Q: I’ve heard you say over and over again that it’s time to “move YOU up the priority list.” I love that idea, and I really want to…but people and activities are demanding my attention, time, and energy all day long. What are some practical steps I can take to begin moving myself up my own priority list? – Karyn, Michigan
Let’s Get Practical!
A: Karyn, moving YOU up the priority list is all about setting a standard for your life and noticing where you are today.
For many of us we have allowed ourselves to react to circumstances and have come to accept “less than” what we need to live a balanced healthier lifestyle.
Daily habits got you here and new daily habits will get you to your new standard.
You sound very busy so I’ll invite you to consider a very simple exercise. Let’s create a Toleration List.
What have you been tolerating? What is it that absolutely irritates you beyond end? Whether at work, at home or in the community, what have you been procrastinating about?
Examples might be:
- Missing paperwork
- Unanswered correspondence
- Overdue health appointments
- Clutter—Negative thoughts
- Clutter—Too much stuff everywhere
- Even clothes that don’t fit
- Always late for appointments
Take five minutes [whenever you can get them,]with pen and paper in hand, write down [off-the-top-of-your-head] your own toleration list. No need for paragraphs. You know what’s behind each word. Do this for no more than three days.
Day Four: Find the top three items on the list. Yes, only three. Rank them in order of importance.
Day Five: Using one page per item, identify what the very opposite situation would look like and write it down. Make sure to include details—use words that paint a successful picture. Take one to three days to complete one page for each item.
Day Eight: By now, if you have painted a clear picture of success, you will probably be investing more time in yourself. Suddenly five minutes may very well have become 15. Perhaps you can now see beyond your circumstance and are motivated to get there.
Take the first priority and begin to write down what it will take to get you where you want to be. Keep it simple. Identify how long it will take for each task. Consider breaking down the task into manageable time periods; in fact, we can do anything for 15 minutes.
Grab your calendar. We can’t manage time, but we can schedule it. Schedule each of the steps and start walking them out.
Once the top Toleration layer is gone, I’m hoping you will find yourself with more time. Reward yourself. Take time out to celebrate your wins. Treat yourself to something that matters to you…
Let’s move YOU up that priority list!