Doing More With Less

If your days are anything like mine, you’re perpetually short of breath. It’s not an exercise-induced fatigue, or one from a pulmonary illness, but an exhaustion caused by the whirlwind of events that consumes our day.

As a new mom who has recently returned to the workforce, a routine day for me involves running in several directions at full speed, which means I inevitably get nowhere.

Just thinking of my to-do list makes me gasp for air.

I’m in dire need of a schedule overhaul: one that weeds out the excess, frivolous activities and frees me to do the things for which I’m truly passionate. I’m pretty sure I could do more with less: be a more present wife, a more inspiring mother, a friendlier co-worker and a happier me.

With less, I know I could fulfill more of my potential, but getting there takes some work.

This week, I’ve decided to create a mission statement for my life. Perhaps it could work for you.

I fall into the “yes” trap far too often, saying “yes” to things because it seems I should be doing them or because they sound like a good opportunity. But when I take on tasks that aren’t meaningful to the purpose I’ve identified for myself, or when I pursue things that won’t help me move towards the direction I want to travel, something for which I’m passionate suffers.

Creating a mission statement will help me manage my time, shrink my stress and recapture a bit of my sanity (if that’s even possible post-children!) When my opportunities match my mission statement, I can slow down, catch my breath, and channel my energy into a single direction, rather than tiring myself with excess.

But just making a statement won’t be enough. I must put that statement to action, using it as a strict filter through which all activities and opportunities must pass. Making a focused statement about my purpose in life will do more than help me weed out the things that don’t fit; it will enable me to pursue things for which I’m truly passionate and from which I can gain fulfillment.

My mission statement will help me get to “no.”

It sounds strict, but it’s actually quite freeing.

In his book, “Power of a Positive No,” William Ury outlines how saying “no” to opportunities really means saying “yes” to yourself and your goals. When we say “no” to an opportunity that doesn’t fit our mission, we can say “yes” to something else. The book is a great read for those of us who feel compelled to overextend ourselves and struggle to find ways to make it all fit.

By saying “no” to the little things, I’m able to say “yes” to the big things: like a date night with my husband, or to my 4 month old who loves to play airplane, or even “yes” to myself when a bubble bath and good book call my name.

I hear William Ury has a title out that’s worth a re-read while I soak.

Jennette Holzworth is a former GOTR Alachua County Coach and currently sits on the advisory board. She is wife to Ray, mom to Monta and an Advanced Level II Trainer at Gainesville Health & Fitness. She enjoys weight lifting, sailing and long walks with her two favorite boys, just to name a few.