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Senior Executive and Professional Coach
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author, A Theory of Everything

A New Decade - Start Slow

By Joanne Hunt

Hold off until February for your new year’s resolutions! Okay? Just hold off. February will come fast enough – it is only four weeks away.

Let’s make January an exhale month. Let’s go for long walks, drink cups of hot tea, sit by a fireplace, play with your dog, take naps, dream about the next decade. Hell, the next decade is ten years long. There is plenty of time for new year’s resolutions. Let January chill out...

Can you feel yourself relaxing already? Can you feel a little thrill of putting off starting this year with such a bang? Okay, some of you are already off and running. Go for it with all your gusto, if that’s what is in your DNA.

But for this moment...
Right now.
Take a deep breath.
Hold it.
Let your breath out slowly.

Do it.
Just take one breath.

Look around the room that you are in. Notice a few details. Don’t skim the room with your eyes. Really let yourself sink in to where you are right now. Look around. See if you can pick out one item that you haven’t really noticed in a while. Just one thing. What is it? (Take a moment right now, before you move on to the next paragraph, to focus your gaze on one item briefly.)

Taking a moment to slow our gaze slows us down. We live in such busy, fast times. I am calling for a January Slow Month. What a way to start a decade. Walk slow. Eat slow. Talk slow. Type slow. Say less. Notice little things. The pace will pick up eventually.

I want to be clear: Can you already tell that I am not saying slow down just for the sake of slowing down? Although that is valuable all on its own. I am saying slow down because the act of slowing down is a powerful way to be here right now and to hear the quieter voice of your soul (or self or whatever you call that deeper you). A voice that isn’t interested in fighting to be heard. It is a voice that can be heard when you make yourself available to listen. 

Would you rather have your new year’s resolutions come from a place of going, going, going as fast and as hard as you can? Or would you rather have your wishes, desires and goals for this next year, this next decade come from a deeper place within you?

I don’t know about you, but I have made my best decisions when I have had a little space, some room around the edges of my activities, when I have slowed down. I am more fully present to the little things when I am not hurrying or rushing through my “current things” to get to my “next things.” Checking items off my list as marks of a productive day.

When I slow down, different thoughts come to me. They just approach, all on their own. Quietly. And when I hear that quiet, yet clear voice, I know those words are worthy of my time. Worthy of my listening. Even if I am surprised. Even if at first I don’t completely understand what is being whispered to me.  

What I do know for sure is that when I slow down, my deeper voice enters with great wisdom; it is wisdom that has looked out beyond just this day, this month, this year. You know what I mean…I know you do.

May you have a lovely month. No new year’s resolutions until February. Okay? Once you have listened to the quiet voice of January, any new goals worth having will become very clear.

Enough words for now.
Take another breath.

And welcome in the new decade.


© 2020 Joanne Hunt


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