What’s Your Speed Limit?

What is your pace of life? What pace of life stresses you out? What pace of life makes you feel great? I believe we all have a Personal Speed Limit and when we live our lives according to that speed limit we think clearer, are more productive, make fewer mistakes, feel more creative, and can live our best.

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Within the past year, I have been asking myself why I like to take things slow, steady, and methodical. Why is it that I don’t enjoy moving at a fast pace? A somewhat silly example of this is when I purchased my road bicycle this time last year. I was told that I would go so much faster on this bike and that I would love it. It’s true that I have the capability to go much faster, especially in comparison to my very heavy mountain bike, but I quickly realized I have no desire to go faster. I will never forget the first time I was able to get it out on a ride by myself. I thought to myself; I am going to go as fast and hard as I can to experience this new fast pace. What I found out was that even though I had the capability to go faster, I still did not have the desire to ride faster. I thought “this fast stuff is not what it is all cracked up to be.” I then slowed down, found a pace I enjoyed and I felt great. My speed on my bike and in my life is a slower steady speed, and since I have discovered this, my life has changed in some important ways.

  • My pace in life feels right. I have known for a while that I do not like to be rushed in the morning. When I am rushed, my stress rises, and I cannot think straight. I usually end up walking out the door without my coffee, lunch or cell phone. Ever been there? I have learned that if I get up a little earlier, give myself plenty of time for my morning routine, I start my day with much more peace and calm. Now, that is what works for me. The question is, what works for you? What makes you feel good? Do you love to hit the ground running? Do you feel energized by getting out the door quickly and on with your day? My husband gets up and is ready to go, and that’s how he loves it. When you discover your personal speed limit, it will feel right.
  • My pace in life gives me energy and does not drain me. I was just recently working in my yard and I had a good amount of work to do in a relatively short period of time. My tendency was to push myself to go faster, but the moment I did, I started to feel worn out. I decided I was going to work at my personal speed limit, which is slow and steady, and see if I could still get the task completed in the time allowed. What I found was; I got it done, felt great and had energy left over. As you try to discover your personal speed limit, try working both physically and mentally at different speeds and find what gives you energy, what feels great.
  • My pace in life allows my mind to be more creative and make fewer mistakes. I enjoy quilting. Well, certain aspects of quilting. As I was working on my most recent project, I again decided to be intentional about working at my perfect speed. I impressed myself! I felt more creative in how I was going to sew all of the pieces together and I finished it without having to use my seam ripper once. You have to realize that there have been some quilts that I have taken apart more because of my mistakes than I had sewn together. This time I worked at my perfect speed. When we work at our perfect pace, I believe our mind is working at the speed that comes natural. Therefore, we will come up with new creative ways of doing things and make fewer mistakes.
  • I have learned to love myself more, appreciate the fact that I have a Personal Speed Limit and that my pace of life is perfect for me. I used to think that I needed to be like everyone else. Certainly our culture tells us that we need to go faster and faster every day. Well, faster and faster does not work for me, in fact it just stresses me out. I have learned what pace is right for me and I have learned that my pace is what is best for my life. I have more peace, calm, creativity and energy and that is what I want for you as well.

I hope someday I can put together an assessment tool for you to be able to easily identify your Personal Speed Limit, but for now I encourage you to pay attention to the times you feel good and the times you feel stress. Ask yourself if you are moving at the Speed Limit that is best for you. Experiment, learn and start to live at the pace that is perfect for you. Here’s to living our best, going the Speed Limit!

You don’t have to Feel Selfish to Live on your Own Terms

Have you ever set a goal and tried to work on it with a friend or family member? Only to find yourself frustrated, unmotivated and ready to throw in the towel? The way they work towards accomplishing the same goal simply does not work for you. In fact, it feels like the other person’s way of moving forward is foreign and from another planet. This happens when individuals come together with very different personalities, priorities, and different mindsets. Whether we decide to continue to move forward on our goals together or go at it alone, we have to figure out what works best for us and be true to it. In order to find success we need to establish our own terms.

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My husband, John, and I have been working on eating better over the past few years. Through trial and error I have found what works best for me regarding what to eat and when to eat it. It works so great for me, that I thought it would obviously work great for John! As we moved forward, it was obvious that he thought I was the alien from another planet because what works for me DOES NOT WORK FOR HIM! Expecting one way to work for both of us brought stress and frustration. For us to succeed, we had to figure out what worked for each of us individually. Once we did, we each moved forward on our own terms.

Here are five steps that will help you accomplish goals on your own “terms.”

  1. Figure out what your “terms” are. This may take some time and effort, but everything worth doing, usually does. Pay attention to what works well for you, and ask yourself what it is that makes it so enjoyable? Pay attention to times of stress and discomfort, and ask yourself what it is about that situation that brings you stress? Your “terms” may be different depending on what you are working towards; however, you will find that many of your “terms” apply in a number of different situations.
  2. Communicate your “terms” with those closest to you. Once you start to get a grasp on what works best for you, share it with those close to you. It will help them understand you better and enable them to help you however they can.
  3. Apply your “terms” to every possible situation. When you move towards accomplishing something important to you, be sure to remember what you have already learned about yourself and how that will help you pursue your new goals. Do everything you can to be true to yourself.
  4. Serve other people on their “terms.” I love things to be organized. If I know I am working with someone or going into a situation that may lack organization, I acknowledge it and figure out how I can succeed while respecting and serving the other individual in the process. Serving others is a big part of living our best.
  5. Live with less stress. The more we can identify what works best for us, and live according to our “terms,” the greater potential we have to lower our stress level. Today, I know what makes me tick. I know what works best for me and I fill my life with those things. I want the same for you!

As you have moved forward in the areas you want to improve, have you found things that work and things that don’t? Focus on what you have learned and see how it applies as you move forward in all areas of your life.

Here’s to living true to who we are!