03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

New Year's Resolutions And Time

The New Year is coming and you may be tempted to make some resolutions that usually start with "Quit doing . . ." or "Start doing . . ." and those are great; at least the desire to take them on is great. Most of what I've experienced or heard from others is that New Year's resolutions usually don't have much of a success rate and that even the best of them might only last a few months before 'sinking'.

Knowing where you stand now, where would you apportion your time so that this coming year would be the best of your life?

As an executive and life coach I recommend that my clients, rather than doing 'iffy' resolutions, take on their schedule/allocation of time and how they spend it. If you really give yourself over to this concept it could have more effect on your life than all of the resolutions you've ever made -- even those few you've actually kept.

Here are seven types of 'time' and a short description of what I mean by each of them:

  1. Rest and recharge-- 'down time' to let your brain and body relax and to 'recharge your batteries'. I actually suggest that you don't short yourself on this one most of all. You can read more about this in a previous post, Saving the World in One Day: Your Personal Shabbat
  2. Spiritual time -- not just observance or prayer but the time you spend connecting or in service to others.
  3. Planning and strategy time -- looking ahead to the coming week or month and making sure you're prepared, your appointments confirmed and due diligence is paid. This can be about the mundane aspects of life and is meant to be practical; have you scheduled yourself to do more than is humanly possible with your 'time budget'?
  4. 'Futur-ing' time -- time to just 'sit and think' about life, where you're headed, your purpose and all of those 'bigger picture' thoughts that can create a powerful future and keep all of the rest in perspective. This should be a weekly event and one hour should be enough.
  5. Health time -- every 'body' needs to have some physical exertion, expression and movement. Get out and exercise, dance, play a sport, move and keep those positive juices flowing.
  6. Education time -- get out and learn something new. It doesn't always have to be stuff to learn about your job or practical, etc., in fact it's often best if it's just a 'fancy' you're following.
  7. Task time -- these are the work hours, the 'to do' stuff, and it's what we may be paid for or just do for our family because it needs doing.

The best way to work on this is to grab a blank weekly calendar and plot out how you spend your time now and label your current activities according to this list above. Knowing where you stand now, where would you apportion your time so that this coming year would be the best of your life? What would you add to your calendar and your schedule in order to have what you've always wanted?

Spend some time working out your calendar and adding time slots for the things you want to have in your life, for the things you'll accomplish that will add that important balance to your life.

Oh yeah, one last thing: if the resolution you were going to make this year is a resolution to quit smoking; do that. Things that will kill you should get priority; you don't even have to wait till New Year's Eve!