It’s August. Can you believe it?
The fact that time is flying by is making me anxious. Like really anxious.
I feel I’m only just getting into the swing of 2017 and the idea of Christmas being a few short months away scares the pants off me. (Are you with me?).
The phrase “I wish I could make time pass more slowly” often falls from my mouth.
Usually it’s when I’m looking back on my camera reel. I feel the mixture of sadness and joy swell in my chest as I literally see my baby grow and evolve in each consecutive photo.
The fact is, the clock isn’t going to tick any slower but my mind and body can slow down. My thoughts and actions can change.
That’s why I’m making a pact with myself.
My pact = I’m going to ‘embrace slow’ and see going slower and savouring moments equating to success.
SLOW = SUCCESS. SLOW = SUCCESS. SLOW = SUCCESS.
(An aside – this whole ‘go slow and surrender’ notion isn’t new to me. Since having Xanthe I’ve had to embrace the idea of slowing down and bringing more feminine energy into my life and my role as a mother…but that’s probably a whole separate post).
But getting back to the purpose of this article…I want to share how I plan on embodying ‘slow success’ instead of feeling like time is slipping through my fingers.
It may also be helpful for you too?
Now I’m not saying I’ll do each one of the below actions every day. They are things on my ‘can-do’ list (see point 1.), and are actions and habits I want to weave into my days for the remainder of 2017.
Ok, let’s get started on slowing down!
My Five Slow Success Strategies
1. Less Output. More Input .
I don’t know about you, but I’m kind of obsessed with ‘doing.’ Ticking stuff of my to-do list is my jam!
But since having Xanthe, my endless to-do lists became overwhelming. They just got longer and longer and were full of rubbish tasks that weighed me down.
Constantly ‘producing’ wore me down and stressed me out.
So instead, I’m going to consciously do less. I’m going to spend less energy in an outward way and more time nourishing myself.
I’m going to say ‘no’ to things that don’t float my boat. I’m going to say ‘yes’ to help. I’m going to listen to my desires and act on them. I’m going to do nice things for myself. I’m going to trade my to-do list in for a can-do list.
2. Commit to a writing practice
Put simply, I’m going to dedicate small (and large) snippets of my time to write in my journal. I’ve spruiked the benefits of journal writing time and time again.
Carving out space to empty my head and get my thoughts free in a tangible way helps me be more mindful and far more reflective.
Something that I’m going to embrace is jotting down three remarks or occurrences from each day.
They don’t have to be outrageously amazing or thought provoking. Maybe lessons I’ve learned, how I could’ve approached a situation differently, what I’m celebrating. You get the picture?
From experience, this really helps to bring greater awareness into each day and stops the feeling of my legs spinning on a hamster wheel and the whole year running off in a blur.
3. Creative Meditation
Meditation is another tool I’ve really promoted, especially to my coaching clients.
But this practice fell away once I had Xanthe. It never seemed like I had a pocket of time to sit in silence and complete a meditation.
Xanthe would get up at the crack of dawn (or before, as babies do!) and my morning meditation ritual went out the window. And in the evening, before I even had time to pull my iPod out of my bedside table, my head would hit the pillow and that was it. Game over. No meditating for me!
But now I’m going to get creative and meditate in the shower, on the train, washing the dishes etc.
I’m also going to MAKE TIME for short and sharp meditation practices. I’m sure I can spare 5-10 minutes while Xanthe naps. I’m certain I can!
4. Lean Back
Ok, so this sounds weird.
But if you’re anything like me you push and hustle and strive and often struggle to get what you want.
This leads to frustration, annoyance and burn out. It’s not a cycle of behaviour I want to continue.
So I’m declaring it – I’m going to stop pushing. I’m going to lean back…yes, lean back!
By physically leaning back I’m embracing a more receptive posture and I’ll be more open to receiving.
Receiving what exactly? Anything and everything I want!
I’m trusting that things will unfold how they’re meant to and I’m exactly where I need to be.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m still going to work, (smart not hard), and take daily action that will propel me towards my goals…but I’m not pushing and I’m not rushing.
Time is on my side!
5. Talk about vision and goals with my husband
At the start of this year James and I made a joint vision board, which is strategically placed on our bedroom wall. Recently I looked at it and realised we really haven’t made any progress in bringing our vision to life.
I brought this up with him and he responded, “We just don’t talk about it.”
Great point husband. We don’t!
We’re too busy discussing daily “stuff” like who will get bread and milk and what new/naughty thing Xanthe did that day. (We are soooo exciting! Ha!).
I don’t expect us to tick off our visions in rapid succession as the months roll towards December. BUT, I do plan on making space to openly talk about our goals so our daily actions weave their way into creating our grand vision.
Hopefully these actions will negate that feeling of time flying by and like my actions haven’t been at all purposeful.
That’s my plan anyway!
++ Bit of a Bonus ++
The coach in me is asking, “So how will you keep yourself accountable Ainslie?”
Well here it is.
I’ve actually written to my (near) future self.
I’ve written a letter to Ms Ainslie Young who has lived a slower, joyful and connected second half of 2017. I plan to open my letter on New Year’s Eve and I’ll smugly smile. I’ll know that I consciously slowed down in the latter half of 2017 and I lived better for it.
I committed and I conquered! Ha!
I’ve even posted my letter to my parent’s house in Australia so I can open it over the Christmas/New Year break!
Anyway, I’d love to hear how your year has been thus far and if the idea of slowing down and seeing ‘slow as a success’ vibes with you.
Let me know in the comments below and if you’re keen we can ‘go slow’ together? I’m happy to cheer you on…and you cheer me on, ok?