Mindful resting is the key to reaching your goals and reaching your full potential
In today’s culture, busy is worn as a badge of honor. If I had a slow weekend, I use to feel like I had to justify why I was taking a weekend off.
If I was resting, I wasn’t doing enough. I was some kind of loser whose friends didn’t want to hang out with me (which isn’t true btw but that’s for another day).
Even though the hustle culture has gotten better over the past few years, it’s still so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life. We often find ourselves rushing from one task to another, constantly chasing deadlines and striving for success.
But what if there’s another way? A way to embrace rest and still accomplish our goals?
Welcome to the world of slow living, where mindful rest and action can coexist harmoniously with productivity. If you can find that balance between being productive and resting, you’ll be amazed at how much more energy you have and how much easier it is to reach your goals.
Since it is so easy to get instant gratification and little dopamine hits from our smartphones, a lot of people have forgotten the importance of slowing down and being present with the people around you.
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of being on your phone or tablet when family, friends, or loved ones are sitting in the room with you. Even people you don’t necessarily see all the time (don’t worry, me too).
We’ve come to believe that we have accessibility to people all the time. However, we have to keep in mind that sending a quick text or connecting with someone on social media doesn’t compare to that in-person connection.
Being in the same room as someone is so powerful if we’re actually focused in that moment. The good old heart-to-heart.
We aren’t meant to be in the fast lane forever.
You are meant to just be human, to connect, to feel, and to listen to your heart. To be able to hear yourself think.
What is slow living?
In a world that is all about the hustle culture, the idea of slow living is the rebellion. The idea is to focus on self-care and live a balanced lifestyle.
Where it’s not all about moving on to the next best thing.
If you’ve ever felt burnt out, this may be something you want to give a go.
But you may be wondering how you can embrace this slower living AND still hit your goals. After all, as nice as self-care sounds inflation is real and we gotta pay those bills.
And no, it’s not about selling all your things and living in the wilderness away from society … unless that’s your dream, then you do you girl. It’s about appreciating the little things, working less, and enjoying your life right now. It’s about being present and being grateful.
This idea of slower living reminds me a lot of the idea of Koselig. Koselig is a Norweigan term all about embracing the cozy things in life. It’s about focusing on what you have, not what you don’t, and building those deep connections with others.
Many of us started to experience this type of living during the pandemic. We picked up slower hobbies such as crocheting, baking bread, and reading. We spent more time with the people we lived with and navigated this new world with Zoom and Facetime front and center, which brought people closer together or tore them apart.
It gave a lot of people the time to think about what they really wanted. It forced us to slow down and realize how important our health and well-being truly is. I wouldn’t wish us back to that period of time but that was the silver lining of it if you ask me.
But as the world starts returning to what life was like before 2020, it’s important to keep this concept in mind.
That it is important to take the time to ask yourself what you really want. What or who do you need? How do you want to live your life?
And to slow down and breathe every once in a while. That you deserve to put yourself first and be taken care of.
The Benefits of Slower Living
There are so many benefits to slowing down. Life in the fast lane can be overwhelming and stressful.
And I know when I’m in overdrive, I tend to throw a lot of things to the backburner doing everything I can to just stay afloat.
If you take the time to take care of yourself, here are a few of the many benefits:
- Less Stress
- Less Overwhelm
- Better Health (mental and physical!)
- Deeper connections
- Happier and more fulfilled
- Less burnout and more productivity
Because when you’re in overdrive, it is hard to perform at your best. Trust me, taking the time to take a breather is going to make a huge difference.
Just like it is essential to rest in between workout sets, it’s important to give your brain a break too.
How to embrace rest and accomplish your goals
It is truly an art to find your balance between how much rest you need and how much work you need to put in to reach those big dreams of yours.
Because nothing is going to be handed to you. You can’t loaf around all day and expect to be able to do a chin-up or get that dream job. You need to put in the work so I’m not saying to just sit around and wait for good things to happen to you.
You’re always in charge of your own destiny.
Instead, you have to figure out what you need to recharge those batteries of yours. To be able to perform your best when it is time to put in the work. There are so many factors at play here so it definitely takes some trial and error. So try to give yourself grace while you figure it out.
But if you embrace rest and self-care, you’re going to see how big of an impact it has on your energy, productivity, and striving for your goals.
Here are a few things to keep in mind…
Redefine Your Relationship with Time
This all starts with a shift in mindset. Instead of constantly feeling rushed and that you have to have a full schedule, learn to appreciate the present moment.
Allow yourself to fully engage in each task rather than rushing through it so you can get to the next thing.
So sit back and watch Scandavol play out in peace but then when it’s time to sit down and work, put that phone away. Work on accepting that both watching some reality TV and working towards your dreams are necessary.
