Does it feel like the special moments are too few and far between? Do moments just pass by at the speed of light?
We used to savor the little moments.
Where did they go?
Sitting by the fire with a good friend.
Playing pretend with children.
Throwing an awesome party!
Are those just things of the past?
They don’t have to be!
Let me tell you a story…
This week, Keith and I were honored guests to a very fancy tea party. The table had been prepared the day before. Grandma’s blanket served as the table cloth. Play dishes from the kids’ kitchen were meticulously set, and a playdoh feast of cake, sour candies, and tootsie rolls adorned the center of the table. Most of all, hot tea and sugar cubes were set in advance, and guests were invited excitedly to attend. Keith and I sat for a good 20-30 minutes without hurry soaking in the moment—catching eyes many times at how adorable the entire setting was and laughing a lot. As I sat on the floor, I relished in thankfulness that we had been intentional over the weekend to provide the margin for a moment like this.
Most of this past year had not been as relaxed as that fancy tea party. Together, Keith and I had added to our plate more than we realized. Keith was not only in charge of a very special and very complex architectural project, he was also promoted…twice! Increased responsibility such as this certainly takes time to acclimate into your schedule. Just prior to this, we had decided to launch a small business called Think Time together! On top of these changes, this year also held a season of personal change, grief, and growth for us as a family. So, we were squeezed emotionally, physically, and in every way.
This weekend, following another demanding week, we sat in our living room and just breathed. We gradually reflected on this past year. We decided that we are ready for a season of rest—even if that means that we cut some important things or delegate some tasks to others. We simply cannot keep up this pace and maintain our values and priorities. We want to protect our time for relationships. We want to simplify and to be present in each moment.
Because we had taken time to reflect on our year together, on our highs and lows, I had a head start when I took time Sunday morning to Think Time. As I visualized the future, my visions included a sketch of Keith chasing our kids during focused family time that we would carve out of each evening. My Rosebush included going to bed and getting up early as a prize rose. I decided to prune doing the housework late at night and/or by myself. I specified activities that could be delegated to my little helpers. After all, it builds into their character for me to slow down and to let them help—(which is yet another long term, high return goal).
Watch me Think Time this process here: A Little Dreaming.
One of the best things I do each week is evaluate how my routines support my goals and tweak them as necessary. After brainstorming my to-bes and to-dos and filtering my big picture goals for the week through the Decide Grid, I started working on my calendar tool. For Keith and me, investing in our kids and being present with them is a long-term, high return goal. However, the demands of life fight against us. Nevertheless, because this is a prize category, as we take time to Think Time, we fight back by working goals such as these into our routines…FIRST.
To really succeed, schedule your long-term, high return goals first.
It is like paying yourself first when you make a monthly budget or scheduling appointments with yourself to complete your most important task. Keith and I have found that there is rarely a convenient evening to have a date, but when it is pre-scheduled, it happens, and we are always thankful. In twenty years, we want to be happily married, so we make our deposits now. In our high-pressured world, there are few good times to check in with an elderly neighbor, call a friend, or write that note. However, if we start with a vision of WHO WE WANT TO BE, then our priorities then become clear, and our actions begin to follow.
Start with a vision of who you want to be.
For me, this week it meant simply evaluating our afternoon and evening routines. We were doing the same activities—just at different times and in different ways—to free up time and space for our larger goals. I envisioned first what I wanted our evenings to look like, then it became clear what needed to move to make that happen.
You may just flip your priorities on their head. You may find that playing with your baby or helping your toddler sort silverware becomes a priority because it is supporting your long term, high return goal of cultivating a close relationship and raising a capable, responsible adult.
Conversely, picking up the slack for someone at work may move down on the priority list. It is an immediate, low return activity that will only repeat the more you do it.
What about you?
What are some long-term goals that you would like to work into your routine?
Please comment in the comments below!
Thank you for your time
…because your time is your life.
“Protect time for relationships.” think-time.com @thinktimetweets
“Be present in each moment.” think-time.com @thinktimetweets
“Simplify.” think-time.com @thinktimetweets
“Cut important things or delegate tasks to promote a season of rest.” @thinktimetweets
“Be intentional to provide margin.” think-time.com @thinktimetweets
“Work activities that build into your long-term and short-term goals into your routines.” @thinktimetweets
“If we start with a vision of who we want to be, then our priorities then become clear, and our actions begin to follow.” @thinktimetweets
“To really succeed, schedule your long-term, high return goals first.” @thinktimetweets
“Start with a vision of who you want to be.” think-time.com @thinktimetweets
“The demands of life fight against us. Fight back!” think-time.com @thinktimetweets
Christine M. Wilson, LPC
Co-Founder, Think Time
Think Time Life Leadership System
Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.
Shop now at think-time.com.