“Guard your time fiercely. Be generous with it, but be intentional about it.”
– David Duchemin
In Nigeria, it is some time past 11:00 am on the 2nd of January, which means we are now approximately 34 hours into the new year.
In a few minutes it will be 35 hours, and then 48 hours, and then 72 hours, and pretty soon it will be an entire week. We all know what happens from there; a month, two months, the first quarter, the half year mark, looking forward to long holidays (if you’re a student), another school year in September, the last quarter, November, and then, of course, December.
Just like that, the year will be gone.
Take a minute to ponder this: Wherever you are, you have spent 34 (plus or minus) hours that are now gone, counted and done. Maybe you spent this time with family and loved ones, maybe you spent it partying, maybe you spent it in bed, maybe you spent it praying, maybe you spent it doing a combination of all of these things, or maybe you spent it doing none of them at all. The point is, regardless of how you spent the time, it is gone.
So how intentional were you about the last 34 (plus or minus) hours?
Were you simply going with the flow, taking each hour as it came? Did you start to check off those long resolution lists the moment the clock struck midnight on the 1st? Have you started taking a look at those goals and planning for steps to achieve them?
My advice? Hold up..for only a few minutes.
Being intentional goes beyond just setting goals and resolutions. Rather, it is deliberately making an effort to do things that fall in line with results you want to see. It is having a reason, an intent for every action.
It is discovering your “why”.
And then aligning your goals to be in sync with this why.
So maybe you have made a bunch resolutions, or set a list of goals, and you even have a well thought out plan to go with them. I urge you to take a few minutes to look into these goals, and for each of them ask yourself why. Why do you want to learn this skill? Why do you want to change your job? Why do you want to spend time doing this? Why, why, why?
Growth can be hard, and so the goals you set can seem hard as well, but in finding your reasons, your motivations will become clear and your goals will carry meaning. You will find that your actions transcend being mere activities that simply take time, to intentional steps you want to invest time in, and so taking these steps will become easier because you know why.
You know you are not wasting your time.
My biggest lesson from the past year was acknowledging how fast time flies. Every second, minute and hour that passes will never be gotten back, so don’t waste time on things that don’t matter.
As you begin this year, I wish you joy every day, the best in everything, but most of all the grace to be intentional.
Happy New Year!