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:

  1. Begin with work. That will be your biggest chal­lenge, and make the biggest impact, so begin with your business.
  2. Make a list of every­thing on your plate. Don’t judge, just list.
  3. Now go back and beside each role and note whether you will stop or keep it on your plate.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Real­ly stop doing the things on your stop list. Put time on your cal­en­dar to review this list every 4–6 weeks.
  8. 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.
  9. Begin to notice how much lighter you feel and how much more joy is in each and every day.
  10. 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.

In Joy,