Tips for Mindfulness

Live in the Present:
The idea of being mindful—being present, being more conscious of life as it happens—may seem contradictory to those who are used to sacrificing living for pursuing their goals, but cultivating mindfulness will help you achieve your goals and enjoy life more. In fact, you’re more productive when you’re mindful, among other science-backed benefits. But more importantly, being present is undoubtedly the only way to enjoy life to the fullest. By being mindful, you enjoy your food more, you enjoy friends and family more, you enjoy anything you’re doing more. Anything. Even things you might think are drudgery or boring, such as housework, can be amazing if you are truly present. Try it: Wash dishes or sweep or cook, and remain fully present. It takes practice, but it’s incredible.

Act Slower & More Deliberate:
You can do one task at a time, but also rush that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you focus on the task. Put your day on a track to mindfulness with these mindful morning exercises.

Do Less:
If you do less, you can do those things more slowly, more completely and with more concentration. If you fill your day with tasks, you will be rushing from one thing to the next without stopping to think about what you do. But you’re busy and you can’t possibly do less, right? You can. I’ve done it, and so have many busy people. It’s a matter of figuring out what’s important, and letting go of what’s not.

Space Things out:
Related to the “Do less” rule, but it’s a way of managing your schedule so that you always have time to complete each task. Don’t schedule things close together. Instead, leave room between things on your schedule. That gives you a more relaxed schedule, and leaves space in case one task takes longer than you planned. Transfer this method from your work life to home life in just four steps.

Spend at Least 5 Mins a Day Doing Nothing:
Just sit in silence. Become aware of your thoughts. Focus on your breathing. Notice the world around you. Become comfortable with the silence and stillness. It’ll do you a world of good—and just takes five minutes!

Stop Worrying About the Future:
Become more aware of your thinking. Are you constantly worrying about the future? Learn to recognize when you’re doing this, and then practice bringing yourself back to the present. Just focus on what you’re doing, right now. Enjoy the present moment.

Pay Attention in Conversation:
How many of us have spent time with someone but have been thinking about what we need to do in the future? Or thinking about what we want to say next, instead of really listening to that person? Instead, focus on being present, on really listening, on really enjoying your time with that person. These magic phrases can save any conversation.

Make Cooking & Cleaning Meditative:
Cooking and cleaning are often seen as drudgery, but actually they are both great ways to practice mindfulness, and can be great rituals performed each day. If cooking and cleaning seem like boring chores to you, try doing them as a form of meditation. Put your entire mind into those tasks, concentrate, and do them slowly and completely. It could change your entire day (as well as leave you with a cleaner house).

6 Hottest Travel Destinations

Singapore
Sure, there’s the Singapore Sling, but there’s so much more on the menu here, where one of the world’s coolest cocktail scenes is emerging. Six Singapore bars made the 2017 World’s 50 Best Bars List, including Operation Dagger and Manhattan, a swanky, NYC-inspired room with leather couches and Art Deco touches. New options for sleeping it off abound, too: the Sofitel Singapore City Centre and the InterContinental Singapore Robinson Quay opened in October, and the island’s grand dame, Raffles Singapore (home of the original Sling), will emerge from a major renovation later in the year.

Nassau, Bahamas
The Bahamas’ capital city is going big in 2018: After the long awaited Baha Marresort complex finally opened its doors last year (adding a Grand Hyatt and an SLS Hotel), the Rosewood Baha Mar joins the club this spring. But even bigger news is Royal Caribbean’s 5,500-passenger Symphony of the Seas — the world’s largest cruise ship — which will set sail from Miami beginning in November and stop at Nassau during seven-night Eastern Caribbean sailings.

Catalina Island, California
It’s only a one-hour ferry ride from Southern California’s Newport Beach, but Catalina feels a world away. Spend a weekend hiking 27 miles of new trails, or flying over Descanso Beach on the new Catalina Aerial Adventure. All that cardio calls for a chocolate cone from Scoops, nestled in the town of Avalon, just a few blocks away from the ferry pier.

Perth, Australia
Western Australia’s uber-cool coastal city is well worth the journey. Downtown, the new Elizabeth Quay waterfront teems with buzzworthy restaurants, hip cocktail bars, and cool modern art installations. Elsewhere, the new Perth Stadium will bring Premier League soccer to the city this summer, and a continued expansion plan promises 13 new hotels in the next two years, including a Ritz-Carlton and a Doubletree.

Fiji
This tropical paradise of 332 palm-fringed South Pacific islands is always deserving of a spot on the bucket list, but especially now. Last year, Marriott opened its first property in the islands, the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay, which also brought more overwater bungalows to the country. (Think traditional bures, but on stilts and with vaulted ceilings.) A Six Senses Fiji is slated to open on Malolo Island in 2018, and the eco-friendly Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji is launching new wellness retreats for 2018. Each of these resorts exemplifies exactly what travelers come to Fiji for: picture-perfect beaches, warm hospitality, excellent diving, and all the solitude your heart desires.

Papagayo Peninsula, Costa Rica
The beauty of this lush peninsula on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast isn’t leaving anytime soon — the government mandates that 70 percent of land remain protected. In December, the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo reopened after a $35 million renovation. Naturally, the luxury resort focuses on eco-friendly adventure, with canyon zip lines, volcano hikes, and catamaran cruises on the activity list.