It’s the start of a brand new year, and it’s a time of year when people tend to add things to their lives. They make resolutions to go to the gym 5 times a week, volunteer with their church or a community organization, or read a book every month. Maybe they decide it’s finally time to take on a big project like writing a book or starting a business.
A lot of resolutions are about doing more.
And a lot of resolutions never happen.
Usually the reason we fail to keep promises to ourselves is because we failed to create space for them. All of those resolutions are good things, but we often fail to think about how they will affect the other good things in our lives.
If you’re going to start spending five hours of your week at the gym, where will they come from? What are you going to stop doing so that you can donate your time? How will you create space for the new things you’ve decided to do?
You can’t make time for things. You can only take time away from other things. It may be a new year, but there are still only 168 hours in each week. You have to decide what you’re going to do with each of them.
If you spend 4 hours a day watching TV, it’s not too hard to carve out time for a workout. But if your schedule is already full, you’re going to have to give something up. Even if it’s something good.
Many of our lives are so busy that we feel like we can’t take time away from anything. We feel like everything is important. We feel guilty for even thinking about giving something up. We don’t want to let anyone down. We feel responsible. We feel trapped.
But you can’t do it all. And that’s ok.
This year, resolve to do less. If there are good things you want to add to your life, that’s great. Add them. But before you add them, decide what you are going to subtract to create the space they need.
READ THIS BOOK: If you’re struggling to cram everything into your busy schedule, and feeling like you aren’t effective, you need to read Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism. It is, well…essential. (But before you buy it, decide when you’ll read it.)