Life flies by at the speed of sound. We blink and summer is gone with Christmas decorations springing up everywhere. We blink again and school is out. If we are not intentional about how we spend our time, years will pass and we will wonder what happened to our days.

In sports, teams call timeouts to stop the clock and reset the direction of the game. Those resets are necessary pauses that change momentum and refocus priority. We need those same pauses in our lives, but there never seems to be time to stop the runaway train of endless responsibilities and jam-packed schedules.

I have learned that scheduled resets are the only way to offset the speed of everything whirling around me. If I don’t schedule these times in advance, they simply won’t happen. Here are five times when resets work particularly well:

  • Reset daily – Every morning as a part of my morning routine, I reset for the day ahead. I begin with the question, “What is the most important thing that I need to do today?” By specifically answering this question, and then acting on that priority, I am assured that each day will have some success. After I have accomplished my highest priority, then the rest is icing on the cake.
  • Reset Weekly – Some days, I am only able to barely keep my head above water. I find that most people dramatically overestimate how much they can accomplish in a single day. That is why our to-do lists never get fully checked off. A week is a much more reasonable time frame to make progress. To that end, I have a weekly reset where I look at what was left undone from the week before and what is most important for me to do in the week ahead. I review this every day, which helps keep me focused throughout the week.
  • Reset Monthly/Quarterly – Larger projects and goals require a broader time span. By looking out a month or a quarter, we can make more significant steps forward on our major objectives.
  • Reset Mid-Year – Mid-year is one of the most essential resets. Halfway through the year, I see things that I couldn’t see or anticipate when setting my goals at the beginning of the year. I give myself the freedom to scratch short-sighted goals or adjust my standards, even when my failure is only because I have been lazy. Better to modify my plans than to abandon worthwhile progress.
  • Reset Annually – This is where I establish a very few key goals that will move me forward. I begin thinking about these in the last few months of the year so that they are not half-baked, going-through-the-motions goals. 

When we reset often, we are communicating to ourselves that progress, not perfection is the goal. We learn to be kind in our weakness while giving ourselves the space to reinvigorate our efforts in the right direction. Without these regular resets, worthwhile goals are forgotten, going the path of the typical New Year’s resolutions.