The tasks on Day 1 of the course are to prepare you to undertake and complete the course. They are pretty simple and relate to practicalities, but the final one in particular is very important and requires mental effort.
You will be receiving an email each weekday, Monday to Friday, for 15 days, including today. You should receive this early in the day, all going well. So it might be best if you can allocate time early in the day.
You should make sure you have whitelisted the emails so that they don’t end up in a spam folder by mistake. Click here for full details on how to do this.
Most days you will need about 10 minutes but this varies a little. And, depending on your schedule, you can always vary the time or break up the tasks into smaller time periods.
The requirements are not set in stone, but you should try and give some degree of priority to the course. So try and allocate time out for mindfulness. If you fall behind by a day, then catch up at the weekend.
The first task is to decide how you are going to make space for the various tasks and practices that will be required. There will be something every day and while none are too onerous in terms of their physical, time or psychological demand, you still need to make space for them.
The best way to do this is to identify some sort of a routine – a time and place when you will undertake the tasks.
Location and Commitment
There are two requirements relating to place. First, while you do not have to be totally on your own, it is probably best if you can be. The reason is that you will need to have a time and space when you won’t be disturbed. This can be indoors or outdoors for most of the tasks.
You should also plan on turning off your phone, email etc. And try to find a quiet place. Remember that this course is about you and only you can undertake the tasks. Another person will be a distraction.
Second, you will need a comfortable chair and, ideally, a place to lie for some tasks. However, if this is difficult then your usual chair, even a chair at your desk, will do fine.
Just make sure you won’t be disturbed and that there is nothing in your environment, such as loud noise, an uncomfortable temperature or sudden events, that could intrude.
There is no need for an extensive or detailed journal, just a small amount of writing. So get a notebook, or a few sheets of paper if you wish, and put some sort of heading on it.
If you are going to download the material as a series of PDFs (see the link at the end of this page below) then a ring binder might be useful and you can keep all the material including your journal together in the one folder. If you wish, you can download and print the image opposite as a cover for your journal.
I suggest you write ‘15 Day Introductory Course on Mindfulness for Financial Traders’ on the first page as your heading, just to get you started. Or if you prefer, you can download this Table of Contents and include it in your journal. Then write your answers to the questions in the final section of this page below.
The next thing to decide is if you are going to discuss this course and your progress through it with anyone. Some people feel the need to include others while some might wish to keep it private.
My own personal preference would be not to discuss it, but either course of action is fine. Just decide now what you are going to do. You can always change your mind later.
There is nothing too difficult so far, but here is the big one. You must commit yourself to undertake the course.
You want to do this course for some reason. Do you know what this reason might be?
Even mild curiosity is a good enough reason. But the stronger the reason you can identify to take the course the easier it will be to commit and keep to your commitment.
Tell yourself you are going to do the course and undertake all the tasks, every day, for 15 days. Can you say that out loud? Do you believe yourself?
Every morning when you first wake up, say to yourself that you will undertake the tasks and try to act in a mindful way during the day. You may not know what this is yet, but that will become clearer.
Now, before you start, have you made this commitment to yourself?
Task for Today.
So, your task for today is to prepare. Decide when and where you will undertake the daily tasks.
- How are you going to fit them into you day?
- At what time?
- How will you remember to do so?
- Where will be the best place to undertake the tasks?
- What do you need to do to prevent, or at least minimize, interruptions?
- Are you going to discuss this course and your progress with anyone else?
Write your answers to these questions into your journal.
Have you really made the commitment to yourself to do the course? Write down that you have done so.
Make a note to remind you to recommit every morning. What are you going to say to yourself?
That’s enough writing. Now stop and think for a moment about mindfulness.
- What are you expecting to get out of the course?
- What are your objectives?
- What barriers do you foresee?
Have you read the eBook yet? Try and finish it today or by tomorrow at the latest. But, again, don’t let doing so become a barrier to following the tasks in the daily emails.
Finally, how do you feel about things? About mindfulness, about this course, about anything or anybody in your life?
Just form the thoughts and leave them there. Don’t assess them or judge them. Don’t write them down, just let them be thoughts.