Stop making new year’s resolutions. Start expanding joy. One simple idea to make more of every year.
New year’s resolutions are just a way to look back on your year and feel bad. In our excitement you over-commit, and before long it is February and you feel terrible about all the things you did once, or twice and then quit. Don’t make yourself a quitter. Instead, become a chooser.
Commit to change the way you choose to spend your time. Be choosy with your time.
You can bank your money, but not your time. Time requires no action to spend, it spends itself. You have a finite amount of time, and you never know exactly how much. Unlike money, you do nothing to earn it. Time is free. It really fits the phrase “easy come, easy go” whether you want that or not!
For closely held business owners, your most valuable resource is your time. How you choose to use this valuable resource determines the profitability of your business, the value of your business and the quality of your life. In other words, a lot rests on how you choose to spend your time! The amount of time you get each day isn’t changeable, but how you spend it is.
It is easy for me to remember a time not so long ago, when my business plate was never empty. I was always overworked, tired and hoping things would be different tomorrow. I had great reasons why it was necessary for so many things to be on my plate. I held onto my reasons as tightly as if they were a life preserver and I was overboard in the ocean.
Looking back, it was as if I had to prove to myself that the saying “you can have reasons or results, but not both at the same time” was true. It is! Finally, I was exhausted and frustrated enough to let go of my “reasons” life preserver and learn to swim.
It was messy at first. I wasn’t a good swimmer and I would often fall back into my old pattern and grab the life preserver. Over time, with practice, I got better and better. I learned to use systems, rather than micro management to run the business. The first and most important thing I had to learn was to control me. I started by making a list of all the things I was doing. Then I consciously chose what I would stop doing, keep doing and start doing.
In the years since, I have stayed true to this annual practice. I look at everything I spend my time on, from personal to charitable to professional and ask myself, “What do I choose to stop doing, keep doing and start doing?”
Things don’t always turn out as I planned. That’s OK. Because they turn out a ton better than they would have without my simple stop, start, keep practice.
Because of this annual practice, not only have I learned to swim, but so has my team and my business. Everyone has been able to grow to a level of competence and capacity they would have never achieved if I had continued to hold tightly to my reasons life preserver. My business has enjoyed consistent growth. It has never been more valuable. With fewer things on my plate, I have more time for non-business things, like fun, play, exercise, travel and daily yoga. Best of all, because I have more free time and I am not worried about what is not getting done, I experience more joy in my life every day.
This is a process and a practice. The rewards are fantastic, but they require one big thing, your commitment. You must be willing to commit to STOP doing the things you know you really do need to stop. You do indeed have to give up your reasons. It will be challenging, but you will thank yourself for the fantastic results you bring into your life.
If you are ready to get started, here is the process:
- Begin with work. That will be your biggest challenge, and make the biggest impact, so begin with your business.
- Make a list of everything on your plate. Don’t judge, just list.
- Now go back and beside each role and note whether you will stop or keep it on your plate.
- For everything you wrote stop next to, ask this question. To make this change do you need to delegate, train, or create a new system? or some combination?
- Begin a new section called start, and note what role or task you will take on to make this new system, training or delegation happen.
- If you haven’t freed up any considerable business time, go thru your list again, and ask “Is this the highest and best use of my talent?” If the answer is no, mark those STOP.
- Really stop doing the things on your stop list. Put time on your calendar to review this list every 4–6 weeks.
- Once you have your business list completed and you are ready, move onto other areas of your life, such as family, fun, spiritual, and charitable.
- Begin to notice how much lighter you feel and how much more joy is in each and every day.
- Allow the process to work, by sticking to it. Give yourself permission to fail, and when you do, just begin again. Without judgement. Enjoy the JOY!
At Mackey Advisors we are passionate about bringing prosperity to life. If we can help you and your team prosper, call us at 859–331-7755.