It’s time for some cold, hard facts:
- You’re not going to be able to read every book that you want
- You’ll never have time to watch all of your favorite shows
- The house will never be clean enough
- There will always be another errand to run
- The grass will continue to grow
- Everything you buy will need to be dusted, repaired, maintained or disposed of in some way
This is not a critique of any lack of organizational skills on your part, or a reason to give up altogether. Rather, it’s a statement of freedom.
When you know that life will still be waiting for you tomorrow—no matter what—it gives you the freedom to make today count as much as possible. "Someday" is right now. Anytime. And that can be exciting, if you let it. If we ever hope to reach our biggest goals (especially weight loss goals), we have to start making some tough choices. We have to start giving ourselves permission to ignore one thing—or several things—for the sake of something more important. What can be more deserving of our time?
Obviously, there are some realities of living that require attention. We need to work, eat, sleep and care for our families. Beyond that, though, everything is optional. The choices are completely yours. If you feel you don’t have time to pursue your healthy lifestyle goals, you can do something about it by making those tough decisions. It’s difficult to accept this idea. We’ve grown up in a world not used to saying "no" or doing without. By now, we’re used to being pulled in 43 different directions. We’re uncomfortable with the idea that we may just have to let something slide. The trouble is, we get so caught up in trying to do everything that we retreat inside ourselves. We get tunnel vision on the next task and lose sight of other people and what’s important. In a pursuit of happiness, that’s a futile strategy. The only way you can be in two places at once is if your name is Dolly and you’re a cloned sheep.
I come before you today to give you permission to start letting go.
Someone smarter than me once said, "You can have everything. You just can’t have everything right now!" To reach your goals and live the life you want, it takes priorities and patience—the ability to choose between two competing wishes, and the willingness to set one aside for now and wait.
You can build the path that you want to walk on, and decide which steps to take. It’s important to you—to your health, your goals and your family—that you take some time to exercise and plan healthy meals. You should treat it that way and give yourself permission to take that time without feeling guilty. The irony is that by being healthy and taking time from your schedule, you’ll be able to take care of more of that "other" stuff in the long run.
Besides, is anything on your to-do list really more important than your health? When it comes down to it, those choices may not be so tough after all.