The one thing I hear from my clients the most is that they don’t have the time. It goes like this:
I want to…
- Become a great chef
- Run a marathon
- Have kids
- Open a business
- Change directions
- Get in better shape
- Be a better parent
- Be a better spouse
- Be a better friend
- Take better care of myself
- Take a workshop
- Write a book
- Take a nap
You get the idea.
Here is an interesting fact – The average American spends 34 hours a week watching TV. That is 4.8 hours a day.
We don’t have time, yet we spend almost 5 hours a day watching TV. We have time, but we don’t feel like we do.
What is the disconnect?
Most people’s lives look like one long laundry list of things to do. At one point I had several lists: my home list, my work list, my wish list (everything that will never happen) and the list in my head that never made it onto paper.
All my lists were overwhelming and URGENT!
What if you did something insane and started with you? What if you scheduled in yourself first? What would that look like?
I try so hard not to break a promise. If I am meeting someone, I try to honor it. If I take on a project, I try to deliver. What about with myself? Why aren’t I as committed to myself as to others?
I make so many commits to myself and what I want, and I don’t follow through. What if I took the same stance with others as I take for myself?
Schedule yourself first
I started to start with me. Every week I looked at my schedule and decided that I was not a victim to my life, but the owner of it. I schedule my writing time, yoga, and time with my family first.
The truth is that there are a few things I have to do, and the rest are choices. I have to take care of my child and make enough money to live on while planning for the future, but that is it. Everything else is a choice.
If I volunteer my time, it is a choice.
If I exercise 3 times a week, it is a choice.
If I cook dinner every night, it is a choice.
If I spend 4 hours a day watching TV, it is a choice.
If I socialize several hours a week, it is a choice.
If I work more hours, it is a choice.
Really, it is a choice to work more hours. The choice is to work more to achieve more and have more. Bigger houses, several houses, vacations, cars, clothes, jewelry, dinners out are all luxury items. We don’t need them, but we may want them.
When I stopped feeling like a victim of my own choices, I felt better about my life, even when I was feeling like I had no time.
I like to achieve, so I am busy. I like to feel healthy, so I workout. I love being a parent, so I spend time with my son. I love being in a relationship, so I spend time on it.
What are your choices? What are the priorities in your life?
Some days I am up early and really busy. However, at that moment when I want to feel sorry for myself, I remind myself that my busy day is my choice.If I want to have less, I can do less.
I could move to a cheaper area of the world and have an easier life. I could get rid of all the “nice to haves” and have just want I need. I like to work and I like to enjoy, but that is my choice.
A simple reminder that I am working more because it is what I choose reenergizes me to push forward. Notice the next time you are starting the victim cycle about your life choices and see if a quiet reminder helps.