Theresa Lear Levine picture

Finding Value and Improved Outcomes with a slower pace

If you’re bursting with ideas for the new year, whether ideas for an increased income this year, new products or services that you’re offering, or ways that you’re planning to show up and serve your community or be more involved with your family or your kids, or whatever it may be, I know that the goals are all just popping like popcorn in our heads right now and filling it up.

It’s exciting. But it’s also overwhelming, is it not?

There are all these things, and there are only so many hours in the day.

And we have these goals, perhaps to make them happen in weeks or months or the quarter, or six months or a year.

Any way you look at it, none of that is a ton of time depending on what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. So it really forces us to need to get efficient and focused.

That is not always the easiest thing if you’re an ADHD mom, like me, and I have actually made some decisions for this year to try to help myself with planning.

But today, I want to talk about the importance of slowing down in order to gain traction so that you can go full speed ahead.

Like many people over the holidays, pretty much the last 10 days of December, maybe the last seven days, if I’m being honest, wasn’t that long. I really kind of broke free from my regular routine and had a lot more focused time with family.

More mornings, I’ve just kind of sleeping in not being so regimented.

My daily to-do lists didn’t really get done.

I normally have planner pages for each day, one for the week, and one for the month.

I know that if I don’t have my daily plan set, who knows what’s going to happen that day? Sometimes great, miraculous, awesome, and interesting things happen without a plan. But when I need to get things done, I require a plan.

So over those last, last weeks of 2021, I let go and let whatever wanted to come to me… Whatever I missed, I missed.

It’s great because it does allow new ideas to flow and my creativity to really start doing things that sometimes it doesn’t have the boundlessness to do within a more regimented day or schedule.

But it also left me feeling like I spent an equal amount of time once January hit, trying to get my feet back under me.

There were days when I found myself starting to go towards that mental mood of “oh, if I hadn’t taken that time off, then I wouldn’t feel so behind right now”.

I really shouldn’t have done that. Don’t beat yourself up. But I know better also, and I was able to get out of it really quickly.

Whereas I would have kind of followed it down the path in the past.

I was pretty much able to be like “you know what, Theresa, you needed that time, it was good for you. It was good for your family. It was even good for your business. Even if you weren’t actively working with your clients or bringing in new clients or whatever, I knew that I was doing things that were beneficial for my business and my family because I was taking care of myself.”

Sometimes I can discount that because my business and my job really do take good care of me like what I do for a living being an EFT Master Practitioner.

Just doing my work is great for my mental health and my physical health and so many other parts of me.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t need time and energy to simply put towards whatever the heck I want to. So it was great.

But yesterday was Sunday, the ninth of the month. So recording this the morning of the 10th and it was the day that I found When we felt like I had organized all the stuff that had piled up not done, it just organized it like knowing like, this is really what I could use to get done this week, this is what I need to do each day, this is my goal for the month, just all of that stuff like it literally took me days to wrap my head around it.

But instead of beating myself up at the beginning of that process, I recognize something that has just become so valuable to me over the last decade. And that is the need to slow down in order to have the traction necessary to speed up in my 20s, which was so hard for me to do.

In my 30s, it was still really hard, it honestly hasn’t gotten easier.

Probably the last six or seven years, I’ve been able to see the value of it, and actually put it into practice. It’s not that I didn’t recognize how helpful it could be when I was younger, it was just that it’s so easy to get caught up in the thing that you’re doing, and not take the time down, to take the time to slow down to implement practices or new ways of doing things, or whatever that can actually allow you to be more efficient about it.

There’s an interesting exercise that I’ve seen. I know I’ve seen Tony Robbins do it, but I’ve seen it in other places as well.

And if you’ll do it with me, it will kind of demonstrate this to you too. So grab a piece of paper and a pen that doesn’t need to be big and want you to sign your name, as you would normally cursive, sign your name, the full name takes a couple of seconds, right?

And then on the same or a different piece of paper, whatever floats your boat, I want you to sign your name again in cursive, but I want you to skip every other letter. Go ahead and do that.

So you have one version where you signed your entire name, no letters skipped.

And you have another version, where you signed every other letter, which one took you longer to do.

I’m going to guess that for every single one of you… it was the one where you had to do every other letter. And even though you were doing less than half as many letters, it probably took you I know, whoever I heard doing it before said twice as long.

