Fahrenheit to Celsius, ounces to milliliters, but what about time? No conversion needed there. It’s a universal constant—every human on the planet has the same minutes in a day. So why do we so often say the following?
“I don’t have enough time.”
“It’s easy for her to accomplish so much, she doesn’t have kids.”
“Must be nice to be rich and hire a cleaner, chef, and personal assistant. If I had all those I’d have time to get going on my dreams too.”
So why do we find ourselves at this point? Because it’s easier to complain than to create.
As a recovering complainer, I speak from camaraderie not judgment. I know it feels better to push the blame of stalled goals onto a husband, child, finances, job. Otherwise, we’re facing a tough look at ourselves, our schedules, and our priorities.
Bad news: I don’t have all the logistical answers. Good news: I’ve started the process of building my priorities into my schedule and though I still face challenges, I’m getting there. So let’s look at some questions to ask yourself and examples from my own life that can help you assign time to your biggest goals.
- How do you view yourself within the family dynamic?
- How does your family view you?
- How do you want to be seen?
- What would it take to close the gap?
My Example: I view myself as “the constant” for my family—always there for everyone and everything that needs to get done. My kids view me as the one in charge of the house. My husband views me as the caretaker. I want to be seen as a leader for good both within my family and for the world. To get to this point, I have to set the example for my family by including my personal goals as a daily priority and by letting them know this is how it is, why it’s important, and what it means for them (dishes may have to sleep in the sink a night or two; you’re gonna have to work to find that matching sock in the basket of unfolded clothes).
- What’s the best word to describe your schedule?
- Which items would you love to remove and why?
- What’s stopping you from removing them?
- How could you edit your schedule to achieve your ideal?
My Example: I describe my schedule as inconsistent. I would love to remove duplicate trips to stores for all those items I overlooked the first time (the last ingredient for dinner, a card for tomorrow’s birthday, classroom snacks I knew about for two weeks) because they drain my free time and chop up my schedule. My lack of planning ahead and my refusal to delegate is stopping me from removing these. To achieve my ideal, I’ll review the weekly calendar on Sundays and create a master shopping list. Then I’ll assign at least one stop to my hubby.
- What are the things you want to accomplish in life?
- What kind of person do you want to be?
- How do you want people to feel around you?
- Now compare this list with your daily planner—do the check boxes support these higher level goals? If not, what changes in habit, attitude, or beliefs do you need to make?
My Example: I want to accomplish the purposes God sent me here for, which I believe are to be an awesome mommy and to spread goodness through We Bold Souls. I want to be a kind, generous, compassionate, authentic, present, grateful person. I want people to feel cared for, listened to, loved, and inspired when they’re around me. My daily planner is inconsistent in supporting my higher goals, so I want to make a change in all three areas. For habit, I want to add a daily check box in alignment with each purpose and make sure to complete these must-do’s before housework. For attitude, I want to view the other to-do’s as chances to nurture others and to build my character through presence and gratitude. And for beliefs, I want to let go of “as a stay-at-home mom I should be able to keep a tidy house,” replacing it with “I’m successful as a mom and a human based on how I make my kids feel, how I make others feel, and how well I live my purposes.”
These questions will get you started building your priorities into your schedule, shifting from complainer to creator…that is, if you have time to answer them.
Which of the three areas do you feel most needs your attention? What’s your plan for making your priorities a priority? Share your insights in the comments below!