“Stop and smell the roses.”
When things are really good, people may spend time to slow down, but often we overwhelm our schedules and forget to capture the everyday moments we work so hard for. The few minutes to sit with the kids for breakfast is often spent cleaning up, or getting dinner on the table before Sarah’s basketball practice is more important than taking that moment to cuddle her on the couch. And when we have stressful times or we are making changes – it can be even worse. We need to find ways to slow down (and not lose momentum).
When people talk to me about changing habits or doing new things in order to get to their goals, they often already know most of what they need to do. As a coach, I offer some tools and questions that helps them maybe get there faster, but for the most part they do most of the work – which many people are shocked to find out almost every habit starts with one thing – slowing down.
Whether we try to quit a bad habit or gain a new beneficial one, we often underestimate the time consumption of doing it. There’s a lot going on in our magical brains when we are changing something in our normal routine or trying something new. There’s tons of neurons rearranging and reconnecting and finding new pathways and defaults.
Remember we are humans, not robots. We can’t program in a new routine and just automatically follow it. We have to plan it, think about it, and feel the feelings that the change is creating. We aren’t as simple as machines that just need a new disc. There are reasons we act, think and feel the way we do – it’s all in those magical neurons.
The good news is that you can change them. As human beings we can change as much as we want to.
The hard part is so often slowing down in order to know what you want and then be patient with your transformation.
What if taking the time to cook healthy food could be a ritual you actually look forward to?
What if your desire to begin running gives you alone time, or time to connect with another runner?
Slowing down to see how you can focus on the gifts of your change rather than on the struggle helps us continue with the habits rather than talk ourselves out of it and give up.
You might find, much like myself that slowing down isn’t quite as easy as it seems to be – even if you can see why it’s worth it.
Here are some ways to slow it down…
Start first thing every day.
No, I don’t mean hit the snooze to slow down waking up. I mean do something mindful that will set your day. If you are like me and mornings are rough, you might consider a routine ritual to wake you up rather than depending on coming up with something in the morning. Have it all set up to make it easy.
When you are changing habits, you may find you need more time to feel that change, change your thoughts and make new choices. New things take little moments and if we over-plan our days, it can create extra stress which means we may be more likely to go back to our default.
Take time to check in with yourself throughout the day.
The best way to prevent automated behavior or going back to our defaults is by being aware of our energy and feelings. If we are aware we are extra stressed or ungrounded we can take a moment to tap into it to see if there is something you can do to prevent the bad decisions, or at least be aware that it may impact your decisions. With awareness, we are more able to reconnect with ourselves and our intentions.
Practice some breathing techniques through the day.
There are so many breathing techniques. You can look up a ton. Breathing techniques offer a moment of connection and the health benefits of pushing clean oxygen throughout our body.
One of my favorite breathing techniques is Bee’s Breath which Kat showed up on this video.
Take time to celebrate.
As we change habits and step into new things, we need to celebrate our little wins. O
So go smell those roses. Slow down and make time to remember you are human. Take a moment to breath, enjoy and celebrate.r just celebrate still being here being able to make new changes moving forward. We don’t slow down enough to celebrate ourselves. Set up some time for it.