Last year, I gave a (virtual) speech. It was the speech I’ve give more often than any other. I always title it the same name as my book, “Six Simple Rules for a Better Life,” but the organizers (one of whom had seen the speech last year) titled it “The Methodology of Mindfulness.”

Because it was too late to change it (the announcement had already gone out), I stuck with it, with one small change, calling it “One Methodology for Greater Mindfulness” on the first slide in my deck.

I have a rule about public speaking I used to regularly remind myself of, and about which I have counseled other speakers. When you make a mistake during a speech, you are almost always the only one who knows about it. You are the expert on the subject you are presenting, and only you know what you were planning to say. For example, if you meant to make four points about something, and only make three, nobody but you will know.

In that vein, I didn’t want to say the title wasn’t the usual name for my presentation. Instead, I started by explaining what I would be talking about, based on my slightly revised title, “One Methodology for Greater Mindfulness.”

As I wrote in this post, there is a synergy between habit change and mindfulness. Mindfulness, meaning being in the present moment as opposed to thinking about the past or worrying about the future, helps us to make and keep new habits, rather than simply moving through the world on auto-pilot.

During my speech, I tied mindfulness to each of the “Six Simple Rules for a Better Life.”

  • During my “Be Healthy” discussion, I used the example of choosing what to eat or not eat, rather than mindlessly eating a bag of chips while watching TV.
  • Regarding “Be Nice,” I talked about pausing to respond after seeking first to understand the other person’s point of view, rather than mindlessly reacting, making assumptions, and jumping to conclusions.
  • In the segment on “Be Organized,” I talked about prioritizing your daily to-do list, rather than mindlessly jumping into your day.

And I spelled out these steps for mindfully making changes that stick:

  • Becoming aware you have a change you want to make (Read here about awareness as a key part of mindfulness.)
  • Deciding you are going to commit to a change
  • Breaking down your desired change into small pieces and working on one, small piece at a time for the 21 days it takes to create a habit
  • Repeating the above steps for the next change

My best wishes as you work on changes you want to make in 2022.

David