I recently sat through a work meeting where the theme was Stop. Start. Continue. The purpose was to challenge team members to think through daily tasks and ask oneself which ones of these can I stop because it provides no measurable value to the business, which ones should I continue because it does provide value and which ones should I start to replace unnecessary tasks and work streams with.
While the exercise just left me daydreaming about abandoning and stopping many of my daily responsibilities, I couldn’t help but to think about the exercise in context of my personal life. While not applying those three words exactly, I have done just that in the last 8 months with great results. I stopped putting unnecessary items on my plate, picked up more of what’s important and am staying the course on what does add value to my life.
I quit a few of my extracurriculars. I can’t be everywhere all over the city every night. I just can’t. I was going crazy. I told folks I’m taking a step back. They said good for you. I stopped stressing myself out to the extreme about getting to the next level within a certain period of time. I stopped telling everyone yes all the time. That includes friends, co-workers, you name it.
I started swimming more than I ever have before by joining a Master’s team and running a similar amount to what I was last fall when training for my first half marathon. I plan on running the City of Lakes Half Marathon this Fall in Minneapolis and doing a mini-triathlon. I have always lived a very active lifestyle, but adding more activity keeps me even happier.
I’m still working extremely hard, but I don’t stress as much. I still volunteer in moderation. I’m still spending time with a great group of friends. I’m still writing (my one true love). But, I get paid for it, so you don’t get to see much of it here, unfortunately.
While I can’t promise to always live the most balanced life when it gets crazy, I am more committed than ever before to balance, to happiness and to just saying NO. There is honest and sweet fulfillment in the word no. Try it sometime.