For me when I did it, it took me like four times as long it was hard to just like skip and also keep the flow of the cursive and try to connect things that I wasn’t used to connecting because it’s not the order of the letters that I’m used to signing when I write my name.

So it’s a simple example, that sometimes when we don’t have systems in place when we don’t take the time to figure out better ways to do things, or what’s really most important is that we do less, and we do it less effectively.

And it’s more stressful, and it’s not as much fun.

So one of the biggest examples of having to do this, in my business has been times when I have hired new help new assistants to work with me. And I have been really lucky that one of my assistants has been with me, we’re coming up like right now on our five-year anniversary.

And another one’s been with me, probably for the last three or four years. And then the one that actually works with me the most has been with me for about a year and three months. Now, onboarding, the most recent one was probably the most time-intensive for me, because I knew that she was going to be doing full-time work for me and that I was going to be delegating certain things to her exclusively.

And it takes time to delegate. So pretty much let’s say I hired her in October of 2020. And pretty much the entire month of October.

Most of the month of November was laid out systems and trying to help her get to know me and my business, how she could be helpful in trying to build rapport between the two of us, and of course doing it all virtually too. And feeling sometimes like oh man, like I should just do it myself. And got into the mindset of realizing that anytime there was something that I knew I would have to do again in my business I should be recording it.

I love the different video services like loom or Vimeo that allow you to screen record both either your screen and/or your video at the same time. So that you can share things really easily so that I can walk you through a process and be like, Hey, I’m doing this exercise, I’d like you to do it, this is how you do it. And that doesn’t really take any more time than doing it myself.

But it means the next time, I don’t have to do it, or I have helped to do it. And that was something that took a lot more and took a different thought process than I was used to. And it required me to also have more trust in the team that I was working with.

And mind you, I also had two other assistants to kind of collaborate and coordinate efforts with and kind of be like, Okay, so now you’re in charge of this, and you’re in charge of that. And, you know, you’ll need to talk.

I tell you the weirdest thing as your business grows, is when people start talking, and you’re not involved. And you almost feel this, like FOMO or this like, Well, Why didn’t you call me and they’re actually taking care of things, and they don’t need you.

It kind of hit me in the gut at first, the first time it happened. And then I was like, “This is amazing!”

This is what it’s all about this is growth, this is me being able to be in my genius zone, while other people take care of the things that they can do beautifully well, and without my help now because I’ve put that time into it.

So just realize that a lot of times slowing down when you do it in a way that’s intentional, and that is putting your thoughts and efforts towards your end goal.

And I just use business as an example.

Sometimes we need to slow down in order to gain traction with our family life, the way that we communicate with our kids, the mental health help that people need, or the space that other people need.

Any area of your life that you’re looking to improve sometimes requires you to just take a step back, which also can be known as slowing down so that you can get a better look at the bigger picture.

And then really dig into what needs to be done or what you want to do in order to just make it amazing. You know, sometimes it helps to understand that people’s successes don’t happen overnight.

Most good things do take time.

Our family has been obsessed with the Disney movie Encanto lately, and we were watching some different, like YouTube videos about the making of the movie and the art behind the movie, and everything else. And when you start looking at something like that, I mean, a movie only takes you one or two hours to watch, typically.

But you think about the hours, the years, the thought, the creativity, the delegation, the technology, the collaboration, and all of the things that go into creating a movie. And wow, like it, it really makes you appreciate what the end product is, and how it comes to be. And it gave me a much greater appreciation. I know we’re obsessed with the soundtrack.

And the thing about other parts of that too. I mean, the music is a whole other major production piece when it comes to movies, and all the things that have to get changed, no characters’ names have changed in order for things to rhyme. And then you think about the storyline itself, and how even in the story there, the family had to, to slow down in order to, you know, to save the miracle, and in order to have things rebuild, and really realize what was important to them, and have something beautiful and yet.

So just look for outside inspiration as you slow down because I know it can be really easy to beat yourself up and feel like oh, I should be ahead of where I am now. Or if I’d only kept plugging at full speed which nobody can do, he’ll burn out. Then things will be different or whatever.

Gratitude and just being gracious and in a really heart-centered place for yourself and your business and your family is the best way that you can approach success in the new year.

Take the time you need and do the things even if it’s just a few things each day, that move the ball forward for you and allow you to feel like you’re making progress, but not sacrificing your sanity or your own mental health as you get where you want to go.

Because if you have to go full speed ahead or burn out or never take time to reflect what’s it all worth anyway?