Priorities. The funny thing about them is that most of the time we’ve got them all wrong.
When asked, most people can pretty easily tell you what their priorities are: family, friends, health, giving back, etc. It’s usually the people in our lives that come first on our priorities list.
But are you actually living out your priorities daily? Allocating the appropriate time and energy to the ones that matter most?
When you take a moment and actually, truthfully, examine your everyday priorities, it can seem like they are a bit jumbled. In the pursuit of career goals and promotions, it’s easy to lose sight of the people, experiences, and qualities of life that matter most.
Truth is, balance is tricky. In the grand scheme of life, it’s one of the hardest goals to achieve. Life is constantly in flux. A good week at work may be coupled with a hard week at home, or vice versa. Rarely, is everything in perfect balance.
When you take a step back to evaluate, you may realize that life is very much a balancing act. Much like a juggler at the circus; life is a constant performance. Striving forward in our personal and professional lives, while constantly attempting to keep all the balls in the air (i.e. priorities) in a fluid juggle.
Here’s the problem. Sometimes our juggle may fail. We only have limited amounts of energy and focus to achieve everything, and energy is constantly pulled from one task to the next. So, when one element, let’s say work, disproportionately drains us, we automatically shortchange other aspects of life- such as family and friends (the priorities that matter most!).
This is where we need more focus and attention. We have to deal/adjust the areas taking too much of our energy. We must first put them in perspective, then wiggle them around a bit, so that eventually, we free up energy for the things that really matter most—the things we call our greatest priorities…
Here’s a few steps to regaining your balance:
1. First, genuinely evaluate your life. Have you paid quality time and attention to the priorities that mater most in your life? What are they? Say them out loud 4 times…
Now ask yourself, do you have any regrets? How could you improve? What priorities need attention? Taking time to think honestly about your current lifestyle and routine is the first step in finding a solution that works for you.
2. Set a goal. Pick one area of your life that you can be better at. Whether that’s your relationship, friends, or spirituality—commit to making a small change. Can you take time for a weekly lunch date with a friend? What about a few minutes of mindfulness before bed? A small, attainable, action step can go a long way in spurring change. It can also remind you of your end goal: balance—and further motivate you toward that.
3. Gain insight. It’s okay to not always know how to keep everything in balance. In our busiest times, sometimes it is important to ask for help. If it’s the people in your life that are not getting enough of you— ask them how you can be better for them. What do they need from you? This can help you know what needs to change to best be present for them.
3. Reassess & re-set your priorities daily. Change is hard to commit to. And, it’s even harder to maintain. Thus, to find balance, you must constantly reflect on it. Ask yourself, how well did I do today? Did I maintain my small change? Keep a small reminder in your planner if you have to, or even in your phone notes on the go. Your priorities may change—so it’s important you flux with them. Different times/places/people require different energies from you, so it’s important to always be ready to adjust and re-allocate.