THE BLOG
06/15/2011 08:45 am ET Updated Aug 15, 2011

Honoring Your Personal Pace

"Good and quickly seldom meet."
-- Anonymous

Do you move through space and time too fast, too slow or just right? Do you find yourself rushing about or dragging yourself around? Why is it so important to pay attention to this? When we step out of that pace and find ourselves either rushing about like a chicken with its head cut off, or dragging ourselves around like dead weight, life can be very challenging. Paying attention to your inner feedback and the responses from your universe can assist you in finding your optimum pace.

When we rush, it is usually because we have either been procrastinating, or are setting unrealistic expectations. Here are several things that happen when we rush around and try to do too much at once:

  • We behave clumsily, dropping things and having mini-accidents like stubbing a toe, or in some cases major accidents.
  • We tend to commit more mistakes and as a result become less efficient rather than more (which is often our goal when in a rush).
  • We become more forgetful.
  • We drive much too fast, to "save time."
  • We find ourselves frustrated and agitated by things that would normally be within our tolerance level. As a result we can become short-tempered and make "mountains out of molehills."
  • We tend to feel burdened and overwhelmed, rather than enjoy our lives.

Sound familiar? But what happens when you rush around faster than what is comfortable for you? Are the few extra minutes you might gain worth the price you pay?

Rushing around really doesn't get us where we want to be any faster. In fact, it just makes us feel out of sorts, unpleasant to be around, feeding into the increased probability that we will have some sort of accident.

The good news is that it is very easy to re-enter your comfort zone once you see what you are doing. Here are my favorite ways to recapture my sense of well-being:

  • The mere act of observation, gives you the opportunity to make another choice.
  • Once you see what you are doing, you can take a mental picture of yourself and have a good laugh.
  • Try coming to a complete stop, taking a few deep breaths and reprioritizing what needs to be done.
  • Remind yourself that life is precious and when you are rushing around you are not enjoying the journey of your life. Make it a point to smell some roses and lilacs, or delight in the smile of a child or passerby.

On the flip side, you have probably noticed that you are not typically very happy when you are going more slowly than your comfortable pace. It is very easy to fall into the habit of vegging out, playing computer games, watching TV or falling prey to some other mindless distraction while ignoring all the things you need to be doing. We all need to tune out from time to time, but when it becomes our way of life, it's worth taking a closer look and considering the alternatives. Here's what I have noticed happens when we drag ourselves around:

  • Usually there is some mental or emotional challenge present that we are having difficulty dealing with and so we avoid it with these behaviors.
  • Low energy tends to result in isolating ourselves and feeling disconnected from others.
  • Lethargy has a cumulative impact that results in making excuses for not going to the gym or choosing less healthy foods because we can't be bothered cooking a healthier meal for ourselves.
  • We become self-judgmental when we are not keeping up with the pace of our life for more than a few hours or a day here and there.

What else happens to you when you fall into the blahs?

Here are my favorite remedies for moving out of lethargy and back into the swing of things:

  • Talk to yourself and be ruthlessly honest about what you are avoiding. See if you can figure out one or two baby steps you could take that would move you in the direction of resolving the issue and talk yourself into doing those things.
  • Negotiate with yourself. Make a to do list and choose three to five things that you really need to do, striking deals like, "If I get up and do the dishes right now, I can play another five games of solitaire without feeling guilty."
  • Pull in the reins on yourself and hold yourself accountable by monitoring the amount of sleep you get, the foods you are eating and your physical activity. Once those are back in balance, your energy will bounce right back.

Life appears easier when we are in the groove of our own pace and so very stressful when we are out of it. Being out of sync may not be the biggest problem in our life, but the discomfort it generates can often be avoided by checking in and taking corrective action when we get out of our groove.

Finally, when you notice that you are in your groove, going with the flow of life and enjoying your journey, pay attention to how you created that and do more and more of that. Turn on your cruise control and enjoy the ride.

Please feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me at judith@havingityourway.com. You can also retweet this post, share it on Facebook, or email it to friends who may enjoy it. To learn more about me, visit my website, www.judithjohnson.com. For information on my future blogs, click "Fan" at the top of this page.