On this week’s episode of SUCCESS Line, I talk to an alumni of our very own SUCCESS Coaching certification, Madeline. Madeline is an entrepreneur, wife and mother, and she, like many of you, has big goals for 2022. But how, she wonders, can you achieve your goals without losing yourself and everything that is important to you along the way? She wants to “have it all” and to achieve that ever elusive ideal of “balance.”
Time is the only commodity we cannot buy or create more of. And if you want to succeed, you have to make clear, intentional decisions about how you are going to allocate it. Because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.
As we enter the new year, I challenge you to consider how you can better leverage your time to serve your needs, aspirations and purpose. Balance may be a myth, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take control of your time. Not sure where to begin? Read on.
1. Take inventory.
Before you make any decisions about how to allocate your time going forward, you first need to take inventory of how you are using it now. What are you deciding to do with your time? Where are you choosing to invest?
We can’t chart a course forward if we don’t know where we are starting from. And if you need a guide, try out the SUCCESS Wheel. This tool takes you through the five major areas of your life—business, purpose, wellness, relationships and social—to identify and address which areas might need more of your attention and which might need less.
2. Identify the pitfalls.
In order to say yes to a few great things you will need to say no to a lot of good things. What are the pitfalls that you fall into that stop you from saying yes to the great things? What are the activities that are not in alignment with your purpose but suck up your time nonetheless?
For example, many entrepreneurs enjoy being wanted and needed. They want to say yes to everyone, to be all things to all people. And while that desire is not wholly bad, it will be their kryptonite when it comes to fulfilling their goals.
To avoid falling into this trap, you have to become the resource, not the source. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs spend so much of their time answering the same questions over and over again. But there is a better way: Instead of having the same conversations, record a video (or series of videos) that answers these frequently asked questions and even anticipates questions your audience may not have thought of yet. Now when those questions come in, you don’t have to get on the phone or Zoom call—you can simply send them a link and go back to focusing on the tasks that will move you closer to your goals.
Do not allow your pitfalls to suck you in and pull you under. Get ahead of the game and make a plan to avoid them before they ever begin to tempt you.
3. Adopt new habits.
Finally, in order to achieve your goals for 2022 and use your time the way you say you want to, ask yourself, “What new habits do I need to adopt?” and, “Which old habits do I need to give up?”
As our goals get bigger every year, we need to adjust our habits to match them. Your day-to-day habits are what turn you into the kind of person who is able to achieve your hopes and dreams. Habits are what keep you on mission, day in and day out, and help you avoid falling into the aforementioned pitfalls.
But remember, it is not about filling up your calendar with an arbitrary list of habits—drink eight glasses of water a day, journal for 10 minutes every morning, meditate before bed, etc. It is about identifying and committing to the right habits—the habits that will propel you forward and turn you into the person you have always wanted to be.