For the three people left in America who haven't heard this story, in a nutshell, it goes like this:
The professor states that the jar is like your life, representing all the time and energy you have available. He fills the jar with big rocks, and asks if it is full. The students dutifully reply that it is. He then adds a bunch of small pebbles, which of course fill in many gaps. Again, the students now claim the jar is full. The professor repeats the process with sand, and then water, then asks the students what the point of his demonstration is. The students say the point is that it is possible to spend time more efficiently by cramming more stuff into the jar. The professor shakes his head, saying no, the point is that you need to put the big rocks in FIRST.
To that end, I spent some time thinking about what my big rocks are for 2013, and here they are, in no particular order:
- Writing. If I mean to be successful and productive as a writer, obviously writing needs to be a big part of my daily life. Hey, look! I'm doing it now!
- Reading. It is the consensus of many people wiser than I, that if one intends to be a good writer, one must be an avid reader. I read more last year than the year before, and intend to improve on that trend again this year.
- Personal care. Making the most of my life starts with making the most of my health. So I want to continue my efforts to eat mindfully, make physical activity a daily routine, and generally pursue wellness.
- Spiritual community. I have become much more active in my UU church community in the last year, and I am finding that valuable for me. So I want to keep that as a priority this year.
- Family. I want to make sure my beloved life partner knows how much I treasure and appreciate him, so spending quality time with him is very important. There is also a family project happening with my Dad and that side of my family over the next two years, in which I want to stay fully engaged.
- Developing my professional story and platform. In order to expand my business and my professional credentials, I need better clarity on, and a bigger audience for, what I do. So one of my big rocks will be to apply more, and more focused time on that this year.
- Travel. I find that getting out into the world is important for my mental health. It helps me remember how big the world is, and it sparks my creativity. A writer has to have things to write about, and seeing new places inspires me.
I have some smaller rocks that are important too, but these are my main areas of focus for this year.
Have you thought about yours? I'd love to hear about them if you care to share.