January 9

 

“Slow down you’re moving to fast, got make the morning last….” Simon and Garfunkel certainly knew what they were talking about. How many times have you heard somebody say that the previous year just sped past? It didn’t go any faster than the years of your childhood. And for most of us, childhood years were very long. Christmas and birthdays took forever to come around. Now they practically tap us on the shoulder.

Start the year as you mean to go on, slow down. I am told it takes 21 days to create a habit. So if you start today, then by 31 January you will be confidently living life in the slow lane. You don’t have to make a big change, just several small ones, and the wonderful thing is that they become cumulative, once you start you can’t stop.

Break yourself in gently, start by travelling slowly. If you are driving today, slow down, the speed limit is just that, a limit not a target. Let out the car that is waiting patiently to turn, wait for the bus to pull out. If you are cycling or walking, slow down and enjoy the ride, smile at other people on your route, say hello to the lollipop man (or lady).

Try a whole day without multitasking. I rarely multitask now. Rather than rushing around trying to do two or more things at once I do one job at a time at a pace that suits the job. Guess what? I get a lot more done now than I ever did before.

Unless the message is urgent send a letter rather than an email. Yes it might cost a few pennies more but a handwritten letter on the doormat is far more appreciated than a ping from an inbox and it lasts a lot longer, a lifetime or more.

If you drink tea or coffee or hot chocolate rather than making lots of cups of instant coffee and chocolate or throwing a teabag in a cup, drink less but make fresh coffee from proper coffee beans, hot chocolate from grated chocolate and milk, real loose tea in a tea pot. Enjoy the ritual and the final cup. Drink water the rest of the time, it’s better for you anyway.

The slower you live the more you become aware of your environment. The more you become aware of what makes your heart sing. And once you know what makes your heart sing it is the first step to letting it roar and living the life that you want to lead rather than the life that leads you.