I’ve been reading Jon Acuff’s book, Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done, and he makes an excellent point about pursuing a goal: You have to choose something to bomb.
“You only have two options right now:
- Attempt more than is humanly possible and fail.
- Choose what to bomb and succeed at a goal that matters.”
Now, he doesn’t say that you choose to completely eliminate something in your life permanently. Only that if you want to make great strides in one area of your life, something else may have to move to the backburner.
If you want to pay off $1000 in debt, you may need to stop buying organic food and make cheaper meals for a bit.
If you want to lose 10 pounds, you may need to skip going to your favorite Mexican restaurant on date night.
If you want to grow your side business, you may need to take a break from Netflix for a while and spend that time working.
See where I’m going with this?
So, if you want to crush your goals this year, you must say no to some things. And here are 6 things you can say no to, so you can say yes to actually finishing your goals.
Everyone of us has something they love to watch. My husband and I like to watch Parks and Recreation reruns after putting our daughter to bed. Your entertainment of choice may be Netflix binge watching, YouTube cat videos, morning shows, documentaries or Game of Thrones. Though they are very entertaining and a great escape at the end of the day, this is time that could be spent working on something else. That something could be reading a book related to your goal, getting everyone ready for the next day or doing meal prep.
- Social Media
Deleting your social media accounts permanently may be going too far for many of you, but consider taking a break from your favorites like Facebook or Pinterest until you make major progress toward your goals. The first step for many of us in limiting social media time is to delete the apps from our devices. For more about that, check out this post about my love/hate relationship with Facebook.
- Phone Use
I know some phone functions are critical– the ability to make a call, to use maps, to take a photo. But let’s be honest, that’s not what we spend the majority of our time on the phone doing. Instead, we are browsing the internet, checking social media, playing games and sending text messages. Try putting your phone on airplane mode for short periods of time– start with just 15 minutes and build up from there. Or even better, turn your phone off and put it in a drawer. Use that 15 minutes of distraction-free time to knock out tasks you’ve already identified to help you hit your goals.
- Errands & Phone Calls
We all have certain errands we have to complete like going to the grocery store, picking up a few things at Target or getting gas. But running all over town every day to take care of just one errand eats up too much time. The same can be said for phone calls. No one enjoys making appointments, calling insurance companies, asking questions about bills. Batch tasks like these together– the errands on one day or the calls in one morning to save time and energy.
- Information Overload
This one is a huge challenge for me. It is SO easy to get information on anything you’re interested in. Whether it’s blogs, podcasts, books, YouTube videos, social media or TV, we are drowning in information and lacking implementation. Consider temporarily sending blogs or email subscriptions to an email folder, unsubscribing from podcasts or reducing the number of books you’re reading. Challenge yourself to implement something from what you’ve already read or heard before moving on to something else.
- Emails & Texts
It may not seem like it takes very long to respond to an email or text, but it is very disruptive. You have to stop what you were doing, reply to the email or text, and then remember what you were working on before. And that’s the best case scenario. Likely you will get sucked into an email or text conversation that majorly distracts you and disrupts your day. The solution: Turn off your text and email sounds and notifications and schedule a couple of times during the day when you will check each and respond. Remember, you are in charge of your time, and no one has the right to tell you when you should respond to their needs. (And if it makes you feel better, you can give your hubby and kids a special designation so their messages always come through.)
If you are a recovering perfectionist like me, this part is tough, because we still have the twisted idea that we really can do it all with better planning or systems. But that is a complete lie.
And even if we could do it all, we would be depleted and exhausted and definitely not the best version of ourselves.
Make the hard choice to say no to some things for a short period in order to do things that really matter.
For my free guide on other things to say no to and ways to reclaim time, sign up here.