It’s easy to get caught up in the swirl of frenzy and frantic pace to get it all done, but there’s no time to rush. 3 reasons why you should slow down.
The End of Year Rush
Even with my deliberate attempts to slow down, I feel the energy of rushing.
Everyone is trying to fit in everything before the clock winds down. As if the stroke of midnight on Sunday night is the last call for getting on the boat to 2018. If you’re not there, sorry, you’ve missed your opportunity to sail into the new year.
I hear it all around me, I see it in my news feed. Panic:
I don’t have my goals yet. I’m not ready. I haven’t finished everything.
No other turn of the calendar induces so much panic and stress.
January is perhaps the most arbitrary month to start anew. It’s the dead of winter.
Seasonally, this is the time for hibernation and going inward, not for starting new projects. I’ve always been convinced that one of the reasons people fail in their “resolutions” so quickly is simply because it’s not the right time.
And yet everyone is rushing, afraid of being late to the party.
Energy is contagious, and the slower pace is still new to me. So as much as I try to keep to my slow pace, I can get caught up in the swirl of what’s going on around me.
When this happens, I remind myself of a mantra that I heard from meditation teacher Tara Brach in 2011.
There’s no time to rush.
There’s no time to rush
Tara tells the story of a woman who was diagnosed with cancer about a year after giving birth. Faced with only a year with her daughter, the woman adopted this mantra as a reminder to savor each moment.
This approach requires a mindset shift: instead of worrying about what you might miss by not “keeping up,” focus on what you might miss by not slowing down.
We miss so much when we rush. We miss the crucial moments that give life meaning and joy.
It’s Easy to Get Caught in the Swirl
I know it’s easy to get caught up in the end-of-year chaos. (Or middle-of-the-year chaos). I’m guilty of this too.
If you’re an achievement-oriented, goal-obsessed, student of life, you’ve been conditioned to get your goals ready and be on the starting blocks when the ball drops.
Off to the races.
And if that’s working for you, then by all means, have at it.
But is it really working for you? What if you could get the same results — or even better results — with less frantic activity? What if you could accomplish more — live more — without rushing?
I encourage you to pause for a moment and consider a few things.
(1) It’s not a race.
Where are you racing to? What’s the finish line? Each of us has our own path, and the race is over when you’re dead. Are you in that much of a hurry to get there?
As Gilda Radner said,
The thing about the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.
Slow down. Savor it.
(2) The year is long.
2018 will have 12 long months. 365 days. I promise you won’t miss the year if you roll in a little after the first.
It’s not about how fast you start or how strong you start, but how you travel through the year that matters.
What will you accomplish? How will you grow?
Being armed with your plan and your goals on January 1 has no bearing on any of that.
In fact, the natural laws of the Earth tell us that January is the time to plan. It’s not implementation time yet.
And if you’re worried about not hitting your goals, consider this:
An object in possession seldom retains the same charm it had in pursuit. — Pliny the Younger
Better make sure you’re enjoying the journey. Life happens where you are, not when you reach a milestone.
(3) You can start at any time
What’s the thing on your list that you’re eager to start on January 1?
Start it now.
On December 30, 2015, I decided I wanted to get serious about building a daily meditation practice. I had tried for years to do this, through 21-day and 30-day challenges. Nothing worked.
I didn’t put it on my list of “resolutions” to start on January 1. I started right there, right where I was. And I’ve never looked back. Today I celebrated day 730. Two full years.
Sustainable practices are not born out of “resolutions.” They are born from resolve.
Start anytime. Start where you are. Whether you start on December 30, January 17 or any other day, allow yourself to be guided from within, not by the arbitrariness of the calendar date.
We get only one life. Savor the journey.
There’s no time to rush.