What holds you back from pursuing your passion? Why is it that you haven’t explored that interest or mastered that skill you’ve been wanting to learn? What would you do if you had more time (an extra hour of every day)? Far too often, people say “if only I had the time.” I, myself, am guilty of this. Well, to be real here:
It’s not about finding the time, it’s about making the time.
Yes. MAKING the time. Which you are in complete control of. “But Megan, I’ve got a job, I’m busy studying, I have obligations to attend to” – let me ask you, how busy are you pursuing your passion? If you knew that there was limited time left, would you change your routine? How would you spend your last days? (Because to be honest, we never really know when that could be). Keeping this thought in mind, this is how you should spend every day.
Until you make the time, nothing will happen. Whether it’s time to explore your passion, to become fit, to learn that new skill – time to do these things is always there, it’s just up to you to take a piece of that time for yourself, for your goal or pursuit. And that starts with prioritizing.
Allot yourself a time slot to do whatever it is you desire: journaling, photography, working out, learning guitar, meditating, studying for an exam, spending undivided time with a loved one (these are all things I’ve dealt with struggling to make time for). Give it 10 minutes a day, an hour a week, whatever time you can – pen it in on your schedule, and stick to it. The classic line “practice makes perfect” is true – forming new habits is critical to attaining the desired result. Find a way to implement your into your daily routine and begin making progress towards your goal, each and every day.
As much as I’ve made the time excuse myself, I’ve come to realize that time is truly of the essence. There is no time better than now – it’s now or never, really. Tomorrow is no guarantee. It’s up to us to make the most of today, and if we want to improve something in our lives, we’d better get started.
If you’re stuck on where to begin with this whole “time” thing, (1) Find out what is actually taking up your time, (2) What could use more of your time, and (3) How you can implement these things into your life with the time you have.
A sample of my personal analysis below:
Things that take up the majority of my time: College (+ studying), Cross Country, and Work. Bleh. Eating and sleeping are in here too. My life is basically eat, sleep, study, run. And work. Gotta remember, all by choice.
Things I’ve made time for (with only a matter of minutes in the day):
Personal training – after a year + of pondering, maybe 6 months of owning the ACE book (but hardly looking at it), I finally signed up for the exam! Which got me to start reviewing the book (about 15-20 minutes every other day) and take/pass the exam. Now I’m certified (note: I do have a background in Anatomy & Physiology and Nutrition, which helped).
Journaling/Blogging – This is one of the biggies. If I had all the time in the world, I would certainly spend more of it writing. Having attempted countless “diaries,” I rarely stuck with it until I was disciplined enough to allot myself the time. Reflection is really important to me (useful for anyone!), and journaling/blogging is one of the best ways to do that. The toughest part is trying to convert the thoughts in my head to blog posts that may actually serve a purpose/help others and are readable/understandable at the same time. Took me an hour + just to write this post – but it was totally worth it (I hope?).
Ab Work/Yoga – for this, I use the 10 minutes a day philosophy. Drop down and plank! Right when you wake up and/or just before bed is the best time. Sometimes I’ll put my yoga mat in the center of my room as I leave in the morning, knowing it will remind me to do my 10 minutes of down dog and an ab circuit when I get back from class.
Photography, Cooking – signed up for classes in both of these (electives), and boom! I have put in the time. Having to complete assignments and being required to learn these skills has gotten me better in the kitchen and behind the camera.
Reading – almost forgot this one! Assuming you’re literate (reading this blog post, yes?), I assure you there is something readable for your tastes – a nonfiction, a novel, a religious (or fitness) bible. The best time for this is right before bed – power down those devices (haven’t you heard blue light is bad for sleep?) Whether it’s for entertainment, knowledge, inspiration (maybe all 3), reading a chapter a night will get you through a book in no time. You may also experience an improvement in sleep quality – just a bonus!
Things that could use more time:
Acoustic guitar – soo. guilty here. I’ve had a guitar for several years now (5 or 6th grade, to be honest), and still cannot play. This could certainly use more attention. Lessons, anyone?
Social life – In pursuit of self-improvement, a college degree, my personal fitness, yatta, yatta, I really haven’t given my social life enough attention – which really should be one of the most rewarding parts of life, especially at 20. Passion and purpose is so important to me that I can’t spend much time around people who don’t align with my goals or support my interests – selfish? Maybe. (Blog post on this later). But it is my life, it is my time. In order to actually hang out with someone, I pretty much have to pencil it in my schedule. That’s just me. I’m working on devoting undivided time to cultivate relationships, both for family and new/old friends. Knowing how important relationships are to fulfillment and happiness convinces me that it’s crucial.
I could go on. But we can’t make time for everything, can we? As much as I try, pursuing passions lies in the power of priorities.
If you can’t seem to let yourself “find time,” sign up for something – commit yourself to a photography class, a personal training session, a challenge. Invite a friend and create that “social support” that everyone always talks about. Because when it’s written on the schedule and someone’s counting on you, there’s no way you can back down!