Although it sounds like a contradiction to say “Stay in the Present” while at the same time saying “Set goals” these two seemingly opposing concepts actually CAN combine to guide you through the process of a successful life journey, and it’s really much more simple than it sounds.
Setting goals, especially if we write them down, consciously or unconsciously becomes an act of inspiration that determines the course of our daily life, a beacon guiding us onward toward success and satisfaction of our wishes and desires. When we are in balance and harmony with our goals, it becomes easier to do the daily things required to meet those goals. The important thing is to set goals that really do fulfill our truest desires in life, so that our passion is really and sincerely engaged in the fulfillment of those goals, and to set out a roadmap of small, daily tasks and actions that will help us each day get a little closer to achieving those goals.
In much the same way that we are standing on our planet Earth while it orbits the Sun yet we don’t feel ourselves moving, we are slowly advancing toward the goals that we have set for ourselves even if we can’t see ourselves making daily progress. Mindfulness is about seeing and deliberately connecting to that daily progress, in order to more effectively manifest your goals.
Mindfulness means that you focus and engage fully with any act that you are performing at the present moment while understanding the long-term intent that inspires that act. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds in six months, then everything you do in service of that goal is an act that you can enjoy, cherish, celebrate, and reward yourself for, so that you may continue to be inspired to perform that act again repeatedly until your goal has been met.
So, for example, if your goal is to lose 30 pounds in six months, and right now you are at the gym doing 20 sit-ups, your best bet is to focus fully on the moment, your breathing, and the crunching of each muscle that you’re using to perform those 20 sit-ups. However, to make the experience even richer, and to help you stay motivated and inspired in the Present: in the back of your mind, let the image of your goal shine like a beacon. While focusing on the 20 sit-ups, also allow your mind to see yourself looking fabulous with 30 pounds less in six months, wearing new clothes!
Mindfulness is the act of using your mental abilities deliberately to consciously fuel your experiences in the moment. Focus and concentration make for a more fulfilling experience of the present, no matter what you are doing. Nevertheless, mindfully connecting that act that you are performing in the present to the larger framework of your Future Goals plugs your energy directly into the Zone of Infinite Possibilities, and as you focus intensely on the Present, you are at once manifesting your goals for the Future.
So go ahead and go for both at once! Stay in the Present but never lose sight of the Goal. Once the Goal becomes the Present, set your sights on a new Goal, keep yourself inspired and motivated, and connect your present mindfully to the Zone of Infinite Possibilities.