“The thing is, we think we have time.” – Buddha
My dad thought he had time. His dream was to visit all the National Parks when he retired. He worked six-seven days a week most of his life. He was an honorable man who felt a deep obligation to make an enduring difference for the people he worked with and for.
He achieved that goal. But at a cost.
Dad finally took off on his long-delayed dream a week after he retired. A week after that, he had a stroke in a hotel bathroom. He eventually recovered, but he never got to visit Banff, Zion or the Grand Tetons. He never got to do what he had dreamed of doing his whole life.
I don’t want that to happen to me.
I don’t want that to happen to you.
I don’t want that to happen to anyone.
Please, right now, change your perspective about TIME. Change the way you think about it. Change the way you talk about it. Because it matters.
Do you talk about “never having enough time?” About being “behind time?” About waiting until you have “more time?”
Please understand you will never have MORE TIME than you have RIGHT NOW.
The only way to make the most of your time is to spend it on what really matters now, not someday. Assuming you’ll have a chance to do what’s important later is a path to regrets.
Take three minutes right now to figure out one thing that is important to you in the following six areas of life. Assign a time metric to these time intentions so you have a way to hold yourself accountable for them.
I’ve provided a few examples to prompt your thinking. Please write down what comes to mind because what occurs to you first is often top-of-mind because it’s calling you.
Relationships: I will:
· Go on Date Night with my partner once a week.
· Read bedtime stories to my kids 5 nights a week.
· Call my mom every Sunday night.
· Host Game Night with friends every other Monday
Health: I will:
· Go for a 30 minute walk six days a week.
· Eat lean, green and protein (no carbs) for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
· Work out with a personal trainer three times a week.
· Make a long-overdue appointment with my doctor and dentist today.
Career: I will:
· Schedule an appointment this week with my boss to discuss a project I’d like to lead.
· Register for an industry conference or professional training in the next two months.
· Sign up for Toastmasters or LinkedIn training to improve my communication skills.
· Volunteer to mentor a junior employee or new-hire for a hour once-a-week.
Contribution: I will:
· Contribute to a friend’s Go Fund Me or Kickstarter campaign this week.
· Volunteer at the animal shelter, my church or a local non-profit twice a month.
· Give a 50% tip every week to a service employee (e.g., waiter, maid, taxi driver).
· Establish an annual scholarship to support the education of others in my profession.
Finance: I will:
· Sit down with my family at our holiday meal to discuss my estate plans.
· Establish a monthly budget with a max for household purchases, entertainment, etc.
· Schedule an appt. this month with a disability and long-term health insurance expert.
· Hire an accountant/bookkeeper this month to organize my taxes and financial records.
Personal Development/Interests: I will:
· Play a sport – tennis, racquetball, pickle ball – at least twice a week.
· Join the writer’s support group at my local bookstore and start my book this week.
· Plan a summer cruise to the Bahamas that I’ve been wanting to go on for years.
· Sign up for a cooking course and host monthly dinners with new recipes for friends.
Want a way to make this fun? Print this post out and take it to lunch with a friend. Or print it out and discuss it over dinner with you and your partner or with your family.
Divvy up the time so each person gets a minimum of ten minutes to talk through how they plan to invest their time in each area.
Please notice the verb invest. From now on, the goal is to invest your time mindfully, instead of spend it mindlessly.
Invest means making thoughtful choices about how, where, why, to what and to whom you allocate your time so you’re making meaningful use of it.
To that purpose, I’m sharing 20 thought-provoking quotes on time that can increase your awareness and appreciation of the all-important role it plays in your quality of life.
Simply said, being more mindful of how you invest your time is the single best thing you can do to create a quality of life that is congruent with your values and priorities.
Aviation pioneer Chuck Yeager said, “At the moment of truth, there are either reasons or results.” Investing your time wisely is a tantible way to produce results instead of regrets.
You might want to post these quotes where they’re in sight, in mind so you keep how you invest your time … top of mind.
20 Motivating Quotes to Make the Most of Your Time
1. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandburg
2. “The bad news? Time flies. The good news? You’re the pilot.” – Michael Altschuler
3. “One day, you’re going to wake up and there won’t be any time left to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.” – Paulo Coelho
4. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” – nurse Bonnie Ware, reporting the #1 regret of people at the end of their life
5. “We have two lives and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” – Confucius
6. “The future is already here and we’re already late.” – John Legend
7. “Now is the new later.” – Sam Horn
8. “Tomorrow is another day, but so was yesterday.” – Rene Ricard
9. “The first step to getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” – J.P. Morgan
10. “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.” – Lao Tzu
11. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
12. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” – Charles Darwin
13. “If you’ve made a decision and haven’t taken action, you haven’t really made a decision.” – Tony Robbins
14. “It’s only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day to day basis.” – Margaret Bonnano
15. “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” – Andy Warhol
16. “As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.” – Henry David Thoreau
17. “How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss
18. “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis
19. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” – Nelson Mandela
20. Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” – M. Scott Peck
Pope Paul II said, “The future starts today, not tomorrow.”
The time is ripe to value yourself and value your time. The time is ripe to change your future by beginning to invest your time in what will matter in the long run … today, not someday.
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Sam Horn, CEO of the Intrigue Agency, is on a mission to help people make the most of their time, now not later. Her books – POP!, Tongue Fu! and Washington Post bestseller Got Your Attention – have been featured in NY Times, Forbes, INC and Fast Company and presented to NASA, Intel, Cisco, Boeing, ASAE. This is excerpted from SOMEDAY is Not a Day in the Week (St. Martins Press, 2019).