Making room for big rocks

Despite the fact that curling season is upon us in many parts of the world, I am not referring to the rocks used in that sport. I am referring to the analogy often quoted by Stephen Covey fans with respect to priorities.

Image shows a series of large bulders randomly scattered on a grassy field. Photo by Joeri Römer on Unsplash

It goes like this: someone puts a bunch of large rocks in a jar and asks if it is full. Audience people say yes. The person adds some gravel and shakes it around to make it settle. Is it full now? Not likely, admit the audience. How about now, after adding a bunch of sand? Stil room. The presenter fills it with water. Now? Yes, everyone agrees.

What is the lesson asks the facilitator? You can make everything fit (actually the most common response). Not really though, because if you put in the gravel, sand and water first, you wouldn’t have room for the big rocks.

The lesson is to put your priorities first and then accept (or make room for) the priorities of others.

I recently finished up some big projects and I’m starting some new ones. I am at a point in my training where I have already reached a couple of big goals for me  (not injure myself, gain some skills, become reasonably fit). And it’s December, near the end of the decade, and the new year is fast approaching.

I realized in looking back at 2019, that I didn’t always make physical activity or my hobby one of my big rocks. And I want to change that. I’m not really a resolution person, but I do make a strategic plan for myself where I think about the things I want to achieve.

So now it’s time for me to choose my big rocks, look at how I want to set my agenda and how I want and need to support other priorities. I’ve made a weekly schedule, updated my electronic calendar, and acquired my paper agenda to document the record.

I’ll be talking with my trainer about my new goals in the gym (more than just showing up but moving forward to a specific benchmark). I decided I want to learn how to use triangles in quilting and I found a way to make that happen. I also made a list of work I enjoy and things I do not know and I am pursuing projects that allow me to achieve both. I also have a couple of other personal priorities I’m still refining.

Compared to previous years, I’m more realistic in what I want to fit in, I am more honest about what I need to let go, and I am excited about actively choosing to make space for my big rocks rather than shoehorning them in wherever I can make them fit.

What big rocks do you want to put in your 2020 jar?

— MarthaFitat55 lives in St. John’s.



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