If you feel you don't have enough time, you need to do this
by Heather Thatcher
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If you feel like your schedule is all over the place and you’re frustrated that there just never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done, let alone find time to exercise, meal plan, or do those typical healthy lifestyle activities – this one’s for you.
It can seem impossible to plan a balanced, healthy lifestyle around your schedule regardless of if you work shift work or a traditional 9 – 5 Monday through Friday job. The truth is you’re not experiencing a time problem.
You’re experiencing an alignment problem.
When we are living out of alignment, we can feel frustrated, imbalanced, and flustered. Our lives seem to be running just a few steps ahead of us, and no matter what we do we can’t seem to catch up. Again, this leaves very little room for regular exercise, cooking at home, and other self-care activities.
But when you’re back in alignment, you find that balance you’ve been craving, you finally have the time to do the things that are important for you (like taking care of your health) and your overall stress level decreases.
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What does it mean to be living in alignment?
Living in alignment means that you don’t spend much time, if any at all, on those things or activities in your life that aren’t supporting your greater good. I’m talking about leaving all of those instant gratification moments behind and to start thinking about what would benefit you in the future.
If I were to ask you right now what do you want to do during your day you’d probably list things like:
- Spend time with family and friends
- Eat good food
- Maybe meditate or do yoga or your exercise of choice
- A hobby or creative passion that brings you joy
- Getting out into nature
I betcha, though, as you were thinking of your unique list of things that you want to make sure you have time for during the day, watching 3 hours of TV or Netflix, or spending an hour mindlessly scrolling on social media didn’t pop into your mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good show on Netflix, and social media can be fun sometimes. Our lives can be quite stressful and we do need our downtime to rest and recharge. But so often we don’t realize how much time we spend watching Netflix or scrolling through social media. Although these are great distractions, they aren’t always the best at restoring our energy.
So how do you do this? How do you align your daily activities with your greater good and primarily focus on things that will benefit you in the future?
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Step 1 – Discover your values
Knowing what you value most in life is crucial to determine if your life is in alignment or not. When you’re living in alignment, you feel balanced, content, and generally satisfied with your life because you’re spending the majority of your time on what you value the most. We become dissatisfied and frustrated with our life when we don’t have this balance.
Take a few moments now and imagine that you’re at the end of your beautiful life. Everything worked out better than you’d hoped and you are so incredibly grateful for this journey you went on.
Looking back, what stands out? What is it about how you lived your life, what you focused your time on, and who you spent your time with was the most meaningful for you? How will you be remembered?
These kinds of reflective questions can help us identify where we need to focus our energy, especially when we get busy and time is scarce in our schedule.
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Step 2 – Ask yourself “Is what I’m about to do in alignment with what I want for my life?”
Now that you know what is most important and where you want to direct most of your energy, it’s time to make sure that what you do during the day is aligned with this. You can do this by stopping yourself before you start a new activity or task and ask yourself:
“Is what I’m about to do in alignment with what I want for my life?”
One Netflix show that relaxes you and helps you unwind – totally fine! But if you’re watching it while you’re eating so you’re distracted and unable to listen to your body’s cues, that’s not really in alignment, is it? Avoiding doing the dishes? Probably also not in alignment.
This question is going to help you make decisions that benefit yourself in the future, rather than just follow old habits or satisfy some moment of instant gratification. By slowing yourself down, you’re breaking the flow of your old patterns – which gives you the opportunity to change them.
Some things are going to be very clearly in alignment for you, and some will clearly be against what you want for your life. But there will also be some things that fit into the “other” category.
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Maybe you’d put your job in the other category because you don’t really enjoy working there, don’t feel satisfied and would rather be, well, anywhere else. But working somewhere is necessary for survival.
Working at that job brings home money that allows you to live your life, eat good food, go out with friends and family, buy yourself nice things, go on vacation, give a gift to someone important in your life, attend those yoga classes, and maybe pay for a gym membership. All of these things contribute to your higher good and benefit future you, so although your job may not be the most stimulating and wonderful moment of your day, it does allow for all of these other things. See that your job belongs in the neutral category?
Brushing your teeth, getting ready in the morning, does benefit future you but is also not that exciting so maybe it also ends up in the neutral category. So this is where you can ask yourself – “Does this activity serve my higher good in some way?” and use this question to sort the activities into the neutral or the out of alignment category.
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Life is about finding balance
Life is about finding the right balance that will work best for you. That means you need to make sure that how you’re spending your precious time here on this soul’s journey is going to bring you joy, satisfaction, and inner peace.
Anything else that doesn’t fit that description or support that description has got to go.
Ask yourself that question “Is what I’m about to do in alignment with what I want for my life?” every time you switch tasks for a few days and notice the trends.
You may be surprised how many things you do that are out of alignment, and then even more surprised at how much more time you have when you’ve eliminated or reduced those things that don’t serve your future goals for who you are meant to become.