June 03, 2018

Is it Time to Give Up? by Steph Beth Nickel

A modified version of this post, focusing on wellness, will appear on Kimberley Payne’s blog this month.

Giving up. Admitting defeat. Conceding failure.

None of us wants to do any of these things. But we may have to.

What should we give up?

Including too many items on our To Do list.
Oddly enough, it seems the first things we relegate to the bottom of the list are those things we know we should do. However, if we only include the most important items, our highest priorities, on our To Do list and seek to accomplish them first, we may be pleasantly surprised that we can actually add additional things to the list.

Saying yes to “just one more task.”
Many, if not most, of us feel overwhelmed by what we think we should do—at work, at home, in our community. And yet, when someone asks us to take on one more thing, especially something we’d like to do, we try hard to fit it into a schedule that already includes too much.

Not paring down our list of responsibilities.
This can be difficult. We look at our schedule and can’t imagine setting aside anything, at least not permanently. But maybe it’s time to take a hard look at our priorities and see that what we include on our To Do list lines up with those priorities. We may have to decline things we really want to do, things others think we should do, even things we promised to do. It isn’t easy, but many of us need to give it serious consideration.

Ignoring healthy habits.
Regular exercise. Healthy eating. Adequate sleep. This could be considered the trifecta of healthy living. Eventually, all our responsibilities and relationships will suffer if we don’t tend to our health. We may feel as if we don’t have time to stay active, prepare homecooked meals with fresh ingredients, and get enough sleep. However, at the risk of sounding cliché, we don’t have time not to do so.

Oddly enough, when our To Do list is too long, we often relegate the most important things to last place. These things may very well include behaviours that constitute healthy living. If we’re not willing to pare down our To Do list—either the things we really don’t have time to do well or those things we do because we’re avoiding important items on our list (things like binge watching our favourite Netflix series for example)—those things that lead to physical, emotional, and mental health will be put off for another day.

Not seeking accountability.
Some people are incredibly self-disciplined and accomplish most—if not all—of what they set their mind to. But for the rest of us, partnering up with an accountability partner can be a great way to stay on track.

What will you have to give up to accomplish what you want to do this week?


  1. Thanks for these timely questions

  2. I appreciate your analysis of the way things too often go if we don't do something about it. Thanks for this.

    You motivated me to revisit Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, which begins, "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun." Maybe we need to look at the seasons of our lives instead of the finite time in one day. Hmm! Is the sample of time too limited?


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