Christian Living


Making Time For What You Want

As I do interviews and speak on the topic of my book, What's Really Holding You Back?, many people have asked for the simple answer to that question. What I have discovered is that often, it is not obvious what's holding us back from our vision. Mostly, people are held back by the shaky foundation on which they operate. With no room to give focus to what's really important and a schedule that is consistently overloaded, the opportunity to make significant progress towards key goals feels elusive.

This week, as you strive to meet deadlines or juggle multiple responsibilities, I invite you to consider whether your overloaded schedule is too crowded to truly pursue the goals that are most important to you.

One of the biggest causes of stress is that we are constantly trying to do more with less. As a result, we don't give ourselves much margin for error. Whether the issue is money, time or rest, make a habit of giving yourself some leeway. Life has taught me that, more often than not, things do not go exactly as planned. If you make a habit of 'cutting it close,' you probably also find yourself regularly stressed out because you never have enough time to accomplish what you've set out to accomplish.

There are numerous examples of areas of our lives where a margin would help reduce our level of stress and allow us to focus on what's most important. Do you find yourself living an overloaded life? You keep doing more and more and more until not only is there no margin between your load and your limits, but you have overextended yourself and exhausted your resources. Those resources can be time, money, workload, volunteer work or other activities that stretch you beyond reasonable limits. Whatever the case, creating a margin for yourself in your daily life is essential to creating a life you love. Consider your answers to some of the following questions to determine if you are suffering from overload that may be holding you back from living your best life.

1. Do you find yourself running late on a regular basis?

2. Do you wait until the last minute to begin working on projects and then find yourself in a hurry to finish on time?

3. Is your level of debt (excluding your mortgage) more than you could pay off in a year with your existing income?

4. Are you always accessible to others (i.e., you carry a mobile phone, pager and check your messages constantly)?

5. Do you feel as though the activities and projects you have committed to on a day-to-day basis are more than you have time to complete?

If you answered yes to any of these questions you should ask yourself whether you are overloading yourself. If so, what decisions do you need to make that would allow you to create some margin so that you can reduce your level of stress?

The mentality that says that you should do, buy and work as much as you possibly can is detrimental to your well-being. It is also detrimental to your vision for your life. So often it seems that as a society, we are doing more and more, and enjoying less and less. Margin is the space you give yourself so that you have room to create and maintain a joyful, fulfilling life.

My challenge to you this week:
Identify at least one area in which you need more space - more margin for error. Then identify at least one action you can take this week to create that space and give yourself some margin.

Journaling question:
Ask yourself, "How could I create more space in my life on a permanent basis?"







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