Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s January 2018 issue.
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What do resolutions even mean to us anymore? It’s true that we never pass a year without the masses joining a gym and resolving to make this “the year” when fit replaces fat. There are the people who make lists of what they want MORE of in their life and that gives them some sense of direction for resolution commitment. The trend in recent years is to find a word; just one word. I think there’s something to that “word of the year” idea. Maybe a word of focus is more effective because it allows us to find that word in all places; the unlikely spaces, and keeps our attention narrowed versus scattered.
As a trainer, it seems logical that I’d write an article helping you to define your goals, set some realistic benchmarks, and give you the “how-to” strategy. “How-to” lists are what our culture craves, but they are not what we need. What if instead of focusing on what we needed to ADD to our schedules, ADD to our habits, and what NEW things we should adopt, we focused on SUBTRACTING and RENEWING? What if we got back to some basics? What if we were able to focus on what matters most in 2018? What if we could identify one area of value where we would renew our time, commitment, and energy by eliminating things that have stolen those resources? How might your life change if you removed commitments at dinnertime three nights a week so that you could get back to dinner as a family during those times? How might life change if you left your phone on a charger in one room and instead focused on your family and rest? How might subtracting ADD something to an area you value most? Would it renew your sense of commitment, energy, and your zest for life? Would it renew any passions that have been lost to screens of distraction?
I have a client (who I’ll call Tammy) who works full-time plus at a salaried job, has three kids, is a wife, and is involved in several things within her community. Recently, she shared how she was struggling “finding time” for a few priorities like losing weight and increasing her energy. It was as if she gave her time away, but couldn’t remember who she had given it to. We discussed her weekend event by event, commitment by commitment, and she realized she had said “yes” to things before she even knew what she was saying “yes” to! Her friend owns a restaurant and asked her to help with an event. She had no idea it was a two-day event happening over a weekend, capping off a week of working overtime. Tammy realized she was depleting her resources by being the “yes” girl for everyone else’s needs. Tammy wasn’t able to say “yes” to herself, her health, and the things that mattered because she didn’t have anything left to give to it. We have one life to “spend.” Maybe this year we choose to “spend” wisely. “Spending” life is like spending money. It works better if there are funds available and you are aware of exactly how much you have! For us to focus on ‘what matters most,’ it will require resources from all five of our resource banks. Our financial bank, mental/emotional bank, focus bank, time bank, and our energy bank. In this New Year, if we are to renew our focus on what matters most, then we will have to “find” areas in which we are spending our life on lesser things. What gets the majority of your money? Just open your checkbook. What gets the most of your time? Open your calendar. What gets the most of your energy? Pay attention to your thoughts.
My client shared this after her over-commitment realization. She knew she’d have to change her “spending,” subtract some commitments to renew her commitment to a priority she had lost sight of. “I put everyone before what I need or want. Today my oldest son got paid and wanted me to take him to cash it and then to the store. I first asked if we could do it after my workout class which ended at 6:30 but the store closes at 7. He gave me a little grief, so I folded. I said, ‘Well I guess I can just do it at home,’ which is hard because I never get peace to do it and I have no weights. I thought to myself, after I hung up, ‘No, I am not going to give in here.’ I called him and said, ‘No you will wait until after my class or I can’t take you.’ He waited, and it all worked out with enough time for all! Celebration! I put my need first!” Tammy discovered that she could still be helpful AND take care of herself, but it would require her to subtract the habit of saying “yes” too often. Her one celebration can give her courage and a renewed sense of strength to do it again. By the end of 2018, if she can focus on this one area, she will have added to her life by subtracting. She will have renewed all kinds of things that have expired due to lack of attention. 2018 will be a year ‘spent’ well.
JANUARY CHANGE CHALLENGE
Maybe resolutions are ineffective for most of us because we try to add something to our lives without subtracting. Instead of thinking of the ‘new’ thing to do, think of areas that need RE-newing. How can you subtract so you can renew?
about the author…Jamie, wife of her high school sweetheart and mom of 4 boys, has been in the fitness industry for 18 years. “Fuel the body, mobilize the soul” is her mission. Connect with Jamie on Facebook www.facebook.com/jamiebeeson1 or online at bit.ly/JamieBeeson