After reading 168 Hours and keeping my time journal for three weeks, I committed to do three things:

  1. Complete my 100 Dreams list.
  2. Review my core competencies.
  3. Stop multi-tasking.

The goal of these efforts is to try to escape “the time crunch”. I would love to report that I have done so but I can’t. I still feel like there are never quite enough hours in a day. I do feel like I am getting a bit more out of those hours. As I’ve worked on these three goals I’ve learned a few things .

To say yes to your dreams you have to learn to say NO first.

The goal of writing down 100 Dreams is to look at the list and find the theme, your WHY if you haven’t found it yet. I know my WHY but I found it evolving in my list.

  • Go back to school….for a Nutrition or Public Health degree.
  • Start a mastermind group for female fitness professionals.
  • Sell my own line of teas.
  • Write a manifeso.

I love being in the gym with my team but my list reveals so many other ways I can empower women with health and fitness. Being able to do all of the things I dream requires me to stay focused on my WHY and stop getting distracted with the things that don’t make sense to my mission. This is where the problem is for most of us.

We make a list of things we want to do and then we let other peoples’ agendas get in our way.

I know I’ve been guilty of this recently and it’s been making me pretty miserable. I am happiest and healthiest when I am fully engaged in living my purpose. If I am caught up in activities that don’t align with my WHY, I find myself tired and detached. To live my WHY I have to say NO to those things that don’t support my Dreams. This is why the 100 Dreams List is so important. It’s a touchstone to your WHY. Even if you don’t read the book I encourage you to do this exercise. See what it tells you about the path your living.

All work and no play makes one very dull (and cranky).

I have other passions that, to be a happy and whole person, I need to make sure I find time for. I am in the lucky of position of being fully in charge of my leisure time (childless by choice) and even having weekends where I am completely on my own. Despite this freedom, I often feel compelled to keep working, getting less and less productive as I go. If you choose to fill all your hours with only work projects, no matter how passionate you are about that work, you will still burn out. I need to take my breaks, turn off “the business” and reconnect with family, friends and myself. I always tell people to make appointments with themselves for their workouts, to put themselves on their to-do list. I need to do this for ALL the things I want to do in my life not just workouts, writing and paying the bills.

I’ve started adding my Mandarin practice to my daily to-do list. Not only is learning a new language quite fun and great for my maturing brain but it will help with some other dreams on my list. I put meditation on my to-do list because it has become as necessary as my workout. It gives me focus and helps me deal with difficult questions or energy slumps. I’ve also started cutting off work after the last training session. Before, I would come home and go straight to my desk to check in clients, check email and do any session follow up tasks. However, I am easily distracted and much less patient at the end of a long day. I am also much less efficient than I am first thing in the morning. I decided 99% of these tasks could easily wait till the next morning. Setting a cut off time for work activities has helped me get more time to read, connect with Brian, meditate or practice yoga. Find a time that works for you to shut down work and do something just for the enjoyment it brings you.

Know when it is time to ask for help.

There are the things I love to do, like train and write. There are things I do well but I don’t necessarily enjoy, like keeping up the books balanced. Then there are the things that, for lack of a better word, I suck at doing but also hate to do. Cleaning house is one of them. If you’re not good at something and you hate it don’t be afraid to outsource it. Getting someone to clean the house is on my dreams list. It’s something we’ve discussed from time to time but never acted on. This year, if both Brian and I want to have time and energy to do what we love, we have to make it happen.

I’ve added some new tools to my toolbox to help me run the business and the household. I using new social media tools (namely CoSchedule) to make sure my posts happen when you are more likely to see them as well as posting less of often. I don’t want to overload your News Feed (wasting your time) and I only want to give you things you will find valuable. Plus it frees up the time I am on Facebook and Instagram to respond to your questions and comments and not trying to decide what to say or share.

I’m using GatheredTable to help plan my weekly menus. I gave them my specifications (vegetarian, no dairy) and let them run with it. It’s no problem to add a house favorite to the menu if I want to but it saves me the hour or so I would normally spend leafing through my cookbooks and issues of Clean Eating magazine. I switched to Quickbooks Online because it downloads information and reconciles most of it automatically. Yes, there is a monthly fee involved but it is worth the time I save each week. The busier I get, the more I understand the value of my time and the more willing I am to try new ways of doing things. Don’t undervalue your time. Getting help doesn’t mean you’re lazy, not a good enough mom or wife or that there is anything wrong with you.

It’s a work in progress. The more I let the Dreams list guide me, the more I learn to turn off the noise and be present, the better it gets. I’ve resolved to spend a little more time dreaming each week so I can complete the list. The goal is to have those 100 Dreams down (at least this version) by my 40th birthday…which is in about 11 weeks. My 30s have been quite the learning experience. I am certainly in a much different place now than I was when I turned 30. (A place I honestly never would have dreamed of before). Now that I know all that is possible I want to set my sights even higher for my next decade.

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