One of the most important elements leading toward enhanced health, wellness, performance and life is margins. That’s right: margins. The difference between “available” and “committed.” As we discussed in this episode, access to Freed Will (in contrast to Free Will) depends upon it – perhaps more than any other aspect of our lives. With money, more commitment (output) than availability (income) equals debt. With our health, committing to more than our body is able has detrimental effects over the long term. And when it comes to time… well, that’s often the one that creates the downward spiral across multiple areas. Let’s take a closer look…
Most of us have very little (time) margin available. Oh, we think we do! But the reality is quite different. This is often (usually) why New Years Resolutions fall to the wayside by the end of January. Homecooked meals, exercise routines, new sleep schedules, connecting with friends and other healthy pursuits fit just fine in the midst of a little Christmas break. But then reality sets in and… you know.
I’m (Brad) the worst when it comes to time margins (just ask Suzanna!). I love planning activities and events into our calendar only to realize the hard way that every “yes” requires an equal and opposite “no” (which I typically neglect to build into the plan). That’s where effective coaching can play a valuable role. An experienced coach won’t simply say “you’re going to exercise 3x/week? Great!” Instead they’ll dig ever deeper, asking you when that will take place, what you’re currently doing at that time that you’ll be eliminating, and more. As a result, you’ll find yourself maintaining your margins while moving toward #BetterThanYesterday.
No margin – no mission is a common statement in the business world. If an organization has such thin (or non-existent) margins, profit margins in this context, they cannot live out an effective mission. The mission becomes survival and nothing more. In contrast, an expansive margin opens up opportunities to pursue a powerful mission, both today and into the future. Our lives are the same. As we create margins in the big 3 (time/money/health), our opportunity to live out a mission of meaning and purpose also expands. No margin means survival mode – and the only mission that exists in survival mode is staring back at us in the mirror.