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Running Without Direction

Have you ever found yourself running without direction?

It can happen at work and at home.

Calendars fill up with appointments.

Lists of tasks get longer and longer.

We start to feel buried.

Our calendars and to do lists get in front of us and we rush from one thing to another.

We start to feel tired and breathless.

It can feel like the schedule controls us vs. us controlling the schedule.

And sometimes we forget to check-in on the what we are doing and why.

We all run without direction now and again. It happens easily. And it is okay – there is actually purpose in the contrast between feeling in control and out of control.

In fact, the act of losing our breath gives us an opportunity to reset.

To make you feel better about the speed or aimlessness of any given run – watch 10 seconds or less of these outtakes from Cruft’s 2017 Rescue Dog Agility Competition. In it you will see dogs running fast, missed turns, dead ends, a few stumbles - and the unbridled joy of checking in, getting up again and running fast some more. If you’re like me, you will laugh out loud and completely relate to the dogs who are on the agility course. I promise it will lift your spirits.

Seeing these happy dogs running without direction is relatable at some level and, when I show it in my Overcoming Obstacles or Time Management courses, it seems to lighten the load of running without direction. It can happen to the best of us.

It’s also a reminder that we can reset at any moment. Awareness and/or discomfort fuels the reset opportunity.

For me, being out of control reminds me that I want to be more proactive about my schedule. It reminds me that it’s never too late to reset.

If you find yourself breathless and/or running behind your calendar, let these seven key questions inspire your thinking.

  1. What’s on your list? (Get it out of your head and on paper to lighten your load.)

  2. What are your top 2-3 priorities this week/weekend?

  3. What items represent things you feel you should do?

  4. What items represent things you actually must do (i.e., responsibilities and top priorities)?

  5. What can you remove from your list or let go of?

  6. What are the things you want to do?

  7. What rewards have you built in for steps taken?

The questions above empower the reset. I hope you will utilize them to organize today, this weekend and next week.

One more thought. You may have noticed that the dogs on the agility course checked in with their guide, trainer and coach. Treats were offered, the reset opportunity was established and the run resumed. Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. As my beagle once taught me, “It is not the size of the treat that matters but the act of being treated.”

There is nothing wrong with running. As the dog agility course illustrates, it can be so much fun. Just remember why you are running and where.

Wishing you great success….~Kathy~

© Kathy Sturgis, Ph.D. Kathy is founder of Refreshment Zone and is an organizational and personal development specialist with a doctorate in communication. Contact for more information on strategic planning, coaching and/or motivational programs.​

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