« | Archives | »

Better Way to Build a Rewarding 2013: Addition or Subtraction?

December '12

2013 is almost upon us – time to make resolutions, according to tradition! May I suggest a slightly different approach for setting your annual goals? This year, instead of adding a new enterprise to your already busy life, why not consider cutting out some activity?

Time is a precious commodity in our complicated world. Time to do nothing, or time to put your feet up and read that new book you downloaded from the library. (I left The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller to draft this newsletter.) Or time to go for a run, or a walk in the woods, or bake those cupcakes from your Magnolia Bakery cookbook  – or do whatever suits your fancy.

To carve out this kind of time, you need to cut – i.e. remove something from your daily or weekly schedule during the coming year. What will you resolve to eliminate? What does not feed your soul? Could it be that extra hour of TV you watch every night that’s not really interesting, or entertaining? Or could it be that excess time you spend on Facebook?

Or perhaps you could eliminate something that does not take time, but still detracts from your well-being. What about that bag of potato chips you grab with your lunch every day? I know someone who decided to dispense with her daily bag of chips during the workweek. Her resolution to paid off dramatically; by the end of the year she lost 15 pounds.

If you like, cast your mind over a typical week in your life; picture your activities from when you wake up until when you go to bed for each day. Keep an eye out for those moments that feel like a poor use of that precious resource: time, or that don’t nourish you in some way. Select one to eliminate as your resolution for the year. I recommend choosing just one; simple is good in our complicated lives.

What would you like to remove from your life in the coming year? Whatever you choose offers a big reward, because you will have more hours to do what you truly enjoy, and enhance your sense of well-being. So why not choose subtraction rather than addition with your New Year’s resolutions this year?

As usual, I’d love to hear what you plan to do. Why not post a resolution of what you aim to eliminate from your life this year? Research suggests that a public statement of a goal facilitates the ability to follow through with it. Plus other folks could benefit from your post, since they might adopt your idea too.

May I wish you an EXTRAORDINARY 2013!





  1. Richard Li said on December 31, 2012:

    We all wish and strive for a better life. But, sometimes, somewhere, we are certain to fail.

  2. Bonnie said on January 1, 2013:

    Hi Richard!
    Thanks for this helpful comment for the new year. It makes me think of this quote from Winston Churchill: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”
    Happy New Year!

  3. Victoria said on January 3, 2013:

    Happy New Year, Bonnie!

    What a wonderful topic to share! After adding tennis to my weekly schedule last year, by joining my local USTA women’s team, I realized that I would have to cut down on time spent at my practice. This meant that I needed fit clients into a narrower work week. The change worked out better than I had imagined!
    Instead of working around my clients’ schedules, (which made me exhausted) I managed to see more clients in fewer hours. I gained better fitness and more efficiency clinically, by making more time for myself.

    Happy to be starting the new year with a plan to stay balanced – and thinking about what needs to go next!

    Wishing you an enthusiastic 2013!!

    Warmly, from chilly New Hamphsire,


  4. Bonnie said on January 3, 2013:

    Hi Victoria!
    What a great idea! You managed to subtract time from work and add fun and fitness with tennis.
    Thanks for sharing,

Leave a comment