There are two things I know to be true: (1) there are things that need to happen in my life, and (2) I never seem to have enough time.
I need to read more. I need to clean the house. I need to work. I need to play with my kids. I need to cook dinner. I need to pack lunches. I need to build my relationship with my husband. I need to exercise. There are so many things that need to happen in our lives yet I never seem to have enough time. I find myself at the end of day regretting the things that I never made happen during the day and committing to make them happen the next day.
Here is something I think it true when it comes to the tension between our time and the things that need to happen. I’ve found that high expectations and low ability almost always leads to failure.
Your jeans are tight so you think if you cut out sugar for one day, then they will fit again. Or maybe you see something on Pinterest, give it a shot and expect it look like something Martha Stewart whipped up. Or maybe you want a clean house, but with a toddler who takes out what you just put up you are left feeling paralyzed. This can even happen in our relationships. There’s distance and the gap seems to large to bridge so we just don’t make a move. We choose to stay silent. We want great things to happen — quickly — and we also don’t have superstar ability. I set out to exercise everyday for 30 minutes, yet after the first time I am clearly not in shape like I used to be so I stop.
High expectations + low ability = failure.
And there are just some things that I honestly don’t want to do. I don’t like exercising. I don’t want to put away the dishes. I definitely don’t want to clean bathrooms. And because I don’t want to do these things, it’s easy to feel like I just don’t have time for it. “It just didn’t happen today. I simply ran out of time.” Have you ever said that?
But the reality is that we make time for things we want to do. I want to drink coffee ALONE in the morning so I wake up a few minutes early before my people wake. I want to look at Instagram so I opt to not read that book that’s been sitting by my bed for months.
So when it comes to the things we really don’t want to do, we make excuses. I find a million other things to do in place of it that somehow seemed more important in the moment. But here is what I’m discovering: Doing something for 10 minutes a day can change my life and my perspective. In fact, time is one of your most prized possessions and we get to choose where we spend it. I’ve learned in life that doing some things over time brings the result I wanted. As a child, I wanted to learn how to play the piano, so I practiced one hour every day for years and I learned to play beautifully. I wanted to drop the baby weight after my child was born. It didn’t happen over night, but with making consistent moderate choices, over time the weight came off.
We have to learn to manage the tension between what we want to do and what we need to do but don’t really want to do. And I believe that if you can give those things 10 minutes a day, you will see change. You may not change your life in simply 10 minutes, but you will start a change reaction. Doing something over time will eventually bring change. You change your mind and that will ultimately change your life. Ten minutes of burst training won1t give me a six-pack in my abs but 10 minutes of burst training over time will create a healthier me. And in the meantime, my thoughts towards myself change. Knowing that I1m giving a little bit of my busy day towards my health helps me to not judge myself harshly.
I want you to try it. Set a timer for 10 minutes and …
- choose one space to pick up
- put away the clean dishes
- put the dirty dishes in sink
- clean out one cluttered drawer
- read your bible or a devotional or pray
- choose to pack lunches
- sit down and play Legos with your child
- sit outside and enjoy creation
- invite your husband to bed (We can do anything for ten minutes. Right, girls?!)
There is power in doing something for 10 minutes everyday. And giving something time consistently will eventually bring change. What can you do for 10 minutes today that over time could change your life?
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