Happy New Year to you and yours! I hope you are off to a great new start and new year. There is so much emphasis this time of year around goals, goal setting, and planning for the year ahead – which is all great…

…until you hit a wall with all of the big goals you’ve planned for the year.

The thing is, most people these days are over-worked and over-productive. They idolize speed, getting stuff done, and movement – usually at the expense of something. Sometimes that “something” can be their families, friends, or elements of life that bring joy. Other times, that “something” can cost significantly to the internal world of a person (mental, emotional, spiritual health).

Over the last few years, it’s become evident that creating space is essential to live a life that’s balanced. Miriam Webster Dictionary defines “space” as “a continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied” (Webster). When you create mental, physical, and emotional space in your life and schedule, you’re able to be present, to engage, to love your team and community well. You’re able to stop. Adjust. Remember what’s important. Think about your values.

Creating space begins with a deliberate decision to take control of where your time, thought-life, energy, and effort is focused. If you’re ready to start living a bit more intentionally and create some space in your life, here are a few simple steps to help orient and protect your priorities:

  • Organize and Prioritize your tasks and commitments
    • Take a life inventory. What’s on your plate? What do you spend your time doing? Try to capture it all in a list. You can bullet point, or just get it all out on paper.
    • Prioritize by asking, “Why is this important? Why am I doing this thing?” (For example: You prioritize having a job in order to provide for yourself or family)
  • Filter using personal values
    • Filter these priorities using your personal values. What are you about? Do these tasks line up with your values?
    • If the priorities don’t line up with your values, take them off your list, or delegate them.
  • Set boundaries and systems to protect
    • Set clear boundaries that will protect your values, space and life
    • Set up a system to hold yourself accountable to these boundaries. They are there for a reason.
    • Examples: Time boundaries, technology boundaries, relational boundaries, work boundaries, etc.

Find a system that works for you. Protect your space with boundaries, and then you’ll start to find your life a little more manageable. You’ve got this!