The challenge this week is to do something new - and do it with intention!
Have you noticed that time seems to speed up as you get older? Remembering back to vacations as a kid, they seemed to last forever. Now when I go on vacation they seem to end just as they start. Many studies have been done on this time speed phenomenon and one recurring finding centers on routine. In our youth, we are constantly experiencing first experiences - many we look ahead to and count down the days or even years to get them. When those first experiences happen we tend to savor the moment and take in everything about the event. As we get older, our lives start falling into a routine. We get settled into relationships, jobs, hobbies and habits. We’ve tried many things along the way and we’ve made up our minds about what we like and don’t like and stick with the likes. We settle into a comfort zone. As a result, the brain doesn’t have to work to process any new information or remember the specifics. It’s the same thing day in and day out. The brain literally doesn’t see the need to retain the memory of each thing resulting in gaps that makes it seem like time is speeding up.
So let’s slow it down. Studies have found that the more engaged we are with an experience, the longer it lasts. In other words, time slows down if we pay attention. Be mindful. Being mindful means incorporating all our senses into the remembering process.
There are some specific things you can do to slow it down. One way is to stop multitasking. Through your day think about each task you need to get done and think about the process of the task before and while you do it. More importantly, STEP AWAY FROM YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Be spontaneous and unpredictable from time to time. If you really cannot do that then plan a first. None of us are too old to learn or experience something new. If you can’t think of anything (yawn) talk to CrossFitWV member Bill Lynch. He tries something new every month! Consider buddying up with a friend or group of friends and take turns picking the new experience.
Once you’ve chosen your new first, tackle it with intention. Be completely focused on what you are doing without any distractions. Consider journaling your experience afterwards.
Try planning some firsts with yearly milestones, like some do with New Year’s resolutions. Maybe try something new every change of season, or on your birthday - some of the best gifts are experiences!
So slow down, savor the moment, be present, breathe. Challenge yourself and enjoy the ride!