Not later, now
Not later, now
I’ll exercise when I have time
I’ll sleep more when work isn’t so crazy
I’ll meditate when I am feeling stressed and busy
I’ll eat better when I can properly plan meals for the week
How many of these statements do you tell yourself? It can be easy to convince yourself that you are too busy to do that one thing that you really need. Too often we live in a robotic way, assimilating to patterns that we create because we think we need to. If we just get on and do the work, then we will achieve. If we focus on work, and little else, maybe those things we are feeling that we need we may need less. Even machines need time to switch off. Computers need to be shut down so they can be updated. And we all know what happens when we avoid shutting them down for a while. They don’t update, they run slower and more inefficiently. They don’t perform as well. Interestingly we don’t always apply the same thinking to ourselves.
I love the expression “kick the can down the road”. Its origin comes from a game that children would play during the years of the great depression when they had little to entertain themselves with. Some decades later it was picked up in political vernacular and has been used widely ever since. To kick the can down the road for me is about avoiding the issue. You can kick that can, but as you make your way down the road, you will still find it there waiting for you.
The reality is that if we don’t attend to lifestyle matters now, whatever remedy we put in place later may not help as much. It’s a bit like insurance. You can’t take a car policy out after you have had the accident.
It can be challenging to disrupt our thinking when we are in a busy time. When are we not busy? It seems almost unnatural to stop when you feel you need to go. However, going may not be the most important thing to do, particularly if continuing to go is sending you off on lots of loops.
What we can do is pause. Not stop, just pause.
The pause creates the space. It creates a more expansive feeling of room to think, feel and breathe.
In Italian, the word aria literally means “air”.
How can we create “aria” or air for ourselves?
What practices am I currently engaging or not engaging in? What is working well and what isn’t?
What has worked well for me before? Do my current practices serve me well, or am I serving them?
What new ways of being could I learn that would help me to work well and live well?
What do I need to do to put these new practices in place?
Using this simple and effective model creates new thinking in the moment of pause. The new thinking allows us to take stock of our current approach, lifestyle choices and attitudes to work and other commitments.
I’ll exercise regularly to give me a sense of well-being.
I’ll sleep more now so I give my body the opportunity for quality rest.
I’ll meditate daily to help my focus and improve the quality of my thoughts.
I’ll eat better now to support my body adequately and ensure I am nourishing my body.
So not later, but now.
Rita Cincotta coaches, facilitates and speaks on individual and team performance, leadership development and ways of working. She works with organisations to develop human centred solutions that help people and businesses to thrive.