It’s that time again, the start of a new year and the beginning of another decade! Most of us have thought about things we want to change to make our life better. Some have even created a to-do list: save a little more money … exercise to become healthier and fit, maybe even cut back hours at work to spend more time with family. All great ideas, right? But once we get back to work, feed the kids, study for class, check personal and work emails, return phone calls, catch up on the evening news, and pay bills, our good intentions seem to run right out the door along with our energy.
You must realize that time is limited and so are your choices if you’re going to change anything this year. Regardless of who you are, there’s only a certain amount of time and energy that you can devote in one day. Try as you may to stretch yourself by getting involved in many good or “busy” activities, spreading yourself too thin can actually distract you from your true purpose and your real priorities.
Accepting that you can only do so much is the first step in determining what’s really important as a priority. We can all create lists and add so many things to it until we run out of room on the page. The real breakthrough comes as we figure out what activities we need to let go of. In other words, ask yourself what little, perhaps good things should I give up so that I can focus more of my time and energy on creating what’s really best for me? Here’s a secret: good things are any positive activity that you are involved in that doesn’t move you any closer to meeting your goals.
Also, be honest with yourself and determine if what you say you want is what you’re actually doing. For example, if eating healthier is a goal but all the extra money you save goes to Krystal’s and Krispy Crème donuts, there’s a mismatch between your desired priorities and your actual behaviors. Most goals can fall under worship, relationship, and work. If your schedule is so full of good activities but none of them are helping you improve your relationships with your family or friends, you’ve got some adjusting to do. And as a side note, elimination of excess is never an easy task. But we are looking for what’s best for us, instead of just good enough to get by, right?
We only have a certain amount of minutes, hours, and days on this Earth that are guaranteed to us. Isn’t it worth it to put down the good things that keep us busy but distracted and start pursuing what’s best? Here’s the big picture: we cannot excel at anything when we try to do everything. Knowing that, the start of the New Year is THE perfect time to learn how to subtract in order to start adding and living the best days of our lives.