For me, I accomplish that which is first formulated in my mind and then writen down. There seems to be “magic” in putting pen to paper. Sometimes it is in the form of lists of goals and such. Other times it is merely scheduling a priority on my calendar by finding an opening and jotting it down. Of course, activity has to follow. The good news is that repeatable activities do get easier over time.

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” When it comes to things we don’t want to do, it is helpful to “Eat that Frog”. (I highly recommend Brian Tracy’s book by that name!) The principle is that we can learn to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time.

In the introduction to his book, Brian Tracey says, “Your ability to select your most important task at each moment, and then to start on that task and get it done both quickly and well, will probably have more of an impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop!
If you develop the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks completed quickly, you will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but gets very little done…
The MAIN IDEA = The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is for you to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. You must develop the routine of “eating your frog” before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it!”

With the unpleasant task out of the way, the rest of the day can flow smoothly. Those who haven’t grasp that principle often spend days or hours dreading what they know they should or need, but don’t want, to do resulting in failure to execute.

Some would say I am a “lucky one”, and I do recognize that I am oh, so very blessed to “own my life”. I am not owned by a “boss” ruled by a “job” that tells me what to do, when and how to do it, where to go, when I can eat lunch or vacation. These choices are mine alone. I get to decide. I am certainly not perfect, but I do purpose to choose wisely. I rarely use an alarm clock. I wake when I am ready to start my day.

With these freedoms come responsibility. I am responsible to myself and the business I am building. I am my own boss, and I cannot “bench” my best player. I have to stay in the game. Fortunately, I love what I do! Some would say I don’t work a day of my life… but truth be told, few work harder than I do.

About two years ago I began to schedule (write down) time on my calendar to exercise daily. It has worked great!
That may have been, in part, why I exercise first thing in the day. I didn’t enjoy it at first. I now look forward to it. It has become a habit and I enjoy giving myself that gift each morning. I am more alert and ready for whatever the day holds if I have had that time for myself first. It doesn’t hurt that I am an early riser.  ;)

Then a year and a half ago I caught myself saying that I wish I had more time to quilt. I love expressing myself creatively and quilting has long been a medium I enjoy… but there have been seasons to life when there was little time for quilting.
I was reminded that if I didn’t take time for myself I had no one to blame but myself… so I scheduled ½ hour for quilting each morning after my quiet time for reading in my favorite book and walking on the treadmill in my basement. How cool is that. It took far too long for me to put into practice what I had always hoped to do!
In fact, I have heard it said that the difference between hopes and goals is that hopes haven’t been given a deadline.

Even with all that in mind, I can become “driven” with such a narrow focus that I neglect to enjoy some of life’s most simple pleasures… anticipation, enjoying the moment, and reflection. I have made a mental shift and I am working on getting better at those, again.

Achieving balance is more a journey than a destination. Would you let me know if you are you traveling the same road? I’d also like to hear from you if you’d like to step out of the “rat race”, off life’s treadmill, and take ownership of your own life. I’d love the opportunity to share with you how you could do as I have done! It is achievable!

I’d also like to challenge you to make it a habit to make ‘you’ a priority in your schedule. Take time for yourself each day. Perhaps you will exercise, read in a book, or be creative as I try to do. You might delight in creating a personal spa experience in the privacy of your own bathroom.
You could allow yourself time to sip tea perhaps by yourself as you reflect on simple pleasures, or with a friend as you “catch-up” on happenings in each other’s lives.
You see, some of the gifts we give ourselves allow us to be a blessing to others, too. We can all make a difference in the lives of others and it doesn’t have to cost us anything. Consider:

  • Do those who you love know it… today?
  • Have you freely cast a smile at a stranger today?

How much better if everyone would regularly practice random acts of kindness!!!

Here’s to making ours a better world while working on achieving a balanced, healthy life.