This New Year resolve to do more of….Nothing.

With everyone out there talking about all their top strategies on how to make New Years Resolutions for weight loss, better career moves, or more daily happiness….I’m going to just give you one for all of them, do more of “nothing”. Make a resolution to do less this year….but make it count more!

Am I Nuts?

Nope, you heard me correctly, I am challenging all of you this year to do more of……nothing! Now you are probably scratching your head or wondering if I have truly lost my mind…..but hear me out. This is not about lack of productivity, lack of accomplishing goals, procrastination, putting off what you want to do….in fact it is quite the opposite of that.

Most people are running around just keeping busy. Ask anyone around you and they have “stuff to do” today or this weekend. Come back a month later and see if most of these people have really even accomplished anything bigger than keeping busy and killing time, most often probably not. We need to get out of the rut of needing to “stay busy”. Do the hardest thing for most people….sit around and do nothing! I don’t mean watch TV, read a book, play video games….those are distractions, you are still doing something. Nope I want you to find more time to do absolutely nothing. Stare at the sky, go for a quiet walk in nature, look at the ceiling….it’s your call where you want to do nothing.

But won’t that just be a waste of time?

Really? As if watching TV was a productive use of time? Time is the most valuable resource we have and how we use it should be of vital importance. We only have a limited amount of time, so use it wisely before it’s all gone. Doing nothing will help the mind to quiet down, distractions put to the side, all the less important things in life to just go away quietly…and then you will find true inspiration and focus on what is important in your life. In those moments of quietness you can find out really what you really want to spend your time on. Spending 30min a day in complete silence somewhere could be the most productive thing you ever do if it leads you to a more focused and enjoyable lifestyle.

This is not about being Unproductive, it’s about learning to be More Productive.

Don’t feel guilty because you are not running around staying busy all day long. Today’s world is so fast paced that people almost think they are lazy if they are not doing something every second of the day (heck some even say sleeping too much is being lazy). But being busy is really not the goal. If you want to accomplish something in life, then doing that takes center stage. And if you want to get somewhere isn’t it better to stop and realize what actually matters, or would you rather just do random things and hope you get there?

Doing nothing isn’t about being lazy or unproductive, it’s about not being swept up with the things that really don’t matter to your goals and outcomes. Like I see people just jump on treadmills and put in hours of work, then go off and eat the same…..and wonder why they lost no pounds in 3 months.

Live the 80/20 rule…Don’t just Read it, Live it!

I’m sure many have heard me say this before, but the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto principle, named after an economist named Vilfredo Pareto) is essential to remember when it comes to anything from business, marketing, sales, personal development, health, fitness or life in general.

80-20What 80/20 means is that 80% of your results/accomplishments/income/weight-loss/happiness will come from 20% of your efforts/customers/surroundings/relationships. Just imagine if you could take 100% of your busy time right now….free up 80% of it and still be able to get the same amount (if not more) done because you are focusing on what the really important things are. Let go of the rest that bring little to no results and happiness into your life. That is liberating.

So many people are caught up in all the little things that give very little in return. Use your quiet time (while you are doing nothing) to think about all that goes on in your life. Doing nothing will actually start to make clear to you what really matters….and what really does not. The only way you will know what brings the most into your life is if you take time out to step back and take a look.

Do nothing but just observe yourself from a distance, like you were on a television show. See what is really going on with you. Find out what is vital to reaching your goals….and then master that 20% (that gives you 80%+ of the results). Life is not a race, so enjoy the time you have while living the life you want.

Inspiration Comes when You Don’t Force it

I’ve read all about inspiration and how people make it work for them, but never really understood it until I started to do less….and then had more insights because of it. Starting this blog, writing certain posts, knowing how to take my career, and many other things have come from me being able to just shut off all distractions and go sit and do nothing for a while.

inspired

Let the world's creative energy flow into you....don't try and force inspiration, do less and let it happen.

I used to try and force myself into productivity long ago, and then wondered why I really never progressed. Now I know I was just trying to swim against the current and get so much more insight/vision when I learn how to float with the current, not swim against it.

It’s really funny how once you can see what matters, what excites you, what is important….how all that just opens up in front of you and life presents the opportunities or people that you need to make it happen. Go somewhere quiet, can be in your house or at the local park, with no MP3 player….no cell phone….and just sit and let the mind do the rest (tip you can bring a piece of paper and pen if you want…to record all the insights and clarity you are having). It may not all happen at once and usually won’t come if you try and force it, but like anything in life….the more you do it, the better you get at it.

What the Heck does this have to do with Health and Fitness?

I’ve been around long enough in the health and fitness industry to know that there is so much hype and focus put on all the wrong things. For most getting involved it can be confusing and overwhelming. This is when you really need to step back and find out what is important to focus on. Once you can realize those key points you can easily ignore the rest. For example:

So Tell Everyone Your Resolution this year is to do more of Nothing!

You have all the tools you will ever need to succeed in life (at whatever you choose). All the info that you need is out there. The only thing left to do is take the CORRECT action. Don’t be like everyone else running around from little thing to little thing. Focus your time on the big things. Get more done in less time and then sit back and relax. People will think you are nuts….until a couple months down the road you look better, feel better, maybe increase the success of your career (or have insights into changing it). At that point everyone will want to know your secret…and then you can sit them down in a quiet room and when they ask “well what is it?” you can confidently say “you are doing it right now”.

More reading: If you want a good book on this, Leo of Zen Habits blog fame just released his first published book called The Power of Less. A great guide in helping you to find what is important, keep things simple and productive and get more out of life with less effort.

photo by Tommy Forbes

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