If you’ve been here the last few days you’ll have noticed a bit of a theme: goals, dreams, things we REALLY want. Today, I’m going to spotlight a HUGE barrier that gets in the way of fulfilling said goals…BUSYNESS.
This is by far THE BIGGEST excuse/reason that people give up on their dreams or goals. “I’m just too busy”, “there just isn’t enough time”, “I have too much on my plate”, etc.
Which…I want to point out ARE valid excuses-which is why our brain believes them and we set our goals aside in order to manage the load. But here’s the thing, You can have ANYTHING you want. ANYTHING. But do you really want it? Are you willing to work for it? Are you willing to plan for it? Are you willing to honor that commitment you made to yourself to make it happen? At the end of the year are you even going to remember all those things that were so crucial and had to get done? Or will you remember the sacrifice you made to accomplish something great?
What’s the saying? “If it were easy EVERYONE would be doing it”? Yep, that applies here too. Our goals are supposed to be challenging. They’re supposed to demand some top level of priority in your life that you weren’t giving them before. There will absolutely be days you don’t feel like doing them- do it anyway. Honor that commitment to yourself. Make you a priority too. Remember, it’s supposed to be that way. It’s supposed to be challenging. It’s supposed to take time and effort otherwise there’d be NO GROWTH.
But it’s during those moments of un motivation and lack that busyness kicks in and those excuses that we call reasons take center stage. Your brain is going to want to argue and say, “what? I have to feed my kids! I have to do my church calling! It’d be nice to do __________ but I’m just too busy”. You have to be honest with yourself- completely honest and say, yes, I do need to do those things. But did I really need to make a 10 course meal? Did I really need to make special, elaborate handouts for the primary kids at church?Well, no but…___________. If you REALLY want it, you will find CREATIVE solutions.
I loved when John Bytheway talked about writing his first book. He said he made a shift in his life. He used to stay up until midnight and beyond watching late night television. Then he realized he wasn’t getting any closer to his dreams of publishing a book. So he said goodbye to late nights, went to bed earlier and got up at 4:00am daily so he could be up and ready to work on his book. Within MONTHS he had written his first book. This small shift took him on a completely different life path. Without this change Deseret Books wouldn’t have picked him up – how could they without a book? He wouldn’t have met who he needed to meet so he could be this amazing speaker, author, example to the world today. It’s just a small shift in your priorities and energy.
We can still accomplish everything that needs do get done and be able to devote a significant amount of time and effort to our goals. We might be so busy doing “things” that we’re not accomplishing what we really want or getting closer to who we want to be.
MOVEMENT DOES NOT EQUAL ACCOMPLISHMENT! We truly can have ANY THING WE REALLY WANT. It’s true. The key is to manage your time and keep focused on the end goal.
Take a good look at your to-do list. What’s on there? How much of what’s on there is correlated to your goals? Your to-do list is most likely a huge contributor to what is preventing you from accomplishing your dreams. The to-do list is “easy”. It’s habit – it’s not new and it’s not going to take as much metal effort as it will to push through on our goals. When we’re faced with doing something new and more difficult (i.e. our goals) and our to-do list – odds are you’re going to want to go with the to-do list – it’s familiar, it’s easier. You think, I’ll just get to the other thing later – but does that happen…ever? not often. Generally it just gets skipped. You have to push through those days/moments and make what you said you really, really want a priority!
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not telling you to never go grocery shopping again or never clean the bathroom again because it’s not going to teach you Spanish – sorry…we don’t get that “get out of real life free” ticket. I’m saying that enough of your to-do list needs to be connected to your goals.
There’s that conference address by Elder Oaks that’s iconic called, Good, Better, Best (link at the bottom) – In the address he talks about our time. There are so many GOOD things that we have the opportunity to do and then there are BETTER things we could be doing with our time. Even then, is there something that would be the BEST use of my time?
My daughter is fabulous! She is an incredibly beautiful dancer. She’s also an incredibly talented writer. She’s aspiring to write YA novels – which is kind of amazing, right? Earlier this year she was invited to join a choir with some friends. This is a really awesome group. They go on tour and meet a few times a week. She tried it and after a few times she realized that even though it was GOOD, it wasn’t the best use of her time. About a week or so after that she was invited to join another dance class – for free – which was an incredible opportunity. But the dance class coincided with her one on one writing time with an author in our area.
This was a tough choice because she’s talented in both and loves both but after debating about it for a couple of days she came to the conclusion that even though this was a great opportunity and perhaps a BETTER choice than the choir group it still wasn’t the BEST use of her time. The BEST use of her time was to stick to the dance classes she already has and put most of her energy into writing that epic novel she’s always dreamed about.
It’s the same with us. Things are going to present themselves to you: good, wonderful things that you’re going to want to jump on -BUT ask yourself this…Is this going to get me closer to my goals?
I heard once in a relief society lesson that the adversary’s greatest tool against women is Busyness. He doesn’t have to entice you to do “bad” or “negative” things – he just needs to keep you so busy that you don’t get to the BEST things – the things that are going to put you in a position to be a great contributor to the world and to your life – to make you a better you and help you to become the BEST person you can be.
So next time you’re sitting down to write out that to-do list just scroll through it and see just how many things on there are really necessary and how many are actually going to help you get closer to your goals. Are you just moving? or are you accomplishing?
It’ll be so worth it. You won’t regret doing it!