It’s so easy to get stuck in our patterns. The day to day becomes week to week and, alarmingly, month to month. Before you realize it your life is a hamster wheel: you wake up in the morning and suddenly it’s time to go to bed. You drive into work on Monday and the next minute you are driving home on Friday. Or worse, it’s Sunday night, you blinked and you missed the weekend!
We all know this feeling. The relentless pace of life, it's alarming. We find ourself asking anyone that will listen, but mostly ourselves, “where has the time gone”?
It's more efficient for our brain to function this way. So we are mostly unchanging: sure maybe you get a new job or move house or go somewhere new for your summer holiday. Maybe you change your wardrobe a little, or switch up your diet, or challenge yourself to learn a new sport.
Over time we become our patterns. Our preset decisions are comfortable and they are helpful. They make life easier. In the small moments of the day it almost feels necessary to operate in a state of auto-pilot. Who has the energy to think about dinner at the end of a long day? We only have so much decision making capacity. We have limited willpower - we need to reserve it for not yelling at our [insert as relevant: kids; husband; colleagues; boss; clients; all of the above.]
So we do the same things day in and day out. We establish our habits. We have the extra cup of coffee without thinking. We scroll mindlessly through instagram in a spare moment. We hit the snooze button in the morning. And another day goes by just like the last one.
Should I go to yoga or go home and have a glass of wine and watch Schitt’s Creek on Netflix. Well duh!
Every now and then it's good for the soul to indulge but do this repeatedly and it’s a recipe for a life that’s gone in 60 seconds.
To slow time down we need to start noticing our patterns, noticing the places where we are in auto-pilot and start to make changes in that space. Any change is good change. It’s the act of changing that is important - keeping the brain engaged is the goal, the outcome is less important. So maybe you head out to a movie instead of watching TV or try a new recipe rather than making the same dinner you make every week. It could be as simple as working in a different space: head to a coffee shop to work for the afternoon or even just switch rooms or desks?
Adding intentionality to the small decisions in life will make you not only conscious of how you spend the hours in your day, it will make you conscious fullstop. It adds an intentionality to your life that will flow into more than just the space you are focussing on.
Animate yourself. Actively make the decisions in your life - don’t let your life make the decisions for you.