Think about how often we all regretfully say that we don’t have the time to do “something” (you fill in the blank). What we’re actually saying is that whatever this “something” is, we aren’t giving it a top priority in our lives. Not enough time… or not a priority. There’s a big difference there.

The first step to finding balance and meaning in your life… and putting an end to the feeling that you’re just existing day to day… is to stop allowing the hours of your day to be filled by default with “busy-ness” that you don’t control. Take some time to sort out what your real priorities are and to determine what is really important to you… and also what is not. Try to eliminate or reduce the things you routinely do that bring you little or no satisfaction or joy, and reclaim that time for something more meaningful to you. This process is the same for everyone, but your priorities will be unique to you because they will be influenced by YOUR circumstances and YOUR goals.

What you WANT is important… but can’t be your only consideration. Your family, your work, your financial obligations, and your need for downtime must all be a part of the equation… and some compromises are almost always necessary.

Once you know what your priorities and possibilities are, you can start taking control of your time and your life. Don’t try to make several big changes all at once. It will be easier to stay on track if you start slowly and make only one small change at a time. Keep your plans flexible and don’t be afraid to make adjustments if something doesn’t work out as well as you thought it would, or if your circumstances or priorities change.

Time is the only resource that everyone gets in equal amounts. Some people have more money than other people, some people have more energy, talents, or abilities than other people… but everybody starts out with the same twenty-four hours in every day. How we each choose to spend these hours defines who we are and the life we will live.

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