How many times have you complained that there are just not enough hours in the day to do what you need to, or wondered in frustration how the afternoon managed to slip by?

Each person has 24 hours in a day to spend. A certain amount of that is for the basics – sleeping, eating, bathing, dressing. But after those hours are spent, the rest of how you use the time is really up to you.

Throughout the day, you make choices – how long to read Facebook, or how many TV shows to watch, if you take your child to the park, or spend 15 minutes talking with your partner about their day, or weed the garden.

These little bits of time may seem insignificant. After all, how many people add up the minutes they spend online, or consider the small bits of time you use talking to your coworkers, or the time spent cuddling a crying child or loving an animal?

But these small bits are where the time that seems to get away from you goes. It doesn’t disappear. It is used, but often forgotten.

Be aware and consider if you are using your time bits in a way that makes you happy. For example, a few minutes talking to a child strengthens your relationship, helps them grow and learn, and makes you feel good. How would you feel if those minutes were spent on Facebook? Walking your dog? Taking a nap?

Small actions can do wonders. Simply petting an animal has been shown to significantly reduce stress. Taking 10 minutes to sit quietly can calm your mind and make the rest of your day easier.

My purpose here is not to teach time management, or tell you how to better spend your time to be more productive, happier, or wiser. My purpose is simply to remind you to be aware.

Take stock of your emotions; do you feel balanced, content, peaceful?

When a life becomes unbalanced, it also becomes unhealthy. If you spend too much of your life at work, your relationships at home suffer. If you focus all your time and energy on your partner, your friendships may falter. You may love your children to the moon and back, but if all of your time and energy is spent on them, you will have little left for yourself or anyone else.

Time is irreplaceable. No one knows how long they will live. Live deliberately. Spend time wisely. Live and love and enjoy what you have to the fullest. Once a minute is gone, you will never again have it back.

photo from Shutterstock