While there are many wonderful & exciting things about the times we’re currently living in, our modern times also present us with some truly great challenges. Today, our world is incredibly fast-paced & overloaded with information. Whether it’s assignments given to us at work, around the clock news delivery or the constant barrage of promoted events & social invitations, it all comes to us today both rapidly & in copious amounts. As a result, if we don’t have some positive coping strategies in place to assist us with this all, it’s easy to feel constantly overwhelmed, behind or exhausted. Equally, what we value the most cannot then get our undivided attention & energy…as there’s always too much going on! Yet our time here is precious, as it’s finite. This reality eventually starts to gnaw at us. This reality is what starts encouraging us to get busy spending our time here as we see fit…so that we can live truthfully, joyfully & in alignment with our values!
So then how, amidst the never ending speed & overload of everything today, can we focus solely on what matters to us? And leave what’s excessive & unnecessary behind? When we’ve lost our way too, in any capacity or area of life, how can we begin to positively turn it around?
Step #1: Be Crystal Clear About What Your Current Priorities Are…For This Chapter Of Your Life! I call this your always existent, non negotiable “Top 5 List.” If you don’t yet have one (or haven’t updated yours in a while) you can do this right now. Take 10 minutes, sit down & on a piece of paper, write out your top 5 priorities at this stage of your life. If you have more than 5 priorities, narrow it down to at least 5 so you can stay focused, setting yourself up to succeed! You can of course have less than 5 priorities, still that’s truly the maximum before we spread ourselves too thin! If you’re struggling to narrow it down, ask yourself what are the 5 most important things to you right now; even if certain things edge others out just a bit. Remember, this is only for the current chapter of your life. You can always focus on additional things later!
Step #2: Put Your Priorities In Order Of Importance…To You! Make sure your #1 priority is listed first. Then, your 2nd most important priority & so on. Obviously, the higher up the priority is for you, the more time & energy you’ll want to give it. Just as an example, here’s my current list:
- My Health & Well Being: getting myself into bed every night at a decent hour to get enough rest, eating well daily, moving my body several times a week, surrounding myself with people & things that bring me joy.
- My Husband & Kids (My Family): spending time with them, volunteering at our kids’ school to be with them there whenever I can, enjoying time with them all.
- My Work: putting my heart & my hours in there each week, doing my best to make a positive difference with my work & contributing financially to our family.
- Socializing With Friends: enjoying time with our extended family & friends whenever time allows/we are able.
Step #3: Give Your Current Priorities The Litmus Test! Once you’re crystal clear about what your current, top 5 (or less) priorities are, open up your daily calendar & take a look at what you’ve got on there each day for these next 30 days. Are all your appointments, scheduled in items & ‘to do’s’ in alignment with your current priorities? Or do you have some things (or many things) scheduled in & taking up your precious time that don’t at all align with the things you’ve prioritized for yourself right now? If things don’t align, it might be time to make some changes – large or small – to your calendar (a.k.a. your time).
Step #4: Pinpoint Where You’ve (Maybe) Lost Your Way. Now that you’ve got your top 5 priorities updated, listed out in order of importance & you’ve checked your calendar, close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths so you can tune in & really connect with yourself. Next ask yourself, “In regards to my current priorities, where have I maybe lost my way?” See what comes up. Is it my sleep? (Am I not getting enough?) My eating? (Am I run down?) Not spending enough time with my kids? (Feeling sad about that?) Not doing enough of what I’m most passionate about? (Missing that?) If nothing comes up, this isn’t a problem! Only validation that for now, things are on track (or on track enough!) & there’s no need to make adjustments for the month ahead. If 1 thing comes up, whether loudly or in a quiet whisper, jot it down! If multiple things comes up, jot them all down. This is wonderful, as we now have clarity around exactly what we might want to focus on working towards positively changing for the month ahead!
Step #5: List Out Solutions, Pick 1 & Apply It Daily For The Month Ahead! Now that you’ve pinpointed where you’ve perhaps lost your way, begin listing out clear ways you could start turning this around for yourself. (If you have more than one place where you feel you’ve lost your way, start with the first thing you wrote down. Focus solely on that for this month ahead. Then, you can move onto improving the next thing the following month!) As you list out solutions, have fun, be clever & do your best to keep them simple so they all feel doable! Once you’ve got a few solutions you like, choose the one that seems most fun to start applying every 24 hours for the month ahead…so that by the end of this next month you see progress! Remember, a little positive change each & every day, truly goes a long way! Where could you be in a month? How much more organized, calm or focused could you be in just 30 days…if you implement a little something new & positive each day? If you’re ready, get started…& as you begin seeing &/or feeling improvement, enjoy. You’ve earned it!
As always, may you take from here large or small whatever’s helpful to you…& where needed, share this process with those you love! Happy April. I wish you a beautiful month ahead!