. I’m one of those people who has a hard time “shutting off” their mind at night. Sometimes my mind races and it actually feels physically exhausting. I plan to start meditating for 10 minutes in the morning before I get ready for work.
I am so glad that I happened to be watching Anderson Cooper’s segment on 60 Minutes. I rarely catch the show but that segment has inspired me to live a better life. It was so inspiring to see Anderson Cooper talk about what a change he has felt in his life from practicing mindfulness. I have a feeling that mindfulness will help me live a fuller, richer life regardless of how much financial wealth I may have. Who doesn’t want that for 2015?