TED Conversations

Melissa Ganus

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What are your New Year's resolutions?

Last year, Sajeesh Ragavan posted this question at http://www.ted.com/profiles/933068

Now, having made it through the 21st of December, 2012, it seems like exactly the right time to post it again!

I've been inspired by Dr Mike Evans short video about how much more successful New Year's resolutions tend to be compared with making resolutions at other times of year. Just posted a TEDed and would welcome your thoughts and feedback: http://ed.ted.com/on/cu5IwKY6

Happy New Year!!!


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  • Jan 1 2013: My central goal is to try to be a securely attached person, but I also think these 5 are really really good:

    1. Be more mindful
    2. Exercise for a healthy mind
    3. Sleep the right amount for you (me!)
    4. Differentiate from your past (most important for me)
    5. Challenge your inner critic

    From my fav. self help site psychalive, an offshoot of the Glendon Association
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      Jan 2 2013: Do you think it is possible to live completely mindful?
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        Jan 3 2013: That's an awesome question! I've become a lot more mindful over the years, especially now that I teach it so often. In my approach, it's as simple as asking myself a question like: "why am I doing this in this way?" Works great often - gives me lots of opportunities to improve on how I do what I do.

        Being mindful 100% of the time I think is an impressive goal. For myself, I've been focusing especially on being more mindful in the times when I think it matters most, like when my emotions are starting to make rational thinking difficult, and are making the risks of poor decision making higher. Asking myself questions then seems to have dramatically improved the quality of my interactions with others - I don't often say things I regret anymore. Crucial Conversations, by Patterson et al, has some wonderful perspective and techniques for this.

        A few years ago, I worked with a wonderful man who'd founded a nonprofit years ago with a somewhat ambiguous mission. I asked him what impact he most wanted the work to have and he answered that he wanted everyone to be thinking critically all the time. I don't think it's possible to do that, to be questioning everything all the time. So much of how we get through our days is based on the consistency of our environment - the aspects of life we can comfortably expect to function as expected most of the time. One of the biggest puzzles I've been working on is how we can trigger mindfulness at the important times. For the emotional stuff, I teach my students to pay more attention to the signs that their emotions are starting to flood - elevated heart rate, flushed skin, tightening stomach... If they can notice when that starts happening and understand that their fight/flight responses are kicking in, they have more of a chance to turn on their mindfulness before doing an unmindful autopilot reaction.

        What are your thoughts or methods?
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          Jan 8 2013: I am a very emotionally driven person myself and I could absolutely use your advice.

          It is good to be on the safe side and to be in control of what we say or do. But a question I am interested in is, do we really know what to say or do to control it? Or we think that we know whats best and we act upon it?

          I am just wondering if mindfulness should be used for a better self control. What do you think?

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