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To move forward, one must slow down

Tips for slowing down in the new year


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Have you ever noticed that nature is not in a hurry? Have you ever asked a tree what time it is? Yet the fulfillment of each snowflake, raindrop, ray of sunshine, seed planted occurs effortlessly. Perhaps this is why studies show a short period of time spent in nature reboots the human body into a state of homeostasis, or a state of equilibrium and balance. 

How often do you think about intentionally slowing down enough to find an inner balance and calmness? Energy is your capacity for action. In order for it to be renewable you need to refuel the source of that energy so you can expend energy without depleting the source.

When you master this through intentional self-care, you maximize your ability to move forward in a positive direction. When you don't your body (mind, will, emotions) begin to shut down. The main ingredient of this process is the choice to slow down and reflect. 

I know this first hand when I went a divorce while my career was rapidly advancing. Through determination, one of my strengths, I was able to persevere. While being a type A personality got me where I am today, unmanaged it almost drove me to the grave. When my strength of determination spilled over to a weakness, my body began to shut down.

What are your top strengths and weaknesses?

In Sherpa Executive Coaching we have a tool to find your strengths and weaknesses along with your main driver, which is what drives you to your passion and mission. For example, my main driver is my determination, drive and enthusiasm to just go for it. However, when left uncontrolled, this turns into defeated, intimidating and stubborn behavior.

When you know your strengths and drivers, you are on your way to create renewable energy for yourself.

This season holds the opportunity to push the refresh button. Slow down and realign what you value most with your behavior including how you spend your time, talent and treasure.

I recently facilitated a "Why It Matters" workshop and asked the question:What do you do that causes you to lose track of time?” The answer to which reveals the behavior that allows you to renew your energy. This is the behavior or hobby you should spend more time doing.

Take Action

Below are a few tips to help you slow down and reflect in order to move forward in a positive direction:

  • Pause before any activity you perform and ask: What is my desired outcome? Clarity of focus leads to accuracy of response. Remove bings, pings and dings to increase focus. 
  • Before saying yes, stop and consider the energy, talent and focus it will take to complete the task.
  • Before taking on new tasks ask: Is this mine to do or someone else's?
  • Choose the amount of time you spend on social media or it will overcome you.  
  • Clean out and give away what no longer has value to you.
  • Create mini-retreats for yourself and place yourself in peaceful environments: breathe deeply, sink into silence, pray and connect.
  • Be present: let go of your need to figure out the future.
  • When facing decisions ask: what choice would I have wanted to make if I was on my death bed looking back at this moment? 
  • Don't take on other people's emotions: stay calm and ask effective questions to guide others back to their ability to find solutions. 
  • Give back and do good because your greatest refreshment occurs when you refresh another.

In Sherpa Leadership Development we teach this formula: positive skills plus positive behavior equals a positive impact on business.

As you anchor positive skills for self-care and implement positive behavior to slow down, reflect and then respond, you will experience a positive impact personally and professionally as you move forward into 2020. 

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Lauren Miller

Lauren E Miller, has a masters in adult education with a certification in human resource development. She has personally conquered two of life's top stressors at the same time, advanced cancer and divorce. Now Google's No. 1 Stress relief expert, award-winning author, speaker and certified executive and life coach, Miller provides process driven programs with structure, guidance, support and accountability designed to create positive change in behavior resulting in positive impact on business (IOB) and life purpose. Explore more at: LaurenEMiller.com

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