So, you’ve been maintaining that turbo-charged intensity long enough to reach that next goal in front of you, and the time has finally come when you can cool your jets.
Be careful, though. Just as when you started your intensity push, ending it takes preparation. You’ve made some serious lifestyle changes now, and you probably don’t want to go back completely to how you were before. This is about achieving a new life balance, not collapsing on the floor.
Figure out the Extremes
If you’re doing this right, you’re ending the push at your own choice, which means you’re not exhausted. Don’t mistake still having energy at the end of your sprint for being invincible. You will burn out eventually if you don’t ease up. Bring back the things you enjoy, the things that refresh and reenergize you.
Keep up the Good Habits
While you’re letting go of your extreme measures, don’t toss out your helpful routines and practices. Cutting some of the fat from your diet and eating your veggies has made you feel better, so keep that up. You’ve been getting regular sleep, putting in a workout before going home for the day, or maybe going to work a little earlier to get a jump on the day’s load. These are good things.
Take time to identify all the improvements that you want to retain as life returns to a new normal.
Weed Your Garden
As I mentioned, you’re changing, and that means your relationships with others will change. People whose time in your life has expired reveal themselves as you realize they do not help you to move forward and may indeed be threatening to set you back. Decide which relationships in your life need renewed attention and which ones you should waste no more energy on.
In particular, look for any relationships that drain you. Can you just not stand Charlie’s passive-aggressive little comments anymore? Is Greta’s constant competitiveness getting on your last nerve? Is your diet buddy sabotaging you with little treats? Now that you’re getting what you want and becoming who you want to be, it’s time to shed yourself of friends who consistently take more than they give.
Take a long weekend and go someplace you know you’ll enjoy. Get pampered. Take long walks. Read some trashy books. Try out some new meditation practices while looking at the mountains or the ocean.
Reflect on your intensity push. What have you learned about yourself by really digging in like that? What should you toss, and what should you keep?
Think through issues you didn’t have time for during your intensity push, and think about how to renew and refresh relationships with the people you care about.
Set Your Cruising Speed
Make conscious, thoughtful decisions about just how much you can slow down and at what rate. Think about the distance left to your final goals and pace yourself without stomping on the brakes. Keep working the plan.