“Time” is Stealing your Dreams
The thing about time is that we make time — for a drink here, an extra hour of sleep there, a Netflix binge and all of the other things we enjoy…
Being disciplined about what is important to me has not always been a strength of mine, but in recent years, it has become obvious to me that if I am going to want the outcome to change, I have to change the input. There’s just no other way around it.
So, here I am writing this post — because I want to achieve something important enough to me that I am willing to write on a Sunday. This is day 5 of my 30 Day Challenge
I am making time because I know what happens if I don’t — Absolutely Nothing.
In the last 5 years, I have changed many habits, and created new ones. All of them have an element of time. Time is what I told myself I didn’t have, so I wasn’t going to be able to do the thing. Time was my excuse, and it was killing my dreams.
Here’s a list of my 3 most recent and important “wins” and how I feel anyone reading this might also begin to shift their thinking to start getting “more” from their lives, and their businesses. And, as you read, I hope you’ll realize that I am still fighting the inner battle every single day.
- Wake up one hour earlier.
This is a recent win of mine, but I realized after many months that I felt I didn’t have enough time to get everything I wanted done done. I fought this — hard. I argued that it was my right to sleep, and I deserved it, after the day of hard work I had put in. Why should I get up early? But, when I started looking at the things that I was neglecting — the things that mattered more to me personally, that were not business related, I realized I was selling myself out for an hour’s worth of sleep. And, I was getting the short end of the stick, because the things that get shoved to the back burner are always my personal things — blogging for myself, exercising, reading, things that bring me pleasure, things that require nothing but me being able to have (make) the time to enjoy them.
- Lose Weight
By the time 2016 rolled around, I was finally ready. For months before, I listened to my thoughts and the reality of the message they were revealing — I was making the choice every day to be fat. I didn’t have anyone else to blame. And, when the fact became clear that I was responsible for the fact that I was now trying to assure myself that shopping in the “Womans” department wasn’t all bad, I realized only I could do something.
In the past, I always tried to blame someone else. My mom, my ex husband, time… And when I stopped letting myself believe that B.S, I realized that being a size 16 was my choice. This was the beginning of “getting ready.” For the remaining part of 2015, I actually gave myself permission to be fat. I allowed myself to feel ok with my choices, because, after all, they were my choices. I stopped criticizing myself, and I just let where I was be ok. And, every time I thought about the challenges I was facing with the clothes I was wearing, with the person I saw in the mirror, I owned it. And, then I decided to do something about it. I made the time for 10 solid months to show up at the local weight loss clinic [every single week], weigh in, be accountable, and face the music for my actions. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and, a lot more powerful than any other time I had tried to do something for someone else. This was my decision, and these were results that truly mattered to me. I lost 60 pounds in 2016, because I made the damn time to do it. It wasn’t the perfect time, it wasn’t cheap, it wasn’t easy, but it was necessary — because I deserved it. This is the first time I have written about my weight loss. I never posted before and after photos online, I just did what had to be done.
- Invest in My Community
One of Seth Godin’s most recent books came out in 2014. It’s called What to do When it’s Your Turn (And it’s Always Your Turn). As you know, I am a student of his work, and credit his words for much of the turnaround I have created in my life. When I read this, I was challenged, as I often am by the messages of Seth’s words. What I walked away thinking was this:
Once I overcame my fear, I discovered that I now had an obligation to help others overcome theirs. It’s not explicitly written, but it’s part of the beauty of the work Seth does — he doesn’t tell you what to think, he just offers a new way for you to think. Something I believe we all need to explore, so that we can stop listening to the BS that we’re handed down by the coma-inducing-fear-based-indoctrination we’ve been served for the better part of a century. My decision to serve, and to “show up” comes from this awareness and, the fact is that these decisions take up a lot of my time, and there’s not a clear ROI for any of the work I do.
But, I do the work anyway, because I believe it’s my responsibility to refuse to blame the clock for my lack of interest, or unwillingness to make others a priority. Yes, that’s what time is all about. And, that’s why I take the time to show up and support the other initiatives in our community, because It’s My Turn.
When will you decide that it’s your turn?
Choosing the work we need to do to make our lives — and the lives of our families, customers, employees — better. It’s hard work, but it’s necessary work, and it is the only work that really matters.
So, you can tell me you don’t have time. And, I will totally understand. You’ll get no judgement from me — I have been there, done that and today, I simply refuse to keep buying that line of t-shirts.
But, I hope you’ll at least start thinking about the fact that the choice is always yours to make. The time isn’t going to make itself available to you, and no one is going to blame you for being too busy.
Also published on Medium.