As we count down the final weeks of the year, many of us are planning what we want next year to look like. We’re setting goals, creating lists and getting excited to make next year the best year. But there’s one mistake that prevents us from achieving our goals.
That mistake is adding new and exciting goals on top of our already tight schedules. Trying to squeeze more in doesn’t make us better. Instead of saying Just Do It to every idea we have, we need to say Just Stop It first.Instead of saying Just Do It to every idea we have, we need to say Just Stop It first. Click To Tweet
Stopping is Hard
As I was thinking about this post, this video kept running through my mind. We know there are things we need to stop, but we find excuses to keep doing them. Like the patient in the video says, “I can’t, it’s been with me since childhood.”
As you plan for the New Year, think about how much time you want to dedicate to each of your goals. Then think about where you can find that time? What are you going to stop doing so that you have the energy to take on your big bold goals?
One thing I’m cutting is my Monday Motivation blog posts. I love creating, reflecting and writing about them. But the time could be used to create more value. Don’t worry, my newsletter won’t stop and I plan to make it better than ever.
Where to Begin
When I began setting goals it was easy to find things to cut. There were plenty of things I enjoyed doing that weren’t productive, like watching TV. Next came the countless hours I wasted on social media. The average American watches 5 hours of TV per day, that’s 35 hours per week, almost a full-time job. Add to that the 2 hours per day we spend on social media and you’re 49 hours richer.The average American spends 49 hours each week watching tv and browsing social media. Click To Tweet
As years roll by, it becomes more difficult to find things to cut. I got to a point a few years ago, where everything I was spending time on was important, fulfilling, and connected to my values. Gardening, for example, took up a good chunk of my week, but I loved it and felt strongly about getting the best quality organic food.
What do you cut when it seems like there’s nothing left? This is where our long-term vision becomes important. What are you doing today that isn’t helping you get to where you want to be 5 years from now? Are you volunteering with an organization that doesn’t align with your career plans? It might be time to cut that. Are you spending time with a group that doesn’t align with your values? Take action to remove it from your schedule.What are you doing today that isn’t helping you get to where you want to be 5 years from now? Click To Tweet
Continue to Prune
If you need additional time after you’ve cleared the clutter, do more pruning. Gardening has been therapeutic for me. It’s also part of our healthy lifestyle. Even though I would get back a lot of time by cutting it, I would sacrifice my health goals.
Instead of cutting it completely, I cut the amount of time I spend on the activity. I researched ways to make gardening more low maintenance and cut out time-consuming things like canning. I’ve pruned other areas of my life too, like fitness, cooking, and planning. You don’t need to cut every activity, just find creative ways to make them more sustainable.
As you work through your goal setting process, be mindful of the time commitment that comes with each goal. Be intentional about creating the time by cutting the activities that aren’t helping you. Next, trim the time spent on activities that are important to you. And remember that before you Just Do It, you will need to Just Stop It!
What was the most difficult thing you’ve had to stop doing to make time for something more important? Share in the comments below.