“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.”
– Andrew Murphy
We are now a few weeks into the New Year. 2021 offers the magic of a new beginning – a fresh start influenced by knowledge and experience garnered throughout the past year.
We live in a world of unlimited possibility. Yet, you often may find yourself sidetracked with your busy life. As you continue to work on your goals and intentions, these four tactics will guide you.
“Know” What to “No” – Busy is NOT a Contest!
One of my favorite books as a child was The Little Engine That Could – “I think I can…I think I can…I think I can.” While this book inspires us to believe we can do anything and everything, the reality is we can’t.
Is your calendar jam packed? Is it busy with things you want to be doing? Before you agree to a new position, project or extra-curricular activity, take a good look at your schedule. What else have you committed to? When you over commit, nobody wins and you lose the most – sleep, self-esteem, self-respect and time.
A Full Plate Will Cause Indigestion
Ask yourself the consequence of saying “yes” or “no” to the requests asked of you. What is the consequence of spending time on a certain project or task versus spending it on something else? This is called your “opportunity cost.” With only 24 hours in the day, you want to wisely choose how you spend your time. A full plate can be attractive and perhaps, in a sense, comforting. Only you can determine the toll it is taking on your family, your health, your personal and professional lives and your overall well-being.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
What makes you happy? Do more of that! Spend time with the people who bring joy to your life. Spend time on the activities that brighten your life. Do you believe it is possible to be happier than you are now? Stay open to possibilities. Think about what you do have versus what you lack. The past year has been a challenge for everyone – a great deal of loss and sadness. Not everything is cancelled. Friendship, love, relationships, sunshine and hope are not cancelled. When you concentrate on what you do have, you will find yourself in a happier state of mind.
You are YOUR Choices
Be thoughtful as you write and re-write your 2021 goals. Include a timeline where appropriate. Choose personal and professional goals that ignite you! We all need something to look forward to – new books to read, people to meet, vacations to plan, volunteer opportunities. Is there an opportunity you need to pursue? Is there a relationship you need to mend? Most of what you do in your life is ultimately your choice. You are always free to choose again if things are not serving you well.
We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Take time to enjoy it. You will live a more fulfilling life when you reflect upon who you are and what matters most. Live your life how you want to live it. And while you are at it – beware of wearing busy as a badge of honor. You do not want to keep your life so busy worrying that you may miss out on something – to the point where you miss out on everything.
Gail Lowney Alofsin is the Director of Corporate Partnership & Community Relations for the Newport International Boat Show, a division of Newport Restaurant Group. An adjunct professor at the University of RI and Salve Regina University, author, speaker and volunteer, Gail lives in Newport, Rhode Island.
To date, 100% of the sales of her book, Your Someday is NOW! What Are YOU Waiting For? have raised over $42,000 for non-profit organizations. It is available at Island Books in Middletown – https://islandbooksri.indielite.org/