Your priorities aren’t what you say they are, they’re what you do.
Your priorities are the things you do every day, where you put your energy and what you give your time to. Sadly, this means what we think are our priorities, are actually much further down the list than we’d like.
If you’re here, it means that everything I’ve just said is correct and it’s time to get your priorities straight so you can truly stick to them.
I’ve put together a few quick steps you can take to do just that:
1. Write down your current priorities
First of all, let’s figure out what your priorities currently are.
Take a moment to write down all the things you do in a week. Make sure to include how you spend your mornings, what you do in your work time, breaks, when you come home and what you typically do on the weekends.
Be brutally honest with yourself, this is a simple exercise to be non-judgemental. All we want here are the facts.
2. Write down your actual priorities
Next, let’s figure out what you’d like your priorities to actually be. Usually, this work is done at the beginning of the year in the form of New Year’s resolutions, but in reality, you can and should do this year-round.
On the same sheet of paper, start writing down the things you actually want to prioritise in life. It could be anything from:
- Spending time with friends and family
- Learning a new skill
- Prioritising self-care
- Spending time in nature
- Expressing yourself more
- Making time for your mental wellbeing
- Scheduling in regular self-checkups
3. Change your weekly schedule
Now you’ve written down your real priorities, I bet they don’t align with what you’re actually doing on a daily basis. It’s time to get your priorities straight.
Before you go jumping in and changing everything all at once though, here at Limit Breaker, we’re all about sustainable change. We don’t want you burning out before you’ve even begun.
Pick one priority from your new list – just one. Now take the weekly schedule you already have and make an action plan to incorporate your new priority into it.
The trick is to start small and gradually build up your new priorities until they become good habits.
For example, if your average weekly schedule is filled with Netflix watching and staying indoors, but you want to start reading more, there’s no use in going cold turkey with Netflix. Instead, take one day each week when you do an hour of reading and gradually build that up naturally over time.
4. Do a bi-monthly review
When it comes to getting your priorities straight and sticking to them, it’s human to get distracted. Don’t wait until the next New Year to revisit your priorities and beat yourself up because you didn’t stick to them.
Schedule in a review every few months so you can check up on your progress. Make sure this is non-judgemental and cut yourself some slack. If you think you’ve mastered one of your priorities, then add another.
“Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels.”– Laura Vanderkam
Featured image by Ansley Ventura
I’d love to know, do you have any tips for sticking to priorities? Have you set any new ones recently? Let me know in the comments.