make time, not excuses

maketime

(image courtesy of Death to Stock Photo)

I think I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve thought of something I would like to do or want to do, and immediately said to myself: Oh, I don’t have time for that.

I don’t have time to knit. I don’t have time to taking an intermediate class on HTML/CSS. I don’t have time to blog. I don’t have time to learn basic Portuguese, even though my job has made me realize that I would like to be able to say something other than, “Sorry, I don’t speak Portuguese” in Portuguese. I just don’t have time. Then I see other people accomplishing awesome things and get jealous, wondering why I can’t do what they do. The thing is, I probably can. I just haven’t tried because limiting myself has become the norm for me.

Sometimes, I truly am busy and things get set aside. Other times, I just don’t have the energy so when I finally have some down time, I somehow end up in front of the TV doing nothing. And this time of year, it’s also easy to blame the weather for my lethargy. But more often than not, I’m just discouraging myself, even if I don’t mean to. Instead, I stick to the same old routine during the work week and every now and then, maybe muster up some energy on the weekends. Even that’s not a common occurrence these days.

The thing is, I want to keep learning and creating. I like challenging myself. I want to learn more about coding and yes, I actually want to learn some Portuguese. So how do I make these things happen?

Make time. It’s actually that simple. The time to do these things exists, whether I believe it or not. I have to set aside 30 minutes to an hour, once a day or once a week, for the things I’ve otherwise insisted I can’t squeeze in. For a hobby, for learning, for writing, for pretty much anything I’d like to do. I don’t have to go crazy and do several things at once or sit aside several hours a week. It’s about starting small and making adjustments as I go.

Don’t make excuses. It’s so easy to talk yourself out of doing something, isn’t it? It’s also easy to waste time doing nothing than be productive (trust me, I would know). This post is how I’m going to hold myself accountable for making the best use of my time. Even if I’m just sitting in the front of the TV, I could just as easily be knitting at the same time.

Set goals. Even small ones make a difference. It could be that I want to write or blog at least once a week. Or I want to finish a knitting project in two to three months. Starting small gives you the ability to meet those goals easily; setting the bar too high can be another way of discouraging yourself.

It’s so important to make time for the things that matter to you. I know I’m ready to put in the effort. What do you wanna do with your free time?

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