Last week I reflected on the question of how we each spend the 24 hours we are given each day. I am going to continue this line of reflection as we move into 2015, with the annual opportunity to define new beginnings. What are we going to finally start or stop doing? What New Year’s Resolution can I put into place that is going to have a profound and significant impact on the quality of my life? The challenge that many of us share is that we live in overly-scheduled, overly-demanding worlds that make it difficult to pack in all that we desire. My life is no different. I don’t have time to do all that I desire to do? Or do I?

I found a compelling answer in a book called Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul authored by Bill Hybels. Last August I attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Conference led by Bill about which I wrote two blog postings at the time (What kind of leader do you want to be? and Words Matter). I found the conference to be inspiring and engaging that challenged my thinking on a number of topics. In Simplify, Bill reframed the question that we often ask ourselves as we manage the exploding demands on our time. Rather than asking “what am I going to do today, this week, this month, or this year”…ask “who do I want to BE at the end of today, this week, this month or this year?” As I evaluate each opportunity regarding how I spend my time against the question of who I want to BE, what I choose to do becomes much more clear. The question of who I want to BE can serve as the decision-making screen to help me choose what I do.

Applying this decision-making screen is just the first step. Next, we need to have the discipline to schedule our time accordingly and thoughtfully…literally on our calendars. It is not enough to say that I want to BE a better sister, friend, daughter or aunt. If that is who I want to BE, then I need to schedule time on my calendar to do the things required to BE better with and for these people in my life. I need to schedule phone calls, outings or weekend visits. By they way…the part about being a better aunt is for illustrative purposes only. My nieces gave me a statuette that I treasure which says “World’s Greatest Aunt” so I think I am doing OK on that one! If I want to BE healthier, I need to schedule time on my calendar to shop for and prepare healthier food, and to exercise. If I want to BE a thought leader in my field, I need to schedule time on my calendar to blog, read, and speak to develop and share my expertise. If we don’t have the discipline to schedule these activities our calendars will be overrun with activities…things to do…that are not in service of who we want to BE.

So my New Year’s Resolution for 2015 is to spend time getting clear about who I want to BE before focusing on what I want to do. When I look back on the year I hope to be able to say that I made progress on who I want to BE.

Who do YOU want to be in 2015?