Less is More by Step Beth Nickel
Do you choose a word of the year?
My word for 2016 was more, as in more Bible study and prayer, more exercise, etc. I didn’t do as well as I would have liked. The problem may have been that I didn’t grasp the flipside of the coin.
So this year’s word is less.
It seems self-evident that if we want more of one thing, we’ll likely have to settle for less of something else. (I admit I’m selfish and sometimes try to hold onto everything. From my experience, it just doesn’t work.)
As much as we would like more hours in the day, each of us only has 24. That’s 86,400 seconds.
This makes it necessary to prioritize our To Do list. If we work through our list in order of importance, at the end of the day, we will feel as if we’ve accomplished more.
But just how do we determine our priorities? I can’t make that choice for you, but I will share my list. Please note that the list below is incomplete and reflects my ideal. I am far from living it out.
Get to Know God Better
After all these years as a Christian, you would think I’d have this one down to a science by now, but not so much.
I must make it more of a priority to begin my day by reading the Bible and praying. I must take less time making excuses such as “I’ll do my devotionals after I quickly check Gmail and Facebook” or “I’ll do them this evening.” As a morning person, I know if I am to give my best time to God, it will be first thing.
Make God Known
I am thankful that some of the things I say and do point others to the Lord, but I very much want to be more deliberate in this area.
I must make more of an effort and worry less about getting it right. Thankfully, He can take our weakness and manifest His strength (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).
Care for My Family
While the money I earn by working both inside and outside the home does benefit my hubby and our daughter, it isn’t the same as spending time reading God’s Word and praying together, simply enjoying one another’s company, even tending to the housework (definitely not my strong suit).
Fulfill My Work and Volunteer Obligations
This is a good goal and should be high on my priority list. However, if I am to do so with more efficiency, I must choose to do less of those things that eat up my time.
Does this mean I have to say yes to every opportunity that comes along? That I shouldn’t take time to kick back and relax? That I have to work myself to the point of exhaustion?
In fact, to fulfill my obligations well, I may have to take on less—even set aside some of the things already on my To Do list.
And in the interest of full disclosure, I want to share a tendency I have …
Achieve What’s Just Out of Reach
Even though this perspective can lead to discontentment, it is high on my priority list. Like many people, I like what’s shiny and new—even in the area of dreams, goals, and aspirations. It could be a case of “the grass is always greener” syndrome.
It isn’t that anything on this list is bad. In fact, many of my long-term goals may be in my future. However, I must not pursue these goals at the expense of what I know I ought to be doing here and now.
And where does regular exercise and healthy eating fit into this?
There are countless benefits to both.
- Healthful living gives us a more positive outlook.
- It gives us energy and the ability to think clearly.
- We work more quickly and efficiently.
- We even sleep more restfully.
It is crucial that regular exercise and healthy eating are given a prominent place on our schedule so we can continue achieving the other things on our list.
Of course, these are not guarantees. Many things factor into our emotional, mental, and physical health, but we must spend more time doing what we can and less time worrying about what is out of our control.
Where do regular exercise and healthy eating land on your list of priorities?
What are you willing to set aside in order to make time for these pursuits? How can you live out the reality that less really is more?
To make more of each day, we must do less. (tweet this)
Steph Beth Nickel is an author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She’d love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.