Did you know there is actually a day called National Quitters Day?
Yep, it’s a real thing! Shocking, I know.
According to Inc.com, National Quitters Day was declared to be Jan 12th and it’s the day when most people quit their New Year’s resolution.
How can there be such a day? Not only is it sad, but disturbing.
Obviously, multiple factors play into this reality, but I would venture to say that the majority of people quit or ditch their resolutions because they just don’t prioritize things.
As Steven Covey put it “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
So let’s evaluate what we do make time for….and probably too much time for…
How about email? Social media? Oh, the mindless scroll…..
Research by Global WebIndex shows that globally, 59% of the world’s population uses social media with an average daily usage of 2 hours and 31 minutes (January 2023).
At the same time, 99% of email users check their email every day—some as much as 20 times a day! It’s often the first thing people do online.
You read that right….20 times a day!!!
Social media is a topic that should probably have a whole blog dedicated to it…. so I’m going to focus on email prioritization and other things that we make time for, which consequently result in abandoning other things like New Year’s Resolutions.
So, why do you check your email so frequently and what effect does this have on your priorities?
Checking email is a complementary activity.
People do it while watching TV (69%), in bed (57%), and on vacation (79%).
I’m just as guilty. I would also add—while I work out, cook dinner, and even when I’m sitting in the car in pickup line at my kids’ school.
It becomes a gap filler.
So why does this matter? I’m sure you already know and are realizing it for yourself.
Ultimately, email can rule your day, your mood, and your focus. Mobile phones are great. But by saying “yes” to our ever-present phones and emails… what are we saying no to?
What other commitments are we pushing to the side when an email influences our plans and hijacks our day?
I genuinely don’t think people want to abandon their goals or resolutions. Bringing awareness to what gets in the way is likely part of the solution. Once again, it’s not always about time. It’s also about prioritization. So what do people make time for? Is it a lack of organization?
I would say no.
In fact—nearly 76% of Americans use a to-do list in an effort to stay organized and keep priorities top of mind; however according to The Busy Person’s Guide to the Done List by Janet Choi and Walter Chen of iDoneThis:
41% of to-do list items are never completed.
On average, a person spends 12 hrs a week preparing and attending meetings and 7.6 hours a week in the gym. Most people only spend 15 min a day on self-care and 8 minutes on prayer.
It’s shocking and kind of depressing when we think of it like that.
So I would venture to say….once again that becoming aware of the roadblocks that are preventing us from achieving our goals, keeping our resolutions, and maintaining commitments to ourselves and possibly others comes down to being intentional and setting priorities, boundaries, and a heightened level of self-awareness.
When those things are in place we are less reactive and are better able to stay on track with our goals.
So what do we do?
I’m a huge fan of time-blocking!
Dedicate 30 minutes in the morning and the afternoon to simply reply to emails, get up early and go to the gym, turn off the phone, the television, and all devices for that matter, and be present with your family. Everything can wait for you to do the things that you need to be your best self and to be the present, loving family member, spouse, friend, or parent that you want to be.
When you allow yourself to keep your commitments, your health, and your family a priority then you will influence those around you to do the same.
If you’re running a company, a department or simply modeling that for your spouse or your kids—it matters! It does influence them. More importantly, it impacts you and how you show up every day.
So, don’t buy into the belief that we have to live and react to our smartphone or electronic device and our inbox.
Don’t let it rule you, your day, your mood, or your peace.
Identify your priorities and make sure your life and decisions reflect.
Check in with your partner, your spouse, or co-workers…can they tell what your priorities are? It might be a good test to see what they might say.