A healthy rhythm helps you to move in the direction of your dreams. This takes commitment, intention and a certain amount of effort. In the short-term this process may seem time-consuming and anxiety-provoking. But, what if you began living a life that supported your core values? What if it became easier to set and incorporate new goals? Here are some ideas for you to try out:
• Make use of natural rhythms and listen to your body. Get enough sleep. Rest when you feel tired. If you’re a morning person, start your day with the things that are most important to you. Alternatively, set aside time in the evening if that’s when you work best.
• Each week make a list of things that you want to accomplish. Review the list each morning and schedule in the most important items. This will help you stay focused and on track.
• Keep things that are important to you on your list, even if you have trouble getting them completed. It can take time to incorporate new activities. Keep reminding yourself of the things that you want to do.
• Fifteen minutes is better than none. My life revolves around this. I never have enough time to do everything – particularly exercise. Instead I fill in 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there. It adds up. Beginning is 90 percent of life.
• Learn to choose wisely. There is never enough time to do all the things you might want to. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to do everything. As you add things to your life that you truly love, let the less essential things fall by the wayside.
• Learn to say no. It’s important to honor commitments that you have made, but you needn’t feel obligated to do things simply because others would like you to. Unschedule the things on your calendar that are not so important to you.
• Create rituals that incorporate your favorite activities. Schedule them at regular times. This way you’ll know that every Monday at 7, for example, you’ll swim or listen to your favorite music.
As with growing a garden, cultivating a healthy rhythm takes place over time. We wouldn’t expect an apple tree to bear fruit right after we plant the seeds. Be patient with yourself. Remember that there are outside forces that affect our lives. Some seasons the weather cooperates and there is sufficient rain and sun. Other times we are less fortunate. Part of being a successful farmer, is the ability to survive the lean seasons. It’s important not to get discouraged if life events wreak havoc with the best laid plans.
Find joy in the planting and cultivating. Keep a certain healthy detachment from the results of your endeavors. Finding your rhythm gives you something even greater than accomplishing goals. It gives you the courage and strength to get through whatever life throws your way. It provides you with a safe harbor during unexpected storms. Most importantly it puts you in touch with your truest self. And so I encourage you to look for your rhythm, to practice living in connection with it and to be the person you were brought into this world to be.
Bonnie Diamond, Licensed Acupuncturist