Shift from the mindset that there aren’t enough hours in the day to how lucky you are that you can control your days. Be thankful for the busy days but also the slower days when you can work on yourself and your goals.
Be present in everything that you do and time will feel more abundant. This is because you aren’t distracted by everything else on your plate.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, it’s how we spend them that matters.
Prioritize Rest and Self-Care
You don’t get to choose rest if you want to be your best and the most productive.
It’s not a luxury that we can put off until we retire or a year from now when life is less crazy.
The best way to prioritize rest is to spend a little time each day practicing self-care. Make it a non-negotiable part of your routine.
Creating a morning and evening routine can be really helpful in accomplishing this.
Moving your body or even having a slower start to your morning can have a huge impact on your energy levels. It’s proof to yourself that you matter and you are your #1 priority.
Remember, you can’t fill from an empty cup.
So create space for relaxation, whether it’s through meditation, taking a soothing bath, reading a book, or simply doing nothing.
If you’re well-rested, it is going to be much easier when it is time to work on your goals. Otherwise, you’ll feel sluggish and distracted and you aren’t going to be able to do your best work.
Set Realistic Goals and Focus on Priorities
Slow living encourages you to take a step back and evaluate what truly matters to you. It’s important to set realistic goals that align with your values and priorities. That’s why SMART goals can be really helpful so you know what you’re aiming for.
Sure, set goals that currently seem out of reach but set smaller, more manageable goals so it’s more digestible. If your goals seem unattainable, it’s going to be hard to stay motivated when times get tough… (and they will, it’s just part of life).
Make sure you aren’t setting goals that you think you should be setting but what you really want. Ask yourself why. It is going to help you feel more energized, fulfilled, and ready to tackle it.
Take a look at your priorities.
Do you feel like your days are jammed packed but at the end of your day you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing? That you aren’t actually moving the needle forward toward those big dreams of yours?
This may mean that you’re focusing on the wrong things. The good old busy work so we feel productive but we aren’t actually putting ourselves out there. I’m definitely guilty of this.
I’ve spent way too much time throughout my life preparing for things instead of just taking action. Then I realized I was wasting my precious energy on silly things when I just needed to do the thing I was scared of.
If you feel like you struggle with this too, a good way to check in with yourself is to track your days.
I know this is a huge pain in the butt but awareness is key. If you know that you’re spending half your day answering emails or watching Tik Tok then you know where there’s room for improvement.
Rather than just saying that you have no time.
Because if you’re really honest with yourself, you’re probably wasting your time on something. And no, I’m not saying resting is wasting your time.
Bbut do you really need to watch Tik Tok for three hours or binge that new Netflix show? Probably not.
You make time for the things that matter. You probably do have the time (even if that means waking up earlier or cutting back on your screen time).
So rather than cramming your schedule with endless tasks, focus on a few key tasks that will have the most significant impact on your life. By doing so, you can channel your energy into meaningful pursuits and avoid burnout.
I also created a mindful daily planner where you can track your week and days so that you can build awareness to see what is working, what isn’t, and ways you think you can improve your day. It’s a completely fillable pdf so no printer is required 🙂
Schedule time to relax, spend time with loved ones, and work on your goals
A theme throughout this post is how easily the day can slip away from us. I’m guilty of having the best intentions of getting a lot done and before I know it, it’s 4 PM and I’ve done one thing off my to-do list and I’m ready for a nap.
That’s why it’s important to be intentional with your time.
And I am absolutely not saying that you should be scheduled to the brim with activities from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep.
No, thank you.
Instead, make sure to schedule some time to work towards your goals AND some time to relax. If you schedule some time to relax you can actually relax… instead of sitting there worrying about what you should be doing or worse trying to watch reality TV and focus on another task like cleaning or even blog posts (#guiltynotguilty)
You shouldn’t feel bad for taking some time for yourself. Relaxing is part of being human so you might as well embrace it otherwise you’ll be forced to relax from burnout or getting sick.
Trust me, your body is going to make sure you slow down one way or another.
I really really encourage you to take the time to track your days.
I know, it’s a chore but it is the best way to know where your time is going and how long everything is taking.
Before I took the time to do this exercise, I thought it would only take me an hour to research, write, find links, and edit a blog post… and boy, was I crazy. It takes so much more time than that to give you a quality post to read.
You’ll be able to schedule your day and incorporate some well-deserved rest time if you know how long things typically take.
It also brings you so much self-awareness. For example, I realized how many times I picked up my cell phone when I was trying to focus or how easily my brain would try to get me to jump to the next thing.
But once I designated a specific amount of time to a specific task, I forced myself to work on that task for the whole time. It’s unbelievable how much of a difference it made when it came to my productivity and getting closer to my goals.
