No matter what goal you are chasing, whether that be a professional goal, or a personal one - we all have dreams that we want to become reality. Most of us suffer from the "I WANT IT NOW!" syndrome. (I raise my hand on this one too..because.. who wants to wait when you know what you want??!)
Recently I was cleaning out our home office and found a bunch of old notebooks in a drawer. As I was flipping through one of them, I found a bunch of journals - some were notes from work, some were checklists and to-do lists. And one had a bunch of daily journals I had written in them. (side note, I NEED to start doing that again - I am out of the habit!) They were written in 2012 - we were living in Boston at the time.. dating, not yet engaged. I remember very clearly feeling impatient and frustrated that we weren't yet even really talking about marriage, yet I felt ready to start moving in that direction. I think I went on for pages and pages about it. I laugh thinking about that time in my life now. Fast forward 6 years and I think about all the live that has been lived and I now have everything and more that I always wanted way back then. A husband, house, a dog, and a baby.. not to mention 6 years of travels, new friendships, and experiences. I am always trying to remind myself to live in the now as hard as that is to do. I realize I will always have goals - and as soon as I reach one, there is another after that one I am reaching for. If you don't stop to enjoy the process, you might look back and be sad that you missed the life in the inbetween. If you are struggling to stay present as you hustle through your day-to-day here are 4 ways to slow down and enjoy the process in the meantime:
1. Take a Step Away
One of my biggest faults is analyzing everything to death. Overthinking, and looking into every single detail wayyy zoomed in. I feel like my brain is constantly in overdrive - how can I take every opportunity of my day to brainstorm, or be creative, or learn a new skill that will help me succeed? This is the recipe for burnout, folks! I have felt the heat of burnout several times over the last year or so and after one really bad episode - I ended up taking a week off of Instagram, blogging - and everything creative I was doing just to get some air. I was worried that I wouldn't want to ever come back.. but eventually I did, and I felt more inspired than ever! Now I really try to take at least one day a week to completely turn off my brain from brain storming, planning, and creating - knowing that in the end I will be a lot better off. I will have more creative juices to work with after a little break.
2. Realize that you can't be everything to everyone, and thats ok.
One thing that always never fails to bog me down and distract me from enjoying life day to day is that awful comparison game. I can easily slip into the mindset that I need to please everyone - as a blogger I find myself looking to others for inspiration whether that be content, the way someones website is laid out or the biggest one for me: photography styles and edits. I compare what I am doing to what others are doing and I can testify to the saying "comparison is the thief of joy". A big realization I have had is just that I can't be everything to everyone.. I will connect with some, but not all. When I stop trying to be someone I am not, and start focusing on ME doing ME. The right community I need and want starts building itself.
3. Frequently stop and take notice of what you HAVE accomplished
I have been doing so much better at this... patting myself on the back more often. I'm a firm believer that this is critical to your future success! Stop, breathe, look back to how far you've come. Let yourself be PROUD of your accomplishments.
4. Take photos!!
I know, I know. How many times can I tell you guys how much I love photos. Photography has really helped me be more present. You think about life in the now and how to capture it. And now days its so easy to reflect daily on your day through photos on your smartphone. I always look at my photos and videos from the day before going to bed (especially now since we take so many of Jett!). I look forward to winding down and looking back on my day, appreciating all the memories we've made.
Do you find yourself shuffling through the day to day? What are some ways you slow down to enjoy the everyday moments?