Are your priorities straight?

The four steps to get started

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.
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. 😉 
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Photo by Mark Joseph Gorton
The Thrive Global Questionnaire//

Well-Being Expert Chinae Alexander Explains Why It’s Important to Set Boundaries and Slow Down

by Danielle Sinay
Work Smarter//

The Simple Strategy I Use to Improve My Focus and Get More Done

by Darius Foroux

My Top 12 Biggest Learnings of 2017

by Charlotte Ferreux

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.