Reconciling between Presence & Future Planning

When it comes to practicing mindfulness and the pursuit of a new goal, we often find ourselves torn between being in the moment and planning for the future. We tend to feel as though we’re forced to choose one or the other, but the truth is, they can actually go hand in hand and help us grow and reflect.

Being present does not mean that we need to sacrifice our goals for the sake of our mindful practice. This could lead us to be completely stuck in a state or a moment. When we live too much in the moment, we begin to live our life more by default than by design.

On the flip side, if we’re too focused on rushing toward the future, we might miss out on the opportunities for personal growth that exist right here, right now. Also, we may forget to celebrate the little victories along the way. Both of these can lead to negative self-talk and disappointment. We lose out on having joy in the journey. That joy may come from the hardships that we overcome or the results of the hard work that we are putting in towards a mastery. Every step we take along the way is something to be proud of, even the missteps because they often lead to even greater growth. It’s easy to lose sight of that if we’re only focused on the future and our goals.

How can we practice mindfulness and plan for the future?

  • Prepare for what you can see ahead that may help you show up as the best version of yourself. Think of how you want to feel heading into situations, during the situation, and after the situation. There are things that you know serve you and things that you know do not.
  • In the moment, try to do less and be more. Give your best effort in the situation you’re in, and accept that it’s enough. Make a conscious effort to actively participate and seek the experience that you want to have. Being more present allows you to let go of the frustration and worry that comes from unrealistic expectations.

Take a moment to pause. Take a deep breath, and check in with yourself right now.

  • What’s in front of you?
  • What goals are you currently working towards?
  • Can you find clarity on both of those things?

With this new perspective, try setting intentions for the week ahead. Embrace the idea of practicing mindfulness while planning, so you approach your goals with a balanced and present mindset.

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