One thing I have implemented for myself this year that has helped me grow–is my calendar.
I’ve gotten a new calendar every year and usually by February I have stopped putting “important” dates and “to dos by” dates on it. But this year, I’ve taken a new approach and it has been working extremely well.
As I have been making plans for building the life I really want I realized that I cannot live the life I would like to live if I do not honor my time.
Time after all is that one commodity that no one seems to have enough of yet some people seem to get a great deal of important things done and these are things they truly love to do. And we have to realize that all of us have the same 24 hours each day.
Please understand that I am not suggesting that you fill your calendar with more events and tasks so that you are busy all the time. What I am suggesting is that you only put things in your calendar that have true meaning to you.
What distinguishes the importance of our time is defining what those things are that are important to you. Those are the things that go in your calendar.
One of my favorite quotes by Franklin Covey is:
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
What are your priorities? This can be a very difficult question to answer. Depending on where you are in your life, your priorities may be very different. There really is no right or wrong answer for this.
Priorities, also, are hard to define because we feel “selfish” when expressing what we really want for ourselves–often it is not what other people want for us. If we only do things that is expected of us by others it will not necessarily make us happy or move us closer to our own goals.
Making the other people in our lives happy is important–especially if it brings you joy. But your calendar should not be filled with tasks and events of or for other people.
So, I sat down and made a list of my priorities. This was not an easy task. But I was able to narrow it down to 6 things. Then I noted them on the first page of my calendar. It serves as a reminder of what I want more of in my life.
And since then, before I add things to my calendar–I think about whether the task, event, invitation or effort is going to serve me and my priorities, my goals, and my happiness.
I know–it sounds totally selfish! But guess what? I have not attended events I did not want to attend, I have not spent time with people I did not want to spend time with and I did not waste time completing tasks that have no real importance in my life.
The results is that I have had more time to spend with the people I really want to be with and I have been more relaxed and happy when with them. (I think they are enjoying the happier me! Or they might think I’m on medication!) I have not had to pretend to enjoy being somewhere I did not want to be and those useless tasks did not have to get done anyway!
Another plus is that I am learning to say no. No to things that waste time, no to experiences I do not want to have and no to people that are not part of my priorities.
Now when I look at my calendar–which I do each morning–I find the things that I really enjoy staring back at me. It helps me clearly plan what is needed to complete necessary tasks and it allows me to look forward to the events coming up because I am so excited about them.
And although it is only February, I have already planned many things well into the summer. Things that match my priorities and that bring me joy. Things I am looking forward to.
What kind of tasks or events that align with your priorities are you most excited about? Do you take the time to schedule these things in your calendar for yourself? Comment below! And as always have fun!