I love running. There’s something so amazing about working with your body to see how far and fast it can go. I’m not fast by any means, but I can run for quite some time and I savor every second of it. The endurance that is required in running is not easy, but when you find that perfect combination of pace, form, distance, and some good weather – you feel invincible! This is the feeling that I want for each of you and the best news is, you don’t have to be a runner to find it!
To endure over long periods of time we need to create strategies that allow us to push hard for a very, very, VERY long time. To do so, we need to focus on both the long-term marathon and be prepared to take advantage of opportunities that come our way with a fast sprint. This requires finding our pace with family, work, health and service to others because when we hit these areas in stride, we can go forever!
But, here’s the deal. Most people have one or more of these areas out of balance so, rather than enjoy our long journey, we burnout. Or, we think and worry about when we are going to burnout until we actually burnout. When we try to sprint the marathon of life rather than find our perfect pace we run out of gas.
Today I offer you a way out of the burnout. I offer you a way to find your perfect pace using three tried and true strategies from the running world to maximize your life so that you can push forward no matter what.
- Take “Mini Breaks.” Inc.com recently reported that the most successful productivity breakdown is 52 minutes on and 17 minutes off. This means that if we follow these pacing increments, we can go harder, longer.
Here’s how to do this: After you’ve set your schedule for the day, dive in fully focused and then, after 52 minutes, get up and choose 1 of the following to focus on for the next 17 minutes:
- Take a quick walk outside (fresh air and exercise = double benefits)
- Do a brief yoga or stretch session
- Call or Facetime someone just to tell them that you were thinking of them
- Hydrate and/or fuel your body
- Bounce up and down a few times in place and roll your shoulders and neck out a bit to help increase blood flow and bring some mobility back to your body
- Play a 2-3 songs and have a dance party
- Meditate or take 20 deep belly breaths
Once you are done with your mini break, state your intention out loud for the next 52 minutes to redirect your mind back into work. Then, I personally like to clap my hands a few times (it sounds silly I know, but it works) and then get back after it!
- Expect your pace to ebb and flow – adjust accordingly. In life, we have busier periods and (supposedly) less busy periods. There are times of excruciating pain and others with incredible joy. Life is never just a straight line and because of that, it’s hard to find our pace. However, there is a way. In running, it’s called a fartlek run. Essentially you sprint as fast as you can to a certain object and then, once you arrive at the object, go easy for a bit and then repeat.
That’s how I want y’all to do life. Go all in 100% and, ALSO have a plan of where and when you are going to back off. Where is the rest, the vacation, the time with your family? Literally write it in your schedule because the rest times are essential if you want to go all out and endure for the long haul. If you attack your rest like you attack your work you’ll find that you can keep going and going and going and….. (key the energizer bunny here!)
- Fall Asleep with Gratitude, Rise with Intention: I love running because I get to spend time outside in nature, listen to a good podcast or music, and feel that release of endorphins to start my day. I get excited to go for a run because I’ve already pre-planned the experience in my mind and the feeling that I will get afterward.
You can do this same thing for each day of your life. Take a moment tonight before bed and rather than go through your ‘to-do’ list, review all the things that you were grateful for. Then, note the things that you are most looking forward to the next day. When you wake up in the morning, your mind will be primed with excitement and anticipation rather than dread. Plus, you’ll sleep better too! This small shift of your mind will take you from worry to appreciation and that my friends, makes for an undefeated heart life!
So there you have it – even if you aren’t a runner (yet) I promise that these strategies will benefit you for a lifetime to come!
Cheers to you finding your pace, breathing in that fresh air, and attacking the marathon of life with some sprints and a cool glass of lemonade. It really is the journey that matters and it’s a beautiful world out there.
Enjoy the ride!
Love & Lemonade,