It’s January. As soon as the new year hits, I have a tendency to hit the ground running. Ten days later I find myself listless and drained of the energy I worked so hard to cultivate during the holiday break. We’ve all heard the phrase, slow and steady wins the race, but it seems untrue in a society where everything screams at us to be quick and fast or risk missing out.
Perhaps it’s another year of getting older that causes me to slow down, but I’m beginning to better understand this old adage. I’ve updated it to the simple mantra: Pace Yourself.
While I am excited for what the new year could bring and eager to tackle head first the many goals I’ve set for myself this year, pacing myself becomes ever more important. I hope to keep the following in mind to help with keeping the pace.
Setting checkpoints. I consider these my opportunity to check-in and celebrate where I am in terms of achieving a larger goal. It’s easy to get lost in the rat race of striving towards the golden egg goal, but without checkpoints, it’s hard to chart your process and ultimately becomes harder to achieve the goal you originally set for yourself. Appreciating what I have accomplished and knowing the distance left to go helps keep me motivated and on track.
Make it daily. I am no stranger to procrastination but it’s starting to sink in that waiting until the last minute to push towards a goal is more stress-inducing than exhilarating. Setting a daily schedule that incorporates goal objectives keeps me in the habit of working consistently towards the end goal.
Take a break. It’s not always easy to schedule in time to relax but making an effort to take a pause at each checkpoint to figure out what went well and what I might need to change in order to meet my end goal. Taking a break enables new ways of moving forward to emerge; I often find some of my better ideas come when I raise my head for air.
I’m committed to getting my goals accomplished this year which include things like joining and making meaningful contributions to professional organizations like ATSA, ACA, and AMHCA, opening a website, creating partnerships with other professionals, and growing myself professionally. I’ve also factored in travel, being more active, and reading more as goals. Though the later do not directly mean anything for me professionally, they allow a time to refresh, rejuvenate, and will allow me to be at my best self for the months ahead.
With 12 months in the year, it’s not worth burning out in the first two weeks. Slow and steady may just “win” the race after all.