Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The non-resolution resolution for 2016

It's late in January, we are already almost one twelfth of the way into 2016. Everyone I know has new years resolutions, even the ones who claim not to have them, do. It's human nature to want to challenge yourself and then to fail.

I have had the same new years resolution since I was 10 and could spell the word weight. I wanted to lose weight. You would think that now that I am 33, I might have made a dent in that goal, but no, I am 20 pounds heavier than I was last year. In addition to my resolution some of the common ones are - eat more veggies, drink more water, walk / run 5 miles a day, the list is endless and boring.

I think what we all want to do is indulge in change that is both measurable (so we can check the box / pat our backs) but life long. This year I will be focusing on changing my mindset towards the way I use my time.

Image result for rocks and sand in a jar There is a famous story about daily management. "Rocks, Pebbles, Sand - The Important Things in Life" is a story that explains in plain words, that in order to be happy we need to pay attention to the important things in life first and then deal with the lesser stuff later. It is a story about recognizing what’s important and prioritizing. "Rocks, Pebbles, Sand - The Important Things in Life" assures us that we may have time to do everything that we want to do, only if we prioritize and manage our time wisely. That would lead to happiness indeed.

So the story goes, a professor showed an empty jar to his students and filled it with big rocks. He then asked his class, is the jar full? They replied - Yes. The professor said no, wrong answer. He then poured some gravel into the jar. He asked the students, is the jar full. They replied - Yes. He said no, that's wrong too. He then emptied a bag of sand into the jar. He then asked his students, is the jar full. Now, the students had wised up and they replied - No it's not. He agreed and proceeded to empty a pitcher of water into the jar. He said, NOW the jar is full.

The idea is that we fill our days with a lot of sand (small, inconsequential tasks which we think are quick wins) but in fact we should go after the big rocks first. The large measurable and impact-ful tasks that might take longer. I took another thing away from this story though, that it's important to identify small gaps (wasted time) in our day. If we can consolidate this time or even spend it knowingly and with a gain in mind, we will be a lot happier and more successful. 24 hours are quite enough if you are efficient.

So today, I am gathering up the sand and gravel in my day and writing this post. How will you spend the sand and gravel in your day? Let me know!!


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