The Triple-Threat Challenge: Owning your time, energy, and money

Tips for spending your resources in ways that energize and uplift you

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.
The permission to take control of how you spend your time, energy, and money this year might be the best gift you’ve given yourself for a long time. 

There are two types of people in the world: those whose plans have plans (and sub-plans)…and those who seem to get ourselves in a particularly big pickle when we throw around our time, energy, and money as if they are perpetually renewable resources.

Time, Energy & Money

At different seasons of our lives, we may have more or less of each of these categories, or place a higher premium on one over another. For example, for a period of my life, I had less time and more money, so it made sense for me to pay for services that gave me time back in my day, like landscaping or cleaning my home. It also always seems as if there is one of these that never has a surplus because we are really good about spending more than we have in that category. For me, that has always been energy. I have a knack for spending energy in ways that don’t suit me because I think that I “should” or I made a commitment. For the first time in my life this year, I have repeatedly slashed my To-Do lists and time commitments by cutting anything that wasn’t a “Hell Yes.” It’s not to say that things don’t slip back in or preferences don’t change, so this process is repeated frequently.

I know, you may be thinking that some of us don’t always have a choice and have to do things we don’t want to do. Yes, of course. But I would contest your thinking on this and invite you to view it from the lens that nearly everything is a choice. Sometimes they are hard ones but they are, in fact, choices. And when you recognize that the crap you don’t want to do is in fact a choice you are consciously making to do anyways, it doesn’t seem like such martyrdom anymore.

I am issuing a challenge for you starting NOW. Find ways to make conscious decisions about how you will spend your time, energy and money. This may mean planning and budgeting, or perhaps even just pausing to make a conscious decision before automatically committing yes to anything in the moment. If you reserved two hours for doing this mental cleanup, what would be the payoff be? Energy and joy? I am willing to bet, yes and more…it will be WORTH IT.

Ways to Get Started

If you need some help getting started cleaning up how you spend your time, energy, and money through the end of the year, here are some ideas:

  1. Make a list of things to stop doing. I mean clubs, organizations, or other recurring commitments that you just keep doing even though they no longer bring you joy. Make room for something you love. Even if you love watching Love Actually on the couch. No judgement here.
  2. Identify three things that you would normally trudge through in the next two months, and make your plan to kindly decline them. Usually go to five social events and parties? Pick three. Feel the need to pack the weekends with activities? Plan for down time and don’t let anyone steal it.
  3. Spend even as little as one hour planning how you will spend your money. How much will you donate? How much will you spend on gifts or experiences? If you only have $100 to donate, pick your organizations and how much, and cross it off your list of things to think about or spend on for the rest of the year.
  4. Write down three things that give you energy, and three things that drain your energy. Plan more of the good stuff, and less of the soul-sucking things. The awareness alone will be a fascinating discovery.
  5. Bonus! Keep track of the changes you made to how you spend your time, energy, and money, and review it afterward. How did it feel to you? Who else noticed? How do you want to spend your resources going forward?

The permission to take control of how you spend your time, energy, and money might be the best gift you’ve given yourself for a long time. 

About the author:

Katie Rasoul is the Chief Awesome Officer for Team Awesome, a leadership coaching and culture consulting firm. Find out more by visiting or join the Team Awesome Community for awesomeness coming straight to your inbox. Follow Team Awesome on Facebook and Twitter.

Originally published at

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.