Priorities: How To Use Them To Get The Life You Want
Here’s the hard (but exciting) truth about priorities: you only have 24 hours in a day. Here's the good part: that is PLENTY of time for your top priorities if (and only if) you let go of everything else.
The three important things to know about priorities are this:
Priorities are different for everyone.
Your priorities might change depending on the season of life you are in.
Just because something is a priority, doesn’t mean YOU need to do it. You can outsource all of it or some of it, like part of your business, or your house work, or your errands, etc.
The best thing you can do right now is to make a list of your priorities. Your non-negotiables for a kind journey and a beautiful life.
For the purpose of giving you examples of what this exercise could look like for you, I wrote out my priorities and also the things that are not priorities and what that all looks like for ME. Yours will most likely be different than this.
Here is my priority list, it’s not perfect and it’s ever-evolving:
Me. Being healthy, happy, and fulfilled in my mind, body, and soul. Continuing to grow and constantly seeking to improve my life. This includes eating healthy, moving my body regularly and in a way that feels good, taking time off, connecting with nature, learning, etc.
My fiance. Having a strong, open + vibrant relationship with my fiance. This includes dates, always saying good morning, goodnight, and goodbye, talking through things together instead of talking at each other, sharing our lives with each other, being understanding, patient, and supportive.
My loved ones. Having wonderful, deeply connected relationships with my closest loved ones. This includes being mostly up to date with the things that are going on in their lives, delving into meaningful conversations on a regular basis and finding a mutual level of connection.
My impact. Making an impact on the world by giving people the guidance, support, and tools they need to up level and live their dream life. Much of this is done through my businesses but also looking to radiate this throughout my personal interactions with loved ones and strangers. Also, making an impact in my favorite three areas to make a difference: wellness, the environment, and ethical fashion.
My businesses. Running kind businesses that not only feel good but are financially sustainable. This includes my high-impact tasks that are non-negotiable in my businesses in order for them to actually run and be a business. Putting my clients above many other things within the scope of my work with them.
My personal finances. Sticking to a healthy and flexible budget to allow for the purchases of things that light my soul on fire (purchasing local, organic fresh green juice, eating at local farm to table restaurants, purchasing fresh flowers, travelling when my soul feels called to do so, being able to add guacamole when I feel like it, purchasing only high quality, kind fashion + home decor items, etc.)
My exploration. Traveling when beautiful opportunities come my way, but also exploring the areas within a short driving distance of my home. (Note: for me, this used to be travel until I realized the feeling I was truly seeking was exploration and adventure which I was neglecting to see was all around me.)
My environment. Keeping a somewhat orderly and beautiful smelling home and environment. This includes keeping up with laundry, dishes, and general cleaning. And yes, for me this is towards the bottom. I have recently learned to live a successful and happy life even when my home may not be in the order I would prefer.
For me, these are in a particular order because I cannot have a successful business if I am not making an impact, so impact is prioritized above business. And I can’t always go and explore without my personal finances in order, so finances are above exploring.
Also, there is no magic number of priorities to have on your list but make sure that it’s not too long!
It’s also equally important to determine what aren’t priorities as it is to determine what are. When you know what’s important, it’s a lot easier to ignore what’s not. When you make a list of things that are not your priorities, then you can say “No, not right now” to those things that aren’t. And obviously, this allows more time, energy and money for your priorities. Magic, right?
Here are just some of the things that are not priorities of mine right now:
Scrolling the news feeds of social media.
Doing Pinterest projects. (Unless they are necessary for something above.)
Shopping on the regular or hitting up major sales.
Nights out binge drinking with friends.
Watching TV shows or movies. (Sometimes my fiance and I will pick one show or movie to watch together and we count that as some snuggly connection time.)
Social events where I won’t be able to connect or give much value to.
Community events that don’t align with my higher purpose or mission or that I can’t contribute to the level I would like.
When you are in alignment with your priorities and actually make them priorities, you can more easily say no to the things that aren’t on that list when your priorities need some attention. And for the times when your priorities are in good standing, then say yes to the things that aren’t priorities. It’s really that simple :)
It all boils down to this: stop trying to do it all. Get your top priorities in good standing and then add in things that are not major priorities of yours.
Take some time to write out your priorities and specifically express what that looks like. And don't forget to also take some time to write out the things that come up in life that are not priorities.