For better or worse, I (kelly) live for seizing the moment. Because I’m a firm believer that every day has the potential to be the best one yet, I often have a hard time turning down any opportunity to spend time with family, friends or travel. I have an even harder time if it’s a health-centered or fitness activity (and bonus points if it involves brunch after!)
As a result, summer was jam-packed. I rarely had a chance to unpack my suitcase in between trips and felt like I was running — literally — through the days with few breaks in between. I joined a run group, committed to more cycling, signed up for unlimited pilates and raced my first triathalon. Throw in a few weddings, work travel and weekend visitors — and I was maxed out. I was having so much fun, but as a mostly Type A person, doing all the things…left me feeling overwhelmed and unorganized. I never lost focus, but knew I reached a point where I needed to take a break, re-evaluate my schedule and hit reset. Enter: a four-day solo staycation at the Lake Austin Spa Resort, where I went offline and fully succumbed to quiet time. I read a book while laying in a hammock, watched the sunrise and sunset on the dock, picked fresh figs in the garden and dined in a spa robe. I even hydro-biked and tried stand up paddle boarding — all simple pleasures. The most important thing I learned? The importance of thinking time. Here’s how to hit the proverbial reset button!
Image by Mackenzie Rouse
Set Weekly Intentions.
I have a special notebook dedicated to my weekly goals and intentions. Every Sunday I spend a little time reflecting on what I’d like to reasonably accomplish for the week, which keeps me on track and focused. My Type A side loves a to-do list.
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Take Time to Meditate.
The most surprising takeaway from my retreat was understanding the importance of dedicating a few minutes each day to thinking time. This stemmed from a 15-minute musical meditation class led by the resort’s Fitness and Wellness Director, Sharon Rekeita. In a dimly-lit room, Sharon began the class with one rule: get comfortable. Snuggled on my yoga mat with a few blankets, she encouraged us to close our eyes and just enjoy the melody and lyrics to three songs (“Let it Be” by The Beatles, “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas and “Peace” by Norah Jones).
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Eliminate What Doesn’t Make You Happy.
There’s no point wasting time on things that don’t bring you joy. While I loved racing my first triathalon, I didn’t love the swim portion. Once this became a point of stress, I quickly moved on to activities I enjoyed. I even went so far as to not purchase a triathalon-specific Garmin so I wouldn’t be reminded to swim. That doesn’t mean I’ll never race another triathalon — but for now, it’s not important to me.
Image by Mackenzie Rouse
Adjust Your Goals As-Needed.
My work schedule and personal schedule is ever-changing and so is my athletic ability. I’m a lot busier and physically stronger than I was a year ago. Instead of doing it all and doing it all right now, I decided to focus on one thing: training for the Austin Half Marathon. I worked with my running coach who devised a plan that allows me to enjoy my favorite activities but within moderation. From there, everything else can fall into place.
Image by Mackenzie Rouse
Embrace Saying No.
I learned that saying no doesn’t mean you come across as rude or boring. It’s important to understand your limitations. You won’t offend anyone if you’re stretched too thin and can’t make an event or race. I was on a flight to London the day after my first triathalon, and when I landed, I went straight to a spin class with a friend. I was sore and exhausted. In hindsight, a day of recovery and meeting for lunch was a better idea. I now have an acute awareness of what I physically (and mentally) can and can’t do.
Just don’t forget to leave room for that serendipitous moment or invite — seize as many moments as you can, within reason.
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Make Time for Uninterrupted Quiet Time.
Thanks to the musical meditation class, I now dedicate time each day to just think. If I’m listening to music, it’s typically Ray LaMontagne’s Mission Bell record. Otherwise, it’s first-thing in the morning with a cup of coffee in my cozy pj’s before the day starts. Here are a few of Sharon Rekeita, the resort’s Fitness and Wellness Director, favorite songs to meditate to.
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It was the first time in months that I felt a sense of calm. I was able to truly clear my mind and left the class inpsired and refocused. All from 15 minutes of listening to music. That moment of serenity and clarity from a simple activity helped me realize that I could still enjoy everything I love to do, but I didn’t have to do it all right now. After all, that’s what living kindly is all about.
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