by Anita Mambo Cohn, LCSW
You want to slow down, focus on taking care of yourself, spend more time doing what you love, but you also long to grow and follow your dreams. Many of us get stuck in what we believe to be opposing forces that we become confused and feel compelled to choose.
Contrary to what you may be thinking, there is no need to sacrifice one for the other! It’s quite possible to do both! Here are 7 Ways to Slow Down and Ramp Up at the Same Time!
Ask yourself what things are taking up too much space in your life. Which are superfluous or don’t serve you. How you can let go of them. If it’s a matter of time management, pick 1-2 two tasks to start with first and don’t start any other tasks until you complete them.
2. Look at the year ahead.
What do you want to accomplish by this time next year? You’ll be surprised to find that this simple exercise will give you clarity on where to focus your energy. I like to decide on one big overall goal for the year, and then break down action steps by season. Dividing them down into 4 chunks helps me focus on what to achieve in the winter, spring, summer and fall.
3. Make time for what’s most meaningful to you.
Where do you want to focus your time and energy? What’s most important to you? I have found that the better care I take of myself, and the more I engage in doing things that bring me joy, the more hopeful and positive I feel about my future dreams and goals.
4. Worry less about what you “should be” doing.
We often spend too much time and mental energy focused on the stories we’ve created in our heads of what we “should be” doing. Sometimes it’s what we believe our parents, relatives, community, partner or friends would want us to do. Sometimes it’s an expectation we’ve created about what success looks like and what successful people are supposed to do. It’s a no-win exercise as we can always conjure up someone as dissatisfied.
5. Take small and measurable steps toward change.
As you start taking small incremental steps, your tolerance for doing new things will get better and you’ll find that small steps get you on the path of progress. Also you’ll feel more confident simply because you are taking action.
6. Acknowledge the great things you’re already doing.
This is a huge and important part of self-care. We often make the mistake of thinking we need to be a drill sergeant and admonish ourselves for our failings, but this often has the opposite affect. Instead of feeling motivated, we are more likely to feel worse about ourselves and want throw in the towel.
7. Let go of being perfect.
It doesn’t make sense, but I used to think that nothing was worth doing unless it was faultless. I’ve worked hard to let go of this limiting belief and have shifted my mindset to, “Dreams are worth pursuing, even if you fail or make mistakes along the way. You’ll learn from these mishaps and they’ll help you get stronger.”
I’d love to hear from you! Did you find any of the tips helpful? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below.