“I don’t have time.” Have these words ever come out of your mouth? Sometimes as wishful thinking and sometimes to validate not signing up for the third bake sale this month. We all have the same amount of time each day, but some of us are better at filling it with enjoyable activities than others. Here’s how to make the most out of your time to do the things that matter most to you this year!
Step 1: Write down things that make you happy, such as spending time with God, your family, a group of friends, a favorite hobby, something to learn about, a dream to pursue, self-care such as exercise, massage, haircut, drinking green smoothies…
Step 2: Write down things you like to do that make others happy. How can you joyfully be of service?
Step 3: Write down the things you do that don’t make you happy or are very draining or stressful to be part of.
Step 4: Take action!
First, consider rearranging your schedule so you have an extra hour each week (to start with) to insert an item from Step 1 or 2 above. Next, consider removing something from your Step 3 list by stepping back from roles or friendships that are draining or activities that you were “guilted” into doing.
These action steps can be as simple as asking a friend to invite your child for a play date (and reciprocating to allow her some alone time as well), or as complex as changing your career. The key is to start with something small. Then, let the wonderful feelings of filling your happiness cup snowball into bigger and better life changes, one step at a time.
Be honest with yourself. Even if something logically makes sense, perhaps a high-paying promotion you’ve been working toward, but it leaves you feeling drained and grumpy and unfulfilled, then maybe it isn’t right for you. Think about this: if you take an opportunity that wasn’t meant for you – and you are miserable in doing it – you have blocked someone else from getting to have that opportunity that was perfect for them and their lives. Block out what the world tells you should make you happy and get in touch with your own intuition. The only person that knows what will make you truly happy is you.
Don’t get me wrong, you may still have to do some things that are less than pleasurable if no one else is stepping up or it’s for an important or time-sensitive cause. But, you shouldn’t be afraid to just say “no” if an opportunity doesn’t seem right for you and your gifts to shine. You shouldn’t have to defend your “no” or qualify it in any way.
Let’s recap. Think of something that makes you happy. Rearrange a small amount of your schedule to make time to allow that happiness into your life. Let the good vibes keep rolling!
I’m rooting for you. Share your success stories below!