Slow and steady wins the race as we see this with the old tortoise and hare story but we are quick to forget that. You may have already have given up your new year’s resolutions you had because you weren’t seeing quick enough results. Or you probably compared yourself to others making better progress and have given up due to disappointment. Also, you could be like me and beat yourself up for taking some time to rest and relax instead of work towards your goals. Whatever your story is I am here to say allow yourself permission to take a slow and steady approach towards your goals.
I once used strongly the phrase “life is short.” Now I am moving toward using the phrase “life is long.” Big 180, right? I think I could also use those two phrases interchangeably with each specific situation. For instance, if I am at a job that I hate or in a toxic relationship I could say “life is short” move on to what better serves you. That makes sense to use that phrase because time is valuable and you don’t want to waste it. However, for lifelong goals that you want to accomplish and have quality within those goals, it is ok to use the phrase “life is long.” Take your time in doing things right, planning and yes taking time to rest and nourish your body and mind. The winter season is the perfect time to rest.
Career and fitness goals can make us think we must quickly be ahead of the game and if we don’t see quick results we start to doubt ourselves. It is winter in Chicago and I thought this is the perfect time to knock out all my goals and get ahead. Well, the winter has made me quite exhausted and the cold makes me just want to curl up in a blanket and watch movies. I had been beating myself up for allowing myself to relax. Why do we think if we are not productive we are not valuable?
There is more to life than work. For example, how many times have you asked someone “Hey how’s it going?” and they reply “busy, busy.” Usually when someone says that to me I notice that they are not taking time to slow down and enjoy life. Or maybe they are not big on conversation but either way, I think people think if they are busy they are valuable and if they are not they don’t think they are doing enough and beat themselves up.
With that being said I wanted to offer ways on how you can slow down and be proud of your progress:
1) Meditation. Meditation is so big for everything you do in life. I think we think meditation is something only monks should do. Everyone should take some time to breathe deeply, close their eyes and just be present. My mind runs so fast in the future that I must calm down the hamster wheel and mediation does help tremendously. Try using the app headspace or search for videos on meditation on YouTube.
2) Listen to Your Body. This is an important one. Your body tells you when it needs rest and nourishment. Usually, when you get sick your body is forcing you to rest and get nourishment. If you are sick all the time it is time to focus on your health. Where a lot of people struggle is with their lack of sleep hygiene. We are all different but everyone should be getting at least 6 hours of non-interrupted sleep. If you get less than that a day and don’t make it up within that week you might want to consider thinking of changing some habits. Sleep is so important and we often neglect it because we want to be up getting things done. Also, your body calls out for certain vitamins. Don’t miss out on vitamins take a daily supplement to help you at least get some of those vitamins in. Pay attention to where you feel pain on your body. If you always have headaches, neck and shoulder pain these are signs you are dealing with too much stress. Stress is carried on your shoulders and when that happens take the time to meditate, stretch, exercise and relax. I also love going to the chiropractor as this gets me reset or adjusted as they would say and it really helps release whatever stress I am carrying. Never ignore your most prized possession your body.
3) Be Proud of Progress. What would you learn if things just happened instantly or you got something without earning it? You wouldn’t really strive to be better or grow. Sometimes just getting out of bed and participating is a huge accomplishment. Take pride that you started your goal not a lot of people get started. Focus on small tasks and work your way up so you don’t get overwhelmed. For example, a lot of people try to diet and exercise for their New Year’s goal. They change their entire diet and try to go from no exercise to intense workouts which usually makes themselves quit because it becomes too much of a change so quickly. Instead of changing your entire eating habits try to change up one meal such as breakfast with healthier choices than gradually get to lunch and dinner. For exercise take it slowly build your way up to 30 minutes, 45 and up. Making slow and steady progress will definitely set you up to finish that race.
Remember that life is long so enjoying the process and the progress so you can live more in the present and enjoy yourself and accomplish your goals.