Jan 4, 2019
Welcome to 2019! Congratulations on making it to another year. Take a moment to celebrate yourself and simply be grateful for the opportunity to live another year.
Really, take a moment.
Now, as you settle in, contemplate what you want this year to look like. What new goals do you have for yourself? Are they the same goals you’ve always had? Are they goals that you really believe in–or are they simply goals that you think other people will approve of or admire? Do you have a plan for your goals? Are they measurable?
There are a million and one things to think about when setting goals for yourself and planning a new year. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to slow down. In a world that is non-stop, always asking for more attention, always asking you to do more, this article is about slowing down, doing less, and being in the moment. Consider implementing some of these suggestions into your life this new year.
In this week’s episode of the Running for Real podcast, we interviewed Melody Moore. Dr. Melody Moore, Ph.D., is a psychologist, yogi, and founder of the Embody Love Movement. She coaches individuals to believe in themselves, to love themselves and to know that they are enough. One of Melody’s most highly suggested invitations is to “be present.”
But what does it mean to be present?
“[Being present] means being fully awake to the experience,” says Melody, “not stuck in the past, not worried about the future, but right here and right now in this very experience.” The present is the only thing that is real. The only thing that is actually real to you is the experience you are having reading this very sentence.
When we live in the moment, we only focus on one thing at a time. It means we don’t allow ourselves to think about the disappointments of the past or the fears of the future. We only tune in to the experience of now. This can take work and isn’t easy to master immediately. We are distracted by ads, children, friends, cell phones, and our own thoughts. Multitasking is often encouraged, and it can feel like it is impossible to get everything done without doing two, three, or four things at once.
“What happens when we become present is we feel less need to ‘fill in’ and get busy,” says Melody, “When we slow down and do one thing at a time, we end up doing it really well.” She argues that in nearly every case, doing two things at once that takes you 10 minutes, can be done in two 5-minute chunks. And when you can focus on one thing at a time, you do it better and can fully experience it.
Doing one thing at a time allows us to fully enjoy it. It is sustainable. Instead of being concerned about a future race, or the potential rush that you may get as you cross a finish line, breathe in the current moment. Think, “Why did I start running in the first place?” With every step of your training, focus on the moment. Your mind will be more at ease as you do so.
There are two excuses when it comes to vocalizing your strengths. The first is that you maybe, quite seriously, don’t think you are good enough or think your performance is plain lousy. The second excuse is that you don’t want to come off as arrogant. Both of these excuses are just that, excuses.
When you show others that you are proud of your accomplishments, it helps to dissipate the illusion that it is not good to celebrate ourselves. If you are an elite runner, but (albeit out of fear of bragging) are unable to talk about yourself as one, think about what example that sets for the millions of average runners. When you vocalize your love for yourself, and your accomplishments, you allow others to do the same. And when someone else does well, give them all the praise you can. Sharing the love and being truly genuine about your support will help you feel more comfortable in loving yourself.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you just barely finished your first 5k and it took you an hour, think of how many doors you open for people if you celebrate that victory. Every victory is a victory. Be proud of who you are and what you have done. You never know who might be watching.
Make this your year. Love yourself, every bit of you. Be present. You may be surprised by the joy you find in the everyday moments.
Book: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
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Thank you to Melody, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.