this weekend i heard the phrase “being more, does not mean doing more” and it sparked a thought that i know at some point or another we’ve all felt.

how often are we sucked into the lie that in order to be successful or happy we need to be filling our days with task after task, commitment after commitment?

we often feel that running our children to school, karate, dance, and scouts while simultaneously grocery shopping, hosting friends for dinner, deep cleaning the pantry and volunteering in the pta is a normal expected routine.

when our days are filled with exhausting tasks, over and over again, are we giving the time and attention to the things that matter most?

the answer is no.

you’re not a better parent because your child is involved in all the extra curriculum activities all their friends are. you’re not a better friend for hosting dinner once a week when you feel overwhelmed and cranky at the mess left at the end of the night. you’re not a better spouse when you’re filling your time and not leaving any for them.

it does not make you better, smarter, stronger or more liked when you’re doing more than you can mindfully manage.

take a look at your schedule from this last week.

where you constantly on the run, staying busy with a laundry list of to-dos and feeling burnt out at the end of everyday?

did you find yourself emotional and short-tempered making sure the “plan” for the day stayed its course in order to complete all the things that had to be done?

genuinely ask yourself, was last week a joyful week?

maybe you’ll answer yes to all of the above questions, and your yes for question number 3 will come only because you got done everything on your lists.

now ask yourself, do i feel joy while running around like a crazy person? did i find time to sit and play dolls with my daughter or read a book to my son? did i find time for myself to kick my feet up and relax after a long day? did my spouse and i have opportunities to connect mentally and physically throughout the week?

don’t confuse being more for doing more, or doing less for being less.

the key to being more, is doing things intentionally and with real purpose and desire.

more is defined as: greater, additional or further. 

what if you focused your mores on greater relationships with your children, additional time for your family and further understanding on creating constant joy instead of greater social status, additional income or further recognition.

what if your more became more mindfulness and intentionality instead of more work and to do’s.

what if you could actually become more by doing less?

guess what?

you can!

the answer to being more is intentionally choosing the things that have the most value. selecting activities and jotting down a list of to-do’s that you can mindfully manage.

maybe it’s selecting one dance or karate class per kid and then actually having time to sit and watch them in class instead of leaving to run a quick errand.

maybe it’s hosting game night with your friends instead of dinner so that you can feel less overwhelmed with the pile of games on the table instead of the piles of dishes in the sink.

maybe it’s creating a constant, one night a week date night. intentionally setting all other priorities a side, getting a babysitter, and leaving the house so you and your spouse can re-connect instead of rattling off your week as you fall asleep in bed at the end of a long day.

when you deliberately create a schedule that is truthful to what you can emotionally and mentally manage, opportunities, blessings and joy, that you may have missed from an overfilled and overwhelmed schedule, suddenly begin to fill the space those distractions once were.

this week i challenge you to say no to more. if you’re already feeling like you’re drowning in a schedule flooded with to-do’s and priorities, take time to prepare for the “more” you’re going to say no to next week. keep in mind the responsibilities and commitments we have to say yes to, work, grocery shopping, feeding our children, taking a shower, are not the more we’re talking about.

take this week to recharge and re-connect to the serenity of free time.

remember that it’s all about balance.

if you’re a parent that frequently volunteers in the classroom, good for you. you’ve probably done it several times this year already and you’ll absolutely be able to do it again in the future, but this week, say no.

if you’re asked if you can work late again on friday night, tell them you’ve got plans. an extra few bucks can be made up next week, but this week, your spirit and mind need those precious hours.

i know that your success, happiness and overall quality of life is not based on the overall fillers you overcommit to. i know that doing less doesn’t mean you’re valued as less. i know that as you intentionally say no to doing more, the clarity, freedom and peace of mind will lead to more joy, more self-love and more appreciation for the time and things you already have in life.


post in review: 

  1. action: say no to more. allow room for more time, space and freedom in your upcoming week.
  2. thought: don’t confuse doing less for being less. your success and happiness does not depend on running around trying to do it all.
  3. write: 1) separate the commitments vs the fillers 2) what are you going to say no to this week?

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