When it’s time to work on your goals, embrace a more mindful approach to productivity. There are so many productivity hacks that you just have to find one that works best for you. Pssst here are a few time management techniques if you aren’t sure where to start.
I suggest breaking tasks into smaller, manageable chunks and giving each one your full attention.
Don’t multitask. This one is huge because as humans we actually can’t multitask as well as we think we can.
Minimize distractions, create a peaceful work environment, and establish healthy boundaries to maintain focus while you work. By working intentionally and mindfully, you can accomplish tasks efficiently while preserving your energy.
Embrace Minimalism and Declutter
Slow living often goes hand in hand with minimalism. Decluttering is something that I struggle with because I always seem to have a never-ending pile of stuff. But studies show that having a cluttered physical space leads us to feel like our mind is cluttered too.
So try to declutter your physical space, removing unnecessary distractions and creating a calming environment that supports your well-being. Simplify your possessions, your schedule, and your commitments.
I suggest starting with the rooms where you spend the most time. Remember, break it down into manageable pieces, and let go of things you haven’t touched in over a year (assuming it has no sentimental value).
This doesn’t just apply to your physical space. Take a look at that never-ending to-do list and take some things off of it.
I personally try to complete just three things off my to-do list each day. The tasks will depend on what I have going on that day so I try to be intentional on what I am working towards.
This makes it seem way more manageable and I actually tackle the bigger things on my to-do list. (I was the queen at tackling the easy things so it felt like I was getting more done but in reality, I wasn’t getting anywhere closer to my goals).
Remember, the more you let go of, the more space you create for what truly matters.
Sometimes, a lack of energy could be related to a lack of fulfillment and purpose. If you have feelings of depression, I strongly encourage you to ask for help and talk to a professional.
Otherwise, it may be time to find happiness in the little things in life and focus on being present throughout your day. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we want for our lives that we forget about all the amazing things happening right now.
Practice gratitude daily, and take the time to appreciate the beauty around you, whether it’s a sunset, a cup of tea, or a heartfelt conversation.
By taking the time to be grateful, you’ll find greater contentment and a deeper sense of fulfillment.
There is only so much you can do in a given day, week, or month. In order to reach your goals and not go insane, you’re going to have to say no from time to time.
The first thing you should start politely declining is simply activities that don’t bring you joy or you don’t have to be there for. Put the FOMO aside and sit this one out. Trust me, you aren’t going to miss anything thaaaat important.
It is so important to take the time to recharge your batteries, especially as an introvert. We introverts gain our energy from spending time with ourselves while extroverts gain energy by being around others.
This is a very important distinction especially if you struggle with energy. If you know you need time to yourself to feel your best, you’re going to have to say no to some social plans if your schedule always seems full.
I’m not saying it has to be an all-day thing. Even a 30-minute self-care routine can do wonders for your energy. That’s why I highly encourage you to incorporate a self-care routine into your mornings so you take care of yourself first.
I also love a quick 20-minute power nap if I have a lot of socializing to do.
I’m way more productive or present if I actually take the break versus if I try to power through.
Get off social media (and Netflix)
While social media can be a great tool to keep in touch with loved ones, it can also drain our energy. It is so easy to lose track of time watching Tik Toks or Reels and before you know it, it’s 10 PM and it’s time for bed.
Instead of spending hours on social media, take a walk outside by yourself or with your loved one. Try to move your body in some way every day. The mental break is going to really help you stay focused when it is time to work on your to-do list.
Honestly, we all should try to limit screen time as much as possible. I know how easy it is to go from working all day on your computer to taking breaks looking at your phone, to feeling absolutely exhausted and lying on the couch watching Netflix until it’s time to go to bed.
I’ve spent many days doing that routine but it doesn’t serve me.
You will feel so much better if you take a break from the screens. So take that walk and actually look at the nature around you or sit and talk to your significant other. Even pursuing a hobby like coloring or reading a book is going to help you feel more energized than looking at a screen some more.
You can have the best of both worlds
Embracing slow living doesn’t mean sacrificing your goals or ambitions; it’s about finding harmony between rest and productivity.
By making some minor tweaks to your day, you can see an improvement in your energy which is going to help support your goals.
It is possible to get out of this constantly tired state but you have to take a hard look at your habits. What can you incorporate to make yourself feel more alive?
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and changing your habits isn’t going to happen in a day either. Give yourself some grace, track your days, accept that it is going to take a little trial and error, and remind yourself that you got this.
So, take a deep breath, slow down, and discover the transformative power of embracing slow living on your journey to achieving your goals.
Until next time,
More on Goals and Productivity
- 10 Benefits of Goal Setting (Your Dream Life Awaits)
- How to Achieve your most Ambitious Goals to Live Your Dream Life
- 8 Simple Ways to Stop Procrastinating