Anyone else out there overwhelmed? Or exhausted? How are those New Year’s resolutions going? Oh, you’re not 20 pounds lighter or speaking Mandarin fluently? Yeah, me neither.
Most days I wake up and my to-do list comes at me like a tidal wave. Pray more, exercise more, drink more water, eat more vegetables, and stop eating anything fun. Serve more. Make more. Save more. Be Superwife. Be Supermom. Be Super Business Woman. Be superhuman.
The only problem with all of this is that we are human. We have limits. Most days my limitations frustrate me to no end. There just aren’t enough hours in the day (or coffee in the pot) to achieve everything. To make matters worse, we get a panoramic view of all of our friends and colleagues via social media which only encourages us to borrow from their to-do lists and add to ours. The truth is, no one can do all the things our culture is telling us to do.
What has helped me as of late, however, is to work with my human frailties instead of against them. Fighting the uphill battle of trying to be everything to everyone is exhausting, and to be honest, a little prideful. There is humility in acknowledging our humanity, and better yet, there is freedom in that acknowledgment.
Now onto the practical side…
You’re only 15 minutes away from a better day. Really! First, figure out what is truly imperative to accomplish today and also what goals you can devote 15 minutes towards. Use those 15 minutes to make some headway on whatever you’re pursuing.
Want to lose that extra weight but can’t find time to exercise? Start with 15 minutes of walking after dinner or 15 minutes of a YouTube workout first thing in the morning. Want to learn that foreign language? Spend 15 minutes on your way to work listening to a lesson.
For me, there is a book I’ve been trying to write for the last three years. As it turns out, my to-do list never seems to leave room for a quiet beach house getaway where I can pound the thing out for a couple of weeks. But! Had I been devoting just 15 minutes a day to this endeavor, I would have written enough material for at least six books at this point.
The great thing about the 15-minute segment is that it’s first of all feasible, and second of all, it often turns into more time spent on that task than you would have normally given it at all. Some days you will want to increase that walk to 30 minutes because it feels so good, or in the case of writing, the words might come so easily that an hour could go by with very little effort. Plus, you will feel better going to sleep that night knowing you made a little bit of progress towards your goal which will lead to momentum.
Some parting encouragements…
My busy little bee, don’t try and be everything to everyone. Operate out of your gifting and strengths instead of looking at the ones your neighbor has. Give yourself grace as you tackle it with grit. Say “no” to the quantity and “yes” to the quality. And last but not least, devote your first 15 minutes to just being still. Breathe, meditate, and pray before the tidal wave hits. It gives you perspective and peace.
“It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussings and frettings; coming in out of the wind.” C.S. Lewis
Got 30 minutes? You’ll love this podcast episode from This Grit and Grace Life: Is Your Life Out of Balance? – 011
You’ll also like 5 Simple Ways to Be a Dreamer and a Doer, 2 Ways to Break Free From Self-Sabotage, 6 Ways to Focus on Self-Growth as a Woman, 5 Things You Need to Quit Right Now, 17 Things to Do to Make the Most of 15 Minutes, and 2 Simple Secrets to Long-Term Success.