The Perfect Gift: 3%

Looking for the ultimate gift this holiday season?

Give yourself 3%.

I just purchased my all-new 2010 calendar. Just waiting for December to end and up on the wall she goes.

It was about this time last year that I purchased my all-new 2009 calendar, waiting for 2008 to run its remaining course. In some ways 2009 was a breakout kind of year. Certain goals, such as starting this blog, transitioned from concept into reality. has been read in 49 US states (hello W. Virginia?) and in 59 countries around the world. As much as I look back upon the successes of 2009, in other parts of my life, the only thing that changed was my age.

All I have gotten is older.

A STINGING REALIZATION This past year’s 365 days presented themselves to me as opportunities for growth in so many areas of my life. Yet in many areas of my life all I am is just another year older. Years, like life, can easily just slip away, one innocently wasted unfocused moment after another. I’ve incorporated the “I’m just too busy” mantra into my life for years. I’m really quite good at it. But of the 8,760 hours we have in a year, couldn’t I have found even a little time to work on areas of my life I’d like to improve upon?

I can’t change my past, but I can shape my future.

JUST 3% I’m all done with “just getting older”. I’m throwing that away with the 2009 calendar. You and I, we all have great things to accomplish. Our talents and gifts, our abilities and passions need to be nurtured and cultivated if we are to fulfill our divine promise to ourselves and to others. Excuses will never get any of us to where we were intended to be.

To get me closer to where I was intended to be I am committing 3% of 2010 to my personal growth in areas of my life that I feel are important to me. Things that simply got pushed to the back burner as life went from proactive to reactive. Just 3%. Just 5 hours per week. That’s less than what the average person spends watching TV each day.

Committing just 3% of my time to myself will allow me to:

  • exercise for 30 minutes 5 times per week;
  • invest 90 minutes per week into hobbies and activities I enjoy;
  • contribute 1 hour per week in service to my community.

The results of investing just 3% of my time in myself are stunning. By this time next year I will have exercised some 130 HOURS, invested 78 HOURS developing my music, photography, and baking skills, and contributed 52 HOURS in service to my community through volunteer work.

Wow. All that from just 3%.

ASK YOURSELF What impact would committing just 3% of your time to your own personal growth have on your life?

THE ACTION PLAN New Year’s resolutions seldom last, but true commitments always do. The new year brings with it the opportunity to rediscover your greatness, a challenge that will profoundly impact you and all those you come in contact with.

Here are five simple steps for using your 3% to improve any area of your life…

  • Commitment– This is your life. Don’t dabble. You and you alone are solely responsible for the quality of your life. You are a unique configuration of talents, gifts, and abilities that only you can offer to the world. Be in awe of all that you are, and let the understanding that you still have more to offer be the spark that fires your commitment and resolve.
  • Identify Key Areas of Improvement– What areas of your life do you want to grow in? Physical, spiritual, relationships, community service, education, etc.? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to play the guitar. Perhaps you’ve wanted to finally finish your degree. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to volunteer at the local school helping children learn to read. Listen to the voice inside that has somehow been silenced over the years by the deafening sounds of the pace of everday life.
  • Write Them Down – Clearly define exactly what it is you wish to achieve. Write down the specifics, ideally on a 3X5 index card or whatever it is you feel works for you. Read these cards several times daily to reinforce these new habits you are developing. With phone calls, meetings, and just the mechanics of our daily schedules, writing down your intentions will prevent them from being cast aside.
  • Schedule Them – Make appointments with yourself. Schedule and block out the time you need to make these things happen. If you had a doctor’s appointment next Tuesday at 1:30, you’d plan your day around it. The same rules should apply here. This is your life. It may seem difficult to spend 30 minutes doing yoga when there is so much other important stuff to do. Understand that the 30 minutes dedicated to your yoga are equally as important as any of the other important stuff that also needs to get done. If you don’t make the time, you simply won’t ever take the time.
  • Review Monthly – Each month review your level of success. Have you been able to keep the appointments you make with yourself? How do you feel now that you have been investing in the areas of your life that have been important to you? Should you reallocate how much time you spend on each individual area you are seeking to improve?

When you take down your 2009 calendar, ask yourself if you lived up to the opportunities that the past year presented to you. Before you put your new 2010 calendar up on the wall, take a look at it. You hold in your hands a blank canvas of time on which you can paint and color a life of your dreams. All based upon the choices you’ll make in direct proportion to the reverence and awe you have for yourself and the opportunities to fully manifest your own internal greatness.

One year from now, don’t be just another year older.

Live up to your own greatness.

That’s the ultimate gift!

It’s a great day to be you!

One thought on “The Perfect Gift: 3%

  1. I can vaguely remember my Uncle Pete jammin’ in his horribly cluttered, extremely tiny room many years ago. I think it’s awesome that you’re picking it up again!


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