Are your priorities straight?

The four steps to get started

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James Barker Unsplash 
Have you every been super busy, running around, jumping from one thing to the next and then thought… why am I doing this in the first place? I have.

  • I used to drive almost 30 minutes out of my way to get a manicure so that I could help support my friend’s friend’s manicure business. Why?
  • I used to work until 10pm every night because I felt like that was the only way to earn respect at the office and climb the ranks. Why?
  • I used to start baking and freezing my Christmas cookies right after Halloween so I’d have dozens and dozens of cookies to give away. Why?! I don’t even like Christmas!!
And then I got smart. Because I figured out that I’m the only one who has control over my time and if I don’t use it wisely, doing the things that make me happy, then it’s really no one’s fault but my own.

It’s about getting your priorities straight.
When you know what you really want to do, then you can start to make better choices in how you spend your time.

Let me tell you about my friend, we’ll call her Denise Dog Lover. As long as Denise could remember, she wanted a dog. Since Denise was an only child, a dog was the best friend and companion she longed for.

But Denise’s mom and dad were focused on making sure Denise was as well rounded as possible and excelled at all things. So this meant running from one activity to another. When she wasn’t busy with “life-enriching” activities, she was studying.

Denise did well. Really, really well and she went off to a top college and then got a great job.
Predictably, Denise’s career took off and she spent time at the office brokering deals and then traveling the world to meet with clients.

It seemed like Denise had the perfect life. But deep down inside, she was sad and something was missing. She still didn’t have a dog!

Denise realized her priorities weren’t straight. Her priority wasn’t to have a big job… that was her parents’ priority for her. So she made a plan of action that would allow her, over time, to create some radical change. She left the big job and started a business on her own, allowing her to work from home and you got it… adopt not one, but two dogs. And by the way, her business? More successful than her corporate career ever was.

How are you feeling about your priorities?
It’s totally ok if you’re not sure. Remember how I told you I used to out bake the Cake Boss? It took me time to figure out what I wanted to really do and why.

Here’s how I did it:
  • I got clear on how my “‘perfect” day looked
  • I got clear on how my “actual” day looked
  • I made a list of what I no longer wanted to do
  • I made a list of what I could start doing now so that my days started to look more “perfect”
This took time and lots of trial and error. But slowly it started to come together. Now I’m aware of the way I spend my time. I try to be more mindful of what I say yes to and why. It feels a lot better and I haven’t baked Christmas cookies in years. 😉 

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