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What matters to you?
I mean, truly matters.
Is it your family? Your social life? Creating a business, drawing, reading, scrapbooking, a relationship with Christ, or your health? What things make your heart melt, make your soul come alive and make your life ten times better?
And my last question is, are you doing those things?
If we don’t create time for the things that matter, we get burnt out. We get dissatisfied with our lives, we get sick, we get cranky and suddenly, our one beautiful life is no longer ours. It can be so hard to find time for the things that are so uniquely us, but the truth is we have a lot at stake. We need to find time for the things that matter. Here’s how:
First, Decide What Matters
Take a look at your life. What things are going to matter today, tomorrow and ten years from now? What things get you excited to wake up in the morning? What things are your heart, personified? When we start to create margin in our lives, we need to be filling that margin with things that are going to make us better, not drag us down. This might mean choosing to add an art class to our schedule as opposed to yet another freelance job.
Here’s a simple way to figure out what’s truly important to you. Think of your dream morning (or afternoon if you’re not a morning person). What makes this vision so awesome? Is it a good book, a hot beverage, some quiet time, a walk or playing with your kids? Write those things down and I guarantee, you have a few things that are most important to you.
Cut it Out
What’s preventing you from having time to pursue these passions? When we look at our schedules there is always something to cut back on.
I want you to create a map out of what a typical day looks like for you. This doesn’t have to be a perfectly accurate schedule, just a general idea. Then, see what you can eliminate or decrease to create more time for what’s important. In my own life, this means spending less time on shallow, unfulfilling activities like social media surfing or pinning all the things and subbing in a book or a game with my little men. There are a lot of times when it takes sacrifice to create margin for things that feed my soul, especially at the end of a long day when zoning out sounds better than reading my Bible.
Here’s a big secret: I hate quitting. I don’t like leaving jobs, relationships or situations..ever. Even if they don’t benefit me, even if my joy is being robbed, I like to be considered dependable.
The truth is, this is an easy way to grow bitter and feel totally lost in your own life. So this year, I took a look at my life. The things that were draining my energy, taking away from what I really wanted and I decided to slowly but surely quit them all. It’s a leap of faith because some of these things bring in money that my family could use. They’re opportunities that make me feel validated. And the quitting isn’t happening overnight, but step by step, I’m gaining more time to live a life that I’m proud of.
What would your life look like if you had the courage to quit those things that aren’t working?
Balance is key. In every area of life, even this one. There’s a time for work and a time for play and for some of us, work is what makes us truly happy. But, for us to have a balanced life, we need to have a bit of everything. The spiritual, mental, physical and relational priorities all need to have their place in our lives. I like to find balance by creating a routine. For many of us, it’s impossible to be on a strict schedule, but we usually can find a way to make sure that each thing gets it’s rightful attention.
In my life, this looks like creating a morning routine that resembles this:
-Spend time in the Bible (Spiritual)
-Read to my kids (Relational)
-Fit in one chapter of a “Mama” book (Mental)
-Go on a morning walk (Relational and Physical)
All areas get taken care of, my little men still get attention and I get to do something I like also.
Creating time for what matters is not an overnight process, but a journey. It takes time to find those unique things that make you who you are, to eliminate the things that aren’t working and to create a balanced life that reflects who you’d like to be.
What would you like to include more of in your life?