Millions of people start off the new year by resolving to lose weight. And many diets call for keeping a food diary to count calories. Get out your pen and get ready to...gain. That’s right. Use that same tool to count minutes so you can gain precious time instead of losing weight. Aren’t we all starving for it? Did you have enough hours last year for your family, yourself or God?

Every day for at least two weeks, write down every single thing you do. Note when you do it, why you do it and how long it takes. While you’re keeping your diary, make a list of your top priorities. Really sit and think about what really matters to you - to your spiritual, mental and physical wellbeing. Also, consider what will really make a difference in the lives of those you love.

Now here’s the truly illuminating part. When the two weeks are over, compare your priority list to your time diary. Are they in alignment? If not, start eliminating and/or delegating. Is there a chore that could be handed off to an older child? You’ll have time for reading and they’ll learn responsibility. That’s a win-win solution.

Perhaps your daughter needs your individual attention versus your participation on three school event committees. Schedule a Saturday date night with your husband even though all the laundry isn’t finished. Could you get out of work on time if you didn’t let a colleague tie you up with gossip and complaints?

Resolve to make the changes needed to live a life with no regrets. This is harder than losing those last 10 pounds, but it will be worth it. Your new life will fit like a glove.

Susan Matthews is a Philadelphia-based writer, TV spokesperson, wife and mom who publishes Catholics4Change and TheLuxeLady.

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