Life, according to Dr. Stephen R. Covey, is made up of big rocks and small rocks.
The big rocks represent your top priorities. The small rocks vary in size and include everything else. The key is to put the big rocks in place first, then fill in the rest of your life with the small rocks.
The thing is, we’re usually more concerned about taking on too many big rocks, when it’s really the small rocks that do us in. We’re afraid of being crushed by a boulder, while we’re slowly being buried alive by an accumulating pile of gravel.
It’s especially easy to take on too many small rocks during the holidays. There is always one more party to attend, one more gift to buy, one more event needing volunteers, one more errand to run, one more batch of cookies to be made (or purchased) for one more function.
I’ve had way too many years in the past where I said yes to “just one more” — after all, they’re just tiny things! what harm could they do! — and ended up frazzled, irritated and overwhelmed when I should have been rejoicing in the birth of Christ. So this year, I sat down with my calendar about a month ago and made sure I blocked out time for my big rocks before I was hit with all the small rocks. As a result, I am looking forward to fewer commitments, and time to truly enjoy each one.
This Thanksgiving and Christmas, beware the small rocks.