Life Makeover – Week 5

What is the one thing that every person on this earth often bemoans the lack of? If you guessed money, you would be wrong. If you guessed happiness, you would also be wrong.
The one thing that (almost) every person on this earth (regardless of race, creed or colour) lacks and wishes that they had more of is of course ‘Time’. If I had $1 for each time that I have heard someone say “Where has the year gone?”, “Time moves so much more quickly these days” or “I wish I had more hours in the day” then I wouldn’t be counting pennies today.
Interestingly, yesterday I was working on my book which will contain a collection of my 500+ blogs posts from the past 18 months when I came across this post from 2013 in which I speak about this very thing. And as if to reinforce the relevance of its importance, this week’s makeover tip from Cheryl Richardson deals with Time also. There is a message from the universe in there I’m sure.
However, this is not about me but about what Cheryl recommends for improving our life one week at a time.
In the book, she asks the question “What do you actually spend your time each week in doing”?
Now many of us work and that accounts for a large percentage of time. Cheryl suggests that approximately 55 hours each week is spent commuting, getting ready for, worrying about and actually working. That is about 1/3 of the 168 hours contained within each week.
Now if you sleep a good 8 hours each night (as is recommended) then you can subtract another 56 hours from that total leaving us with 57 hours left in which to do our housework and chores, grocery shopping, parenting, exercising, running errands, paying bills, volunteering and pursuing recreational outlets. It’s little wonder that we feel as if there are never enough hours in the day.

However, there is one thing we always forget. We are in charge of our lives and we are the ones who decide what is important and not important in our daily routines. To this end, Cheryl suggests making an “Absolute Yes” list.
This list will contain the top 5 priorities for the next 3-6 months. These are the things that need to be taken care of and made time for.
Once you have a list of the things that you have to schedule time for, then it becomes easier to say ‘no’ to the things that aren’t necessary and take your time away from that which is important to your life at this point in time.
An “Absolute Yes” list will allow you to remember your priorities.

So this week’s challenge is to create and “Absolute Yes” list for our lives.
To do this, you will need to set aside an hour or so (schedule it if you have to). Taking your journal (or notepad) and pen break the page into headings entitled Relationships, Family, Community, Work, Emotional and Physical Health, Finances and any others you might like to add.
Now ponder the following two questions:

  1. What needs my attention at this time in my life? and
  2. What do I need to let go of?

Don’t censor your answers. No answer is wrong.
After you have done this exercise, prioritise what you have written into what is most important right now to what can wait a little longer.
Then take your top 5 answers and write them out on a card that you have labelled “Absolute Yes” list. Keep this card with you and read it often. Place copies beside your bathroom mirror or in your work diary if you wish.

Once you have done this, your challenge then becomes saying ‘no’ to things that will take away from using your time in the way in which you wish to e.g. if you are asked by a colleague to help them with a project at work yet you have a deadline of your own, then graciously decline.
Cheryl advocates learning to say ‘no’ with grace and love in order to protect your gift of time. If saying no is difficult for you (and you wouldn’t be on your own there) then remember the following things:

  1. Your self-care is always a valid excuse
  2. You don’t need to over-explain or defend your actions. Just tell the simple truth.
  3. Doing things out of guilt and obligation is not doing things out of love.

In closing this chapter Cheryl says:

So, the next time someone asks you to do something that you’d rather not do, simply smile and tell them that you’re not available.

Image from


27 thoughts on “Life Makeover – Week 5

  1. I’ve lost some friendships by saying “no” but in the end the people who really care respect your family priorities. They are often the lovely friends you may not see for a whole year (or even years!) but when you are with them again, it’s like no time has passed at all. You just continue where you left off. In the past I have wasted too much time caring what people think about me. I think as I age I care less about that. Time is precious and I don’t want to waste it worrying about people who will judge me no matter what I do. Great post, Suze! Wise words. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jane, I feel that if you lost friendships over using the word ‘no’ then they were not friends in the first place. A true friend would understand your reasons for saying no and putting your family first.
      It is so gratifying to spend time with family when they are the ones who make our lives worthwhile.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve lived and died through many a rough time with an Absolute Yes list inspired by Cheryl in my pocket. Oh the times it’s saved me! Even more important than the “No” saying, is the courage to take the jump when something scary presents itself and tingles with the excitement of aligning with the “Yes” saying πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow! It’s great to find someone who has used this technique and found that it worked so well for them. I think it’s important to have our goals and priorities and to keep them foremost in our minds.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not sure if I should even do this week’s assignment. I’m a stay-at-home wife with all kids out of the house. There’s only one vehicle, which is driven by Hubby. Time is not my problem in life. I have plenty of it. With this said though, I could learn to use time more efficiently. There may be another assignment on time later on in the 52-week project. If so, maybe I’ll just write about any progress I make.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t work right now either Glynis however I still struggle to find enough time in the day to do everything that I want to do which is why I schedule. I like the idea of an ‘Absolute Yes’ list to keep me on track so that I don’t wander off doing other things that although fun, take time away from the things I should be doing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Living in the now is such a difficult thing to do at times. I find I am always looking ahead to what I can do and what I should be doing and then beating myself up if I don’t achieve. I’m finding schedules a big help there.
      I wish I could take credit for the image but it’s a stock photo. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wise words and a good idea. I guess my priorities, other than spending time with my family, are walking and writing. Of all the things I procrastinate about these are the two I always manage to squeeze into every day no matter what. Your photo made me smile and certainly caught my attention when I saw it in my reader. I was once told by a man in Madiera that the name of my city was very familiar to everyone because all the goods they imported came stamped Southampton. I’m guessing that clock must have started life somewhere in the streets I wander through.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting subject by your friend Cheryl where she speaks on where out time goes, however I think she has missed a major point, when she speaks of time commuting, getting ready for work and worrying about work.
    The point is as you stated,Now many of us work and that accounts for a large percentage of time.
    So the question is for those of us who dont work anymore, where does our time go ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s not really my friend Ian as I’ve never met her apart from in the pages of the books she’s written Ian lol but yes, she hasn’t taken into consideration those that don’t work.
      I think that’s something else that needs to be looked into because I know that although I don’t work, I study but I also manage to waste a lot of time doing nothing in particular. lol

      Liked by 1 person

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