A Change and a Choice
By Keynote Speaker and Change Expert Connie Podesta
I can just imagine what you are thinking right now. “Seriously? Where do I find more time when I’m so busy I can barely breathe? In a holiday season where I should be putting other people first and me last? ”
I hear you. I’ve been there. But let’s be honest. It’s not a matter of finding a few minutes–it’s the reluctance to change your routine, prioritize differently or rethink your options that keeps you so very busy.
Two things must happen if you truly want some balance in your life. One, you must truly believe you deserve some time for yourself and two–you must be willing to re-evaluate your schedule and let go of something. If you’re like me you don’t have any “extra” minutes floating around. Which means you may have to give up something in order to get time for yourself.
Let me share with you what I chose to give up to find some balance in my life. About ten years ago I decided to give myself a present. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day – I gave up watching the news, reading the paper and listening to talk radio. For six weeks, I let that all go. And here’s why…like so many of you, my life is crazy busy. From writing new books, to traveling for speaking engagements, to making time for my husband, children, grandchildren and friends – I kept finding myself saying, “I don’t have time.” Then one night just before Thanksgiving I was watching the new and it just made me so sad, and anxious and my husband said, “why don’t you walk away from that for tonight? It’s not bringing you any joy.” He was right. I realized with this one little action step, I had ‘found’ an extra 45 minutes to an hour every day – and ‘saved’ myself a lot of anxiety and worry over things I had no control over anyway. What a gift! Now each year, for six solid weeks, I take ‘my time’ and savor every minute. When my husband watches the news, I listen to music or a motivational CD, or read a book or take a walk. I stretch and do yoga. I go out and treat myself to my favorite latte. While it may not SEEM like a big thing to do – trust me. It is. It’s a VERY powerful thing you can do for you – AND it will positively affect those around you as well.
And if you’re like some who absolutely feel they NEED to know what’s going on in the world, I’ll give you this tip. All of what they are talking about on the news stations and in the papers has already happened and you can do nothing about, so the truth is, letting it go is the healthiest thing for you. But, we do live in an information world, so here’s my tip: Find an information buddy. Let that person know that if anything really important happens or if there is something you truly need to know, they can tell you. Let someone be your filter for a while. That’s a tremendous holiday gift they can give to you – I know it’s one of my favorite gifts that my husband does for me!
Try it. Make an appointment with yourself EVERY day. And make it JUST as much a priority as a client meeting, a doctor visit or conference call. Because the truth is? It IS just as important. Even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes. Take walk. Go to lunch with a friend. Get a massage. Go for a drive. Treat yourself to a chapter in a novel. Turn on some tunes. Find a quiet spot and just BE. Whatever it is that soothes your soul and helps bring you back to center at least once a day – put it right there in the action plan. The truth is NO ONE can live out of balance for very long, and we truly shouldn’t try. The toll it takes on our health, wealth, family, relationships, business, and minds – is just too high.
Want to learn more about leading a more BALANCED life? Read my new eBook, STANDOUT Balance – one of the 10 POWERFUL books from my Best Business Book of the Year Winning Book 10 Ways to Stand Out From the Crowd. I hope you enjoy it!