Don’t hit the ground running!
How many times have you been told to have a good holiday and come back and hit the ground running?
Why the obsession with speed as if we were going to run out of time. There are 12 months in the year and each and every one of them is important. January is just the first one and it is a good time to set the pattern for the year.
So often we try to overdo January. We sign up for the gym or promise that we will eat better, exercise more, take time to relax and then – you hit the ground running and all the good intentions can go out the window and you pick up your treadmill where you left it in December.
We all know that doing the same things means we are likely to get the same results. Do you want to get to this December in good condition, healthy, satisfied, having integrated your work and personal life? Then January is the key!
The year is stretching ahead full of possibilities and opportunities We need to make the most of each of them and to do that we need to pace ourselves and to set targets along the way that we want to achieve so that we can monitor our progress and keep on track. We need to have the ability to flex and adapt as changes come our way, because have no doubt changes will come!
Rather view the year as a marathon (with some possible obstacle courses thrown in) rather than setting off at a sprint that is not sustainable. Marathon runners develop fitness and endurance, they prepare themselves for the event and they set their targets along the way. They know where they should be by what time, or distance, they then can speed up or slow down to maintain their momentum.
The start of every marathon is the warm-up. These exercises are to prepare the body for what is coming so that the muscles are able to loosen up and be ready to flex and run. We are not saying do nothing in January but rather take the time to map out a ‘proposed’ route for the year.
We often work with our clients to unpack their lives, taking the threads and reflecting on all aspects of their world and how they interact, growing their reflective skills, learning to prioritise and focus. The pace being less important than the direction and the intention.
“When you really want to do something right, which is usually what you should be striving for, you tend to slow down.”
Rushing into action without thinking through and exploring not only means that we narrow down our options but also means that we may not have fully explored the potential outcomes and consequences of those actions. Nancy Kline says that the quality of everything we do, depends on the quality of the thinking we do first.
If you want to make the most of the next year that you are being given, then isn’t it worth investing a little more time in getting a sense of direction, so that you are not so easily thrown of course by the unexpected?
You can take interesting opportunities (and detours) that present themselves, knowing you have the ability to get back on track. You can more easily decide what to say yes to and what to say no to, being more proactive and less reactive.
Taking the time to hit the road strolling and get a head start that can benefit not only you but your family, team or community. Your sense of calm and control will spin off on to them and enable them to stop running, take a breath and plan for the next sprint, seeing the next rest stop along the way where you can all check in, refuel, readjust and move forward.
As John Brunner says: To go faster you must slow down.