It is easy for us to get caught up the busy, fast-paced world surrounding us. “Every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this! And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what is important.” This quote I found on Pinterest explained exactly how I was feeling.

It is pretty common that we don’t make time for the things that are important to us. It isn’t always that we do not have time, it’s just that we have too many people, places, and things that are important to us and we only have 24 hours in a day to fit in everything. Figuring out how to manage all our priorities can be very difficult. Although I haven’t quite mastered figuring out how to manage my time, I have figured out that my time is valuable.

When I drive, I like to listen to someone talk. I came across a sermon while driving during my half hour commute from work to class. The clients at work were very demanding, I was worried about my test in fifteen minutes, and to top it all off, I forgot my lunch box at home. The sermon was called Why am I running? It is a series of sermons - Stride, Pace of Grace, Why am I running, and Stride (again) by Transformation Church.

The main message hit me in the feels. It made me realize I was so busy I was just waking up and running a marathon and at the end of the day, I would prepare to run another marathon the next day. Rest is important and life would be more enjoyable if I found a pace that I could maintain.

Honestly - “Who told us that we have to be busy? Who told us that in order to be better, we had to be busier. Who told us that the more we did - the more important we would become. Why are we trying to do more, be more, and fill our schedules?”

You see - I run a tight schedule and in the midst of all this busyness, I have realized how important it is to manage our time. My calendar is filled with value. It might look busy, but all of this brings me joy - and I value these things.

When looking at my schedule, there are things that I must attend - school and work. There are thing that are optional - babysitting, club meetings, and socializing with friends. There are some things I do to maintain a healthy life - workout and my morning routine.

In my leadership class, we were presented with a question, “What could you do today to live your best life tomorrow?”

I knew the answer before the activity began - I needed to find a balance. The process we walked through as a class was very eye opening, and I encourage you to take time to participate!
You see, we all have a hidden agenda - whether we like to admit it or not. Now, before I admit my hidden agenda. I would like to take you through the same process my professor did. The activity is called immunity to change.

What are your friends telling you?
What is your improvement goal?
What are you doing to reach this goal? What are you not doing to reach this goal?
If you do what your friends tell you to do, what are you worried about? (This showcases hidden commitments)
What are the assumptions you have based on your hidden commitments?

Create an experiment to reach this goal - a smile step.

Now, your hidden commitments are meant to jump out at you and make you question your reasoning behind why you cannot accomplish the goal you have aimed to achieve. Here were my silly hidden commitments:

I am committed to always being viewed positively.
I am committed to never being bored.
I am committed to doing more and being more.
I’m committed to showing everyone I can.

I know. I’m ashamed. Those are crazy, unattainable, selfish commitments I have to myself. I never realized them, until I was forced to sit down and reflect on the life I was living and the reason I kept on running.

It really is simple. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and we need to spend some of that time doing something that brings us joy! Schedule some time for some simple self-care and self-fulfillment because it is so easy to get caught up in the demands life brings, and before you know it we are running at a pace that you can’t maintain. Our highest priority should be to find a pace of grace - and quit filling our schedule with things we don’t enjoy. Life is short. Let it be joyful.

Author: Savannah Keitzer, Iowa
Ziglar Youth Certified Trainer