the 5-day slow down challenge

 

As a kid I always chose “truth” in the game of “Truth or Dare” because I was too chicken to take most dares and too square to have any juicy “truth” to share anyway.

But today I am making an exception.  I am accepting a “dare.” I am taking Jeff Goins’ challenge to s.l..o…w…….d..o….w…..n.

It’ a 5-Day “dare” he calls the Slow Down Challenge.

This seems to be a recurring theme in my life lately.  Just this week I published a post about my epic failure when I conducted my own little 31-day experiment of Being Still.  (Classic overachiever.  Maybe I should have started with 5 days?!?!)  Last month I guest posted a piece on slowing my life down and learning to Simplify.  I am expecting another guest post to publish next month in the UK about resting and reflecting.  If you are by nature a Type A personality like me, it is particularly difficult to slow down.

But, it’s not just me…

Repeatedly, I hear the same frustrations from friends and peers who are worn out from the pace of life.  I am reading numerous blogs and books about this unrelenting desire to slow life down because our lives have become…well, so unrelenting.  Here are the links to a few of my faves:

Why It’s Time to Rest
Leave a Few Dishes In The Sink…
The Happiness Project

God Never Blinks

Wanna do it with me?  C’mon…I dare ya!
Click this link to take Jeff’s challenge to Slow Downunless of course you’re chicken!

For five days, I’ll take the challenge and share what I discover on this post.  I hope you’ll join me and share your own experiences in the comments below.  Let’s do this!

Slow Down Challenge Day 1:
The Benefit of Stopping to Smell the Roses

So the challenge for Day 1 is to “notice what you tend to miss.”

Only moments in—rocking gently on my backyard swing—I noticed it.  The gentle breeze on my face.  It feels like being touched.

You know the way it feels when your child’s little hands are on your cheeks to get your attention?
You focus.
Or the way your parent lifts your countenance toward theirs, and eye-to-eye speaks words of encouragement?
You hang on every word.
Or the way your lover takes your face in his hands and kisses you on the mouth?
You melt.

That’s what I noticed today…how something simple like being touched on the face by the wind can make me focus, relax, and melt.  It’s a good place to come back to when I need to slow down and shut out the noise.

(Click the link above for Day 1 and do it with me!  Let me know what you “notice” in the Comments below…)

Slow Down Challenge Day 2:
Why We Must Savor Every Moment

The challenge today is to truly savor a moment…in this case specifically related to food.

So today, I took a ‘coffee break.’  Funny how often I miss that second word—’break.’

But, not today.  I set my work aside for about 15 minutes, and read for pleasure and savored my hot Chai Latte.  I even closed my eyes a few times.

It was a very nice break right in the middle of the day…like a speed bump in the middle of the road.  It slowed me down.

(Click the link above for Day 2 and do it with me!  Let me know what you “savor” in the Comments below…)

Slow Down Challenge Day 3:
The Myth of Multitasking

So today is all about debunking the myth that multitasking increases productivity.

Amen to that!  Yet, I catch myself doing it all the time.  Today though, I followed Jeff’s instructions to focus on one thing I would like to get completed.  Reluctantly (as instructed), I identified a few typical distractions, many of which are related technology of course.  Plus, I added two must-have focusing techniques of my own:

The Pomodoro Technique
Focus At Will

As a result, I was a super-freak with the focus!  (I probably could have sliced furniture in half with my laser-beam focus…but, then there’s the mess to clean up, shopping for a new sofa…yada-yada-yada.  So, I stuck to writing.)

Not only did I accomplish my number one priority of the day, plus a few extra things…I was wildly creative!

I even went outside (Day 1) for a little sunshine and had a lovely coffee break (Day 2).  Productive, happy day!

(Click the link above for Day 3 and do it with me!  Share your super-human abilities in the Comments below…)

Slow Down Challenge Day 4:
Please, Interrupt Me

Okay, so I was having an amazing day…like from the moment my eyes opened.  And right in the middle, it happened.  I let a few comments from someone take my mood for a nose-dive.  And, I just couldn’t seem to shake it.  So two hours later, I just stopped everything, embraced it for what it was, and did things I enjoyed instead.  And I didn’t feel guilty for putting off a few hours of work til later.

I don’t know if this is what Jeff had in mind.  But, it worked for me.

(Click the link above for Day 4 and do it with me!  Share how you got “interrupted” in the Comments below…)

Slow Down Challenge Day 5:
The Discipline of Gratitude

Jeff could not be any more on point than he is with this particular challenge on gratitude.  Gratitude always puts things into perspective for me…every time.  Specifically though when I feel overwhelmed, moments of gratitude stop destructive thinking in its tracks.  Being grateful for healthy children, a dream job, the best friends I have ever had in my life, a family that loves me…chocolate. It’s like taking in a deep breath and letting it out.  It reminds me how blessed I truly am.  Practicing gratitude makes me grateful.

(Click the link above for Day 5 and do it with me!  Let me know how it goes in the Comments below…)

 

  4Comments

  1. Pamela Hodges   •  

    Ooh, I want to slow down. What a great idea.
    Is there something special I am suppose to do today?
    Smell 89 roses? Walk slowly for 20 miles? Wash all the floors in my kitchen slowly?
    What are you going to do today to slow down?
    xo
    Pamela

    • andriabicknell   •     Author

      Yes! Click the link to “Day 1” (great big coral font above) in the post for today’s challenge. I hope you’ll share with me how it goes. I LOVE your reflective, quirky little observations about life, Pamela! (…as evidenced by the link to your post about “dishes” – lol! Did you see it in this post?)

      I am headed some place quiet right now to begin the Day 1 Challenge! 😉

  2. Kurt   •  

    Once again, thank you.

    • andriabicknell   •     Author

      You’re so welcome, Kurt! Thanks for following along. Have you tried any of Jeff’s Challenges? It’s helping me grow. I hope the writing is going well for you, friend. Looking forward to reading something brilliant from you soon! 🙂

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