Whether you want to acknowledge it or not there are several phrases that are commonly used that don’t really mean what we are saying to ourselves or to others:
- I’m too tired right now
- I don’t feel like
- Maybe later
- I might be
- I don’t have time
We use these phrases to politely tell people and ourselves really, that whatever the topic of conversation is, is not a priority for us.
In and of itself that isn’t a bad thing, especially if you are setting boundaries for yourself. However, we use these statements so unconsciously that we aren’t even aware that what we are really saying is NO to things. So here is my question for you today:
Are you saying NO to things that you really want to be saying YES to and are you prioritizing the wrong things to achieve your goals? Well, try this then……
Changing our language, with a simple switch from any one of the phrases I listed above with “it’s not a priority for me” will radically change things in your life. You will begin to consciously hear what you are prioritizing and what you aren’t.
Here’s an example: if you have a goal to work out at the gym regularly but when your friend asks if you are going to the gym today and you would normally say “I don’t have time today.” If you switch the wording and say, “it’s not a priority today.” Whoa! Stop everything! Really? You are trying to make a commitment to work out at the gym and today it’s not a priority? Really?
Can you see how it might make you do things differently? Become conscious of your language and really listen to what your words are saying. Not just on the surface but the meaning behind them.
Of course, some days you are too tired, or you don’t fee like doing something but those days are easy to be honest with yourself about what’s going on and you shouldn’t feel guilty if something isn’t a priority for you.
I have a lot going on in my life but there is no way that I can get everything I do done without having learned to set my priorities. Of course, I will be the first one to say that my priorities aren’t always what everyone else thinks they should be but I’ve long sense given up the concept that I have to follow the rules. (Okay, “their” rules.) I am actually pretty good at following rules. I do like to learn them so I know how to tweak them or bend them to get things accomplished in a more effective or efficient manner.
But I digress, this topic is priorities and what I consider priorities in my life. My priorities are pretty simple:
- Spirituality. (Mine not yours.) I don’t go about trying to convert people or making them believe in my faith but I do put my spirituality as the top priority.
- My husband and my marriage. Yep, even if it doesn’t sit well with some women I believe that putting my marriage and my husband first makes for a happy marriage.
- Family. Family first! I will go out of my way to help family. I make time to be with family and I value my family.
- Friends. I am a pretty loyal person. Some think its a fault but I place a high value on loyalty. I will always be there for my friends no matter what.
- Purpose. Finding my purpose and following the dream of that purpose is a major priority. Its what gets me out of bed every day and keeps me going.
Do I have it all figured out? Hell no. I know what things are important to me and I make sure that I make those things a priority. I’ve gotten pretty good at setting my priorities and it has helped me in my life so far. I’ve even gotten pretty good at helping other people figure out how to set their priorities too. If you haven’t figured out your priorities, its a great place to start because once you know what matters its easier to take action.
I am by personal nature good at setting priorities. I can look at a list of projects and quickly determine what should take priority. It seems so natural to me that I didn’t realize that it wasn’t a skill everyone had.
I’ve worked with a few people over the years and although I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to their own work process but I sometimes wonder why they can’t seem to organize things, streamline and prioritize. Not saying that I am perfect or that I don’t have issues prioritizing sometimes but I have come to really value this skill set. Especially since it is a skill that I use on a daily basis. I have even helped friends and family members out by helping them prioritize things. It’s a good feeling to help others this way.
My focus today is on determining my three top priorities this month. So here they are:
- I have a stack of documents that I want to get scanned before the end of the month.
- I want to review our budget and make adjustments where necessary.
- I need to sort through my clothes and donate some items.
I am already part way done on some of them and looking forward to crossing these priorities off my list. Even though I know there will be more things to fill their place.