We’re into the second week of the new year. By now the shine on our resolutions is wearing off a little and we’re settling back into our habits and routines. Good or bad, it’s the life we’ve created for ourselves.
Sometimes, those routines and habits are because of commitments we have no business keeping.
As we look at what makes up our crazy, busy lives, we sometimes forget that much of what we’re spending our time on are commitments we’ve made that in no way align with our goals. Take a look at where your time is allocated and how much of that is in support of how you want to live your life.
How many of your commitments are for you? Your family? Your employer? Your social and peer groups?
I’m certainly not suggesting we don’t hold on to “being committed” to our spouses and children. What I am suggesting is that there may be areas wherein we’re doing a whole lot that goes against who we are, or who we would like to be.
Take a look at your goals and examine what commitments throughout your week or month actually sabotage or go against those goals. For example, let’s say you have a goal of losing 15 pounds but your friend Betty… da*n it, Betty…She’s always talking you into things you don’t want to do. Betty is larger than life. Betty always speaks too loudly, and she scares you a little. Betty always gets her way. Betty actually enjoys fundraising. You’re not entirely sure how you and Betty became friends, or why she wants to hang out with you. What you do know is that no one says no to Betty. So when she decided a group of you were taking baking classes together, you all signed up. Now you’re eating fresh pans of cupcakes and pies each week.
Why couldn’t Betty have chosen green juicing classes?
OR, why are you allowing yourself to be strong-armed by Betty? Why are you taking baking classes when you want to lose weight?
You may not have even realized the parallel between the two, but what you know deep in your gut is that something feels off. This is where our lives are in conflict and we start to feel stress, and pressure, and unease, and discontent, and eventually that turns into illness and resentment and regret.
Let’s take a look at some common goals:
- Lose Weight
- Spend More Time with Spouse
- Exercise Five Times Per Week
- Read More Books
- Travel More
- Volunteer in My Community
What types of things fill each week that detract from achieving any of these goals? Are you spending a lot of time watching television each week? Could that time be spent exercising with your spouse (hey, two goals!), or reading a book instead?
What about your weekends? This is one I know that I’m guilty of myself. I’ll have grand plans for what I’m going to accomplish, but my time is chipped away little by little because I don’t always stand my ground and say, “hey, I’d love to, but I’m working on ____ today.”
Another area we can sometimes get a little hung up on is spending time chasing the tail of perfection. It isn’t always enough to bring snacks to juniors soccer game, maybe they need to be lady bugs handcrafted out of Rice Krispies, marshmallows, Madagascar sugar, and the eyelashes of fairies. It sounds extreme, even to you, but Betty (da*n it, Betty!) brought monogrammed snack bags for the entire team last week, and how could you live with yourself if you brought juice boxes and baby carrots?
Have you ever stopped to ask yourself if you actually care about the things you spend your time on? I’ll be honest, there are myriad things throughout my life that I completely regret having wasted time on because I felt pressured into it, or someone convinced me of its importance or value, when in actuality, their goals were completely different from mine.
Not standing firm in ourselves is how our commitments become the goals and objectives of other people, rather than our own. This is what separates those people living the lives they’ve dreamed of, from those just dreaming.
Where in your life are there imbalances in what you value? How do your daily activities match what you’re trying to achieve, and how do they detract? What commitments have you made that need to be simplified in order for you to start living a life in alignment with your goals?