We’re all putting our goals in place for 2015. It’s a time of action. But, what if sitting still could help you do more than you ever thought possible?

Meditation is gaining more respect as a tool for productivity and mental focus in today’s busy world, though, for 5,000 years, the yogis have meditated to quiet the mind and get clear about life. To take right action, one must be able to reduce the meanderings of the mind that cause us not to think or see clearly.

In yogic philosophy, the explanation about how to do this often starts with these words: yoga citta vritti nirodha, the cessation of the vibrations of the mind. Those “vibrations” can hijack your mind from being still enough to see clearly so you can take the appropriate action (or not act). One example of a vibration is recollection or memory… memory of a painful past that prevents you from doing something, or memory of something so wonderful that you cling to it, trying to feel that same feeling again and again.  Either way, your actions or non-actions are tainted by that memory.

Meditation is one way we can prevent these vibrations of the mind from getting the best of us.  When we do, we can move forward with clarity and right action.

Isn’t that what goal setting is?  We want to move forward with clarity and accomplish what we envision happening.  Those vibrations can cloud your vision, though, so practice clearing the space in your mind for clear thought, which paves the way for right action.

Try this visualization meditation:

  1. Sit comfortably for a few minutes. Breathe deeply, smoothly and calmly.
  2. Imagine a road, with your goal at the end, though it might be in the distance.
  3. Start to walk toward it.
  4. As you journey in your mind toward that visualized goal, self-doubt may show up, like a roadblock.  Past memories of failure might arise, or you might start to judge yourself.
  5. Breathe deeply with each step you make on this path.
  6. Witness the roadblocks as they dissipate, disintegrate, and disappear. Don’t do anything sudden or violent to move them; just pause and imagine them going away, one at a time.
  7. Keep moving forward.
  8. Your goal is in sight.

You might also imagine hypothetical situations, then, pause quietly to ponder your right action in the situation. In addition to mental focus through meditation, Harvard researchers found meditation helps you relieve anxiety and stress, which are some of the biggest roadblocks we might face toward moving forward in life.