Time: the constant variable

I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of time. People are different at various stages of their lives. Even within a single day, week, month or a year, we’re different … but time remains constant; it passes irrespective of what we’re doing or how we’re feeling.

We can’t buy time and we can’t sell it either. We can’t exchange the time we have with someone else, or add years to our lives. Time is not a commodity. However, how people use their time varies from one person to another. Time, as such, is a variable; it can be used effectively or it can be lost and wasted.

As a life coach, I’m interested in four different (yet interconnected) aspects of time:

1. Time as a concept

ClockThe concept of time is one of the main drivers behind my life coaching philosophy. The fact that it will pass anyway is such a powerful concept. Simply put, you can spend the next year of your life eating healthy and then feel great; or you can stick to junk food and in a year from now be worse off. Time, as such, could be the reason you decide to make better life choices.

It’s that consistency in time that can provide powerful inspiration. The sun will rise and it will set. Mornings turn into nights, and days into weeks, and months into years. A bad day at work won’t last forever, a broken heart heals with time, and tomorrow is always another day.

2. Time as a measure

Plan development is at the heart of life coaching, and no plan is complete without a timeline. To fill the gap between the person you are today and the one you’d like to become, you need to start when you’re ready, and end at a time that is realistic. The idea of time as a measure is important because success is determined by what you set as short and long term goals. Your action plan will have activities that must be completed on time, and it’s those diary dates that will define your level of accountability.

3. Time as a general motivator

ClockAs a motivator, time is on your side. I always advise my clients to imagine themselves a year from now, and then look back. What will they see? Will they be proud of themselves and the progress they’ve made? Or will they feel disappointment because a year has passed and they achieved nothing or too little? Time is an amazing motivator. It will help you strive and push forward so that a year from now you’re experiencing feelings of joy and satisfaction instead of regret and disappointment.

4. Time as a specific energizer

My life coaching exercises utilize time as an energizer. Each milestone you reach helps you get stronger, so you can advance to the next one. It’s like training for a marathon. You can’t run it on your first day of training, but once you see progress at every step of the way, you’ll be able to leap from one stage to the other, and literally finish the race.

Anthony Robbins says: “you become what you do most of the time”.

It’s important to use your time wisely. Every day is only 24 hours, and eventually we all run out of time. This is neither a secret, nor a revelation. You may be a healthy individual living in North America with a life expectancy of 81 (female) or 76 (male), but the truth of the matter is that you never know when your time is up. So spend your days, but make sure they all add up.