“There are two kinds of guilt; the kind that drowns you until you’re useless, and the kind that fires your soul to purpose.”

– Sabaa Tahir

Now that you are ready to embark on a ‘new you’ journey, you are ready to work on things that need to change.

Could be new behaviors.

Would be habits that have to change.

Should be easy. Right?

Running Around In Circles?

Personally, sometimes I feel like I’m running around in circles.  So many demands and it usually seems like not enough time to complete them all.

I waste a lot of time deciding what to do first. Even when I have #freetime there are so many options.  Free time meaning nobody is home.  When I’m alone the possibilities are endless.

But, what really happens is, that I feel like a puppy with no leash and going nowhere.

  • I could ramp up the music and clean the house.
  • I could go for a walk and get some exercise.
  • I could have a nap…I’m really tired. Or…
  • I just got that new book I can’t wait to read.

See what I mean, can anyone relate?

This is a serious problem if you want to accomplish anything. When adding new routines and behaviors to what seems like a full day, the old ‘have to’ duties get in the way.

Usually, your new intention is not giving up activities. It’s adding new ones.

“The key is to not prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

– Steven Covey

Thank you, Steven Covey that is exactly the direction I was looking for.

The #1 Item

You need to single out the #1 item on your ‘to do’ list that will make the biggest impact and possibly have a cascade effect on the rest of your responsibilities.

I know I can hear you say DUH!!

Let’s be real though. What’s important on one day might not be important on another day.

Case in point: If dirty windows are driving you to insanity on a sunny day and become your #1 priority, you go for it and clean them. You spend the time getting rid of every streak, speck of dirt and bird deposits. It’s pretty rewarding though when you stand back and bask in the sparkle. It’s like windows on HD as my son says.

What about the walk you were going to do to get your 10,000 steps for the day? Now you have no time.

Was cleaning windows more important than keeping a promise to yourself of walking every day? An activity moving you toward your best self?

Birds don’t think it was a good idea either. Now they are slamming into your clean windows. Dirt will wait but breaking the promise you made to yourself of doing walks daily is now broken. I know from experience once broken, next time it will be easier and easier and easier not to make it a priority.

Momentum gone!

“There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing.”

–  Brian Tracey

The Most Important Thing

With my own erratic schedule, I need to deliberate. What is the most important thing I can do that will impact my health and well-being for the better?

This could be a number of things for different people: diet, exercise, stress relieving activities like meditation. Let’s call it ‘Me Time’. ‘Me Time’ is very different from ‘Free Time’. Me Time is just for you.  If you don’t schedule me time it ‘ain’t gonna’ happen.’

Side Note: Why is it so much easier to help others than it is to help ourselves? Women especially have this problem. Just wondering.

‘Me Time’ is a chance for your mind and body to connect.  It can be as simple as early morning meditation, shutting down the world in your office or car for a few minutes. The body mind connection is an important part of your day to recognize any emotional and physical health needs. Take deep breaths in 1-2-3- Hold 1-2-3- exhale 1-2-3. Do this 10 times. It clears the cobwebs out of your brain. Don’t rush it!

Alone time is not selfish, you need it to decompress and sort out your feelings so as to not over react in an unexpected debacle. The optimum alone time could range from 5- 30 minutes. If you are an overachiever, it could be 24 hours. Can you imagine? As long as the you don’t let ‘puppy with no leash’ show up and waste that time. Been there, done that.

OK so this is the minimum, but me time can also be exercise, diet focus, whatever is going to make you the whole person you want to be. This doesn’t have to be alone but a priority activity that is front and center daily in your life. What you are doing is building healthy habits.

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” … “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”

– Lao Tzu

Prioritize

When you take the time to prioritize you get the right things done.

When I blocked my time, it helped me accomplish more in a day than ever before.

It was kind of embarrassing actually. Before I would complain how busy I was, poor me. Now I actually had time to spare. I didn’t end the day with my ‘Could Have, Would Have, Should Have’ lament.

I know blocking your time sounds like a bore. Structure with no opportunity to be spontaneous and free. As I have mentioned, ‘Freedom’ is my mantra to keep me on track. I read – “there is no freedom without discipline”. Interesting concept. If I want to be free of health issues, I need to use discipline with my eating/exercise habits. You could also say without disciplined structure in my day, I won’t accomplish what I want.

I love at the end of the day when I can sit back sipping my tea and reflect on a blank ‘to do’ list. Maybe that is just me.


“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.  The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”

– John C. Maxwell

 

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