How often to do we put off until the next cycle, next year, next week, next month… the efforts we need to take right now? I know, personally, I can be so guilty of this. “I’ll start eating healthy January 1st. Let’s get all this holiday feasting out of the way, THEN I’ll make a New Years Resolution and create a NEW ME!” What a crock! Since when has THAT worked? (For me, never)
I know a great many MK sisters that will be crushing goals right up to the last minute on June 30th (if that’s you, BRAVO!), but there are also many that have already decided that they can’t reach the goal they had hoped for, and so they’ll try again in the new seminar year. And while they wait for that calendar page to turn over, they rest. And a few of them, sadly, may never get back up from that rest. So how do we avoid this sticky trap?
“Nothing wilts faster than a laurel rested upon.” –Mary Kay Ash
I’m a person who loves to take breaks. I usually take a nap each day. Growing up with ADD I learned that sustained attention was incredibly hard, and that taking breaks was often needed. But, I also learned that taking breaks when they weren’t needed was awfully nice, too! But while I haven’t fully overcome my love of rest, I have come to fully realize what “taking a break” has the potential to turn into. I have learned that once I stop, it is SO. MUCH. HARDER. to get back to work. I have learned that pushing to finish is easier than stopping and then resuming. My husband has had to make me stop weeding the garden because “it’s storming”, and “it’s time for lunch”, but I know that I won’t come back and finish the job if I stop now. The effort needed to weed in the rain on an empty stomach is nothing compared to the effort it will take tomorrow to get into my garden clothes, put on the sunscreen and bug spray, get out there on my hands and knees, and get started again. It happens in my work life, too. Being self-employed, it can be so easy to rest on your laurels for just a minute… or just a week… or maybe just a season. The very freedom we love can become our downfall. I CAN cram all the month’s work into the last 2 weeks of the month, but at the expense of my kids, my husband, my sleep and my health. Everyone, including me, is happier when I keep the engine running at least a little each week. I’m not perfect, by any means, but I’ve gotten much better at pacing myself and recognizing what a proper “break” ought to be, and when it ought to end.
In the Mary Kay world, there are definitely incentives to piling on a lot of effort into a certain time slot. There are promotions, titles, and prizes galore to be earned by accomplishing certain criteria before the deadline, and there’s not a thing wrong with that. Except when it paralyzes you from getting started. If you’re killing it and you’re about to finish strong, ignore this whole post. But if you’re not taking action now because it’s not July yet, take an honest look at that and tell me why. Which do you think is sustainable, a marathon or a sprint? Does it make sense to put all your effort into the first quarter and burn out by Thanksgiving? A pace that is sustainable and consistent is a pace that can last. And it’s a pace like that can start ANY time, including right now.
“You can start a diet in the middle of a bag of chips.” –Pamela Waldrop Shaw, ENSD
There is no magic calendar that says you can’t start next year’s goals right now. There’s no one you have to wait for to begin the work of next year, right now. Don’t let the looming end of the year stop you from reaching ahead to the next seminar year and the next goal and taking action right now that will bear fruit in the next month. If you stop to rest now, you hinder your own success when you get back into it again.
Come July 1st, you’ll need leads. You’ll need bookings. You’ll need appointments. Don’t rest too long on that laurel. You don’t have to be the hare. You can be the tortoise. Pick up that shell, drag it one step, and repeat. As always, I’m cheering for you. There’s a time for every season under heaven, including a time for rest. Rest is necessary. Rest is healthy. Just don’t stop.
“It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” —Confucius