I'm Late with My Resolution to Be on Time

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Many of you have likely already declared your New Year’s resolutions. In typical fashion, I am running a bit late. This is particularly amusing to me and slightly hypocritical given that my first resolution for this year is: Don’t be late.

on time art

Credit Image: gfpeck on Flickr

When it comes to running late, I could challenge Alice’s White Rabbit for top honors. I’ve actually found myself darting through the house, yelling “We’re late! We’re late! Hurry up, we’re late!”

Since I don’t live in Wonderland and constantly running late causes stress, it’s time for a change.

Being on time seems easy for some people, but for me, it requires a complete overhaul in my thoughts and actions. It means giving up my self-perception that I work best under pressure (Who am I kidding? That’s just an excuse for chronic procrastination).

Not being late requires thinking ahead. Ugh. My detail-oriented husband’s meticulous planning usually makes me want to punch him. I just can’t comprehend why he would ask me to think about something five minutes before it’s going to happen.

His way is the complete opposite of my way, which generally involves estimating the amount of time it will take me to get somewhere based on nothing more than when I want to get up in the morning.

I don’t look at a map until I’m in the car, which is where I usually realize the trip will take a good 10 minutes longer than my random estimate. Every red light then causes increasing nervousness that erupts into full-blown panic when I realize the arrow on my gas level indicator is hovering precariously close to “E.”

Because I have a smartphone, it seems silly to even look up the address until I’m ready to leave, because of course, my phone’s GPS will get me where I need to go. However, I often forget to charge my phone or to put a charger in the car, so I’m at risk of the phone going dead before I arrive at my destination. Since paper maps confuse me, I’m quite literally lost without my phone telling me where to turn.

The end result of this lack of planning is that often I leave the house in a rush not knowing exactly where I’m going or how long it will take.

This New Year’s resolution requires a lot from me: Planning for the future instead of assuming things will work out. Seeing the big picture so that when the unpredictable happens, I can adjust and accommodate. Allowing myself time to pause and catch my breath instead of barreling ahead without a sense of direction.

All this just to be on time.

Yet it’s amazing how all of this applies to resolution No. 2 for the year: Figure out where I am going in life and how I’m going to get there. That could take a while and fortunately there’s no firm deadline.

So for the moment, I’m going to do a happy dance because I actually got my daughter to school before the bell rang.

What seemingly simply change would make a huge difference in your life?

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