My journey into slow living began as an accidental resolution when I decided to start being more intentional with how I spoke. I wanted to speak more positively. In setting this goal, I found that I had to bite my tongue more and slow my speaking. Being more intentional about the things I said required me to pause before I opened my mouth. Little did I know that this small shift in my perspective would inspire me to embrace a slower pace would become the cornerstone of a more meaningful and fulfilling existence.
Post Covid Slow Down
When Covid lockdowns began taking place, I think it inspired a lot of people to slow down and be more intentional with their days. For the first time, a lot of us were coming to realize just how chaotic our lifestyles were. During Covid embracing slow living was not just a choice; it was a necessity.
After the world starting going back to normal, I wanted to intentionally work to keep that slow lived part of me alive. Now I can safely say I have been actively been practicing a slow living lifestyle for 4 years and the results are phenomenal.
That’s why I wanted to take a moment today to share some practical ways you can being to slow down your lifestyle if you’re still trying to figure out how to do so.
Why Slowing Down Your Resolution is the Key to Success
A lot of times we go into a New Year with high expectations and a ton of energy only to burn out after 3 weeks. Here are some ways to apply slow living into your resolutions for 2024.
While setting big, brave goals is an amazing way to live your life, be mindful as to whether or not your resolution is causing you anxiety. If you are generating anxiety in your body, chances are, you are working against yourself.
For example, if losing 20 pounds starts to feel overwhelming, shift your goal to be more in your control. After all, when you build muscle, the number on the scale might go up. Instead of setting weight loss goals, aim for movement goals that feel realistic.
Last summer, instead of setting a weight loss goal, I committed to taking a Hot Girl Walk 3 times per week.
Half assing your goals
Slow living resolutions have also looked like me committing to 20 minutes at the gym 5 times per week. All I had to do was show up and move my body. I didn’t need to break a sweat, lift weights, or try hard. I just had to move for 20 minutes. I call these half ass goals.
You would be amazed at how much you can get done when you give yourself permission to not have to do too much.
Remember, none of us wake up one day knowing how to walk. We take baby steps. If you are going into the new year expecting yourself to run before you’ve even learned to walk, you’ve set yourself up for failure already.
Decide What Didn’t Work Last Year
Instead of repeating the same habits over and over again, why not start by asking yourself what didn’t work last year.
Did you start last year by buying a ton of new workout gear and equipment, only to realize you hate working out at home? If so, this year commit to outdoor walking, or a gym membership.
Last year did you swear you would eat healthy every day, only to beat yourself up after your first cheat day? Why not try allowing yourself one cheat snack per day. Personally, I have a stash of peanut M&Ms hiding in my bedroom. Having a handful of chocolate after dinner helps me maintain healthy eating throughout the rest of my day.
Start being aware of what hasn’t worked for you in the past and begin coming up with ideas on how to avoid repeating those same mistakes this year.
Embrace Your Patterns
Rather than fighting against your natural inclinations, embrace your unique patterns. Whether it’s working best in the afternoon, enjoying hands-on activities, or having specific preferences, integrate them into your life.
For example, some days I skip the gym and stay home singing karaoke for an hour. Singing is a huge stress reliever for me and sometimes helps me relieve more stress than going to the gym.
I’ve also come to learn that going to the gym is something I do at different times throughout the day and that’s ok.
Maybe you tend to have more energy at night and know you would be more successful with a nighttime walk rather than early morning.
Instead of fighting to fit your goal to what other people are doing, start getting creative so you can find what works for you.
Feel Better vs. Look Better
Let’s face it, we live in an aesthetic world these days. The look of our body, the style of our house, the outfits we wear can all impact how other people view us. Without realizing it, we can begin to believe that looking the way other people want us to is the key to happiness.
While getting other people’s approval can make us happy for a while, the key to creating long-term happiness is to feel good in your own body.
Instead of chasing goals for external validation, focus on what makes you feel better. Whether it’s a short outdoor walk, a brief weight training session, or choosing a job that aligns with your well-being, prioritize feeling good over looking good.
Not Everything Can Be Slow. Choose Wisely.
While not everything can be paused, it’s about finding little moments to slow down. Select aspects of your life where intentional slowness can be beneficial, creating a harmonious balance between progress and mindfulness.
You’ll probably still have deadlines to meet in the new year. There will be days were things seem to go wrong. Instead of allowing the chaos to catch up with you, find ways that you can bring stillness into the situation. That might mean giving yourself 10 seconds to just breathe and slow your heart rate or asking yourself, “How can I make this easier?”
By nature, we tend to believe things have to be complicated in order to be worthwhile. In reality, looking for ways to simplify is the key to lasting productivity and success.
Be More Present for Your Favorite Moments
Avoid the temptation to fill precious moments with busyness. Whether it’s sex, sleep, cuddles, or enjoying a good movie, resist the urge to be constantly occupied. Embrace these moments fully, bringing the essence of slow living to every area of your life.
Enjoy the slow down
As you embark on the journey of the new year, consider embracing the gentle path of slow living. Through intentional choices, realistic goals, and a focus on what truly matters, you can infuse every aspect of your life with a sense of fulfillment and purpose. Let this be a year of authenticity, mindful resolutions, and the joy that comes from savoring the present moment.