For all ambitious perfectionists, work-life-life-family-health-relationship-work balance can be a challenge. And often the most important, foundational priorities can fall by the wayside as we pick up more and more responsibility.
But how do we go about reprioritizing when our lives are already packed full of responsibility?
The answer is one step at a time.
Here’s the process I teach my clients (and that I follow myself) when reprioritizing.
1. Choose your priority & set your intention
The very first step is choosing again, and setting that intention to follow through.
What’s your priority for the first quarter of 2020? Choose something that you know you’ve been neglecting, something that you know needs your attention, that you’ve been pushing off or distancing yourself from – but that is of true importance to you. Is it family? Relationship? Your personal health?
Set an intention that you’ll make a real change, take concrete actions to focus on your priority, even if you’re not entirely sure how yet.
Then share your new priority with someone who will hold you accountable. It’s not real unless you speak it, say it, write it to someone outside of yourself.
2. Write down all the reasons (excuses) you couldn’t or didn’t prioritize this before.
For example, if it’s missing your kids’ soccer games:
- because I needed to close the deal with that important client so my business will continue to thrive and they get to live a carefree life
- because I needed to make sure we had dinner ready to go when the kids came home
- because they know I’m there for them on the weekend, so weekdays don’t matter so much
Keep asking yourself “why couldn’t I?” and write it all down until you’re completely out of reasons why not.
3. Know your why: write down all your reasons for choosing to prioritize this now.
If it’s healing your IBS:
- because I’m feeling exhausted and it’s starting to affect my quality of work
- because it’s starting to affect my relationship with my family
- because if this goes on and gets worse, I won’t be able to accomplish what I see for myself
- because I want to live a long, healthy life.
You may notice that some of your whys have to do with yourself, and others to do with the impact on other people. Some are consequence-focused and some are benefit-focused. That’s great. Keep writing – the more whys you have, the better.
4. Choose one action step to take TODAY.
And by today, I mean TODAY. Your commitment is only as good as your actions toward that commitment. So what is one thing you can do to focus your attention on your area of priority?
If it’s having date nights:
- message your partner now and block out a time for date night this week
If it’s improving your health:
- choose one area of focus and take one action step there (if it’s IBS recovery, read about my Conquer IBS program and apply for an IBS Consult Call if it sounds like the right fit)
Take one step today, and make sure it happens TODAY.
5. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
In order to truly stay committed, you need to stay in action. Every day you must choose your priority, and then the next day, choose it again.
This may mean scheduling in time, marking it into your calendar, and then shutting everything off during that time so you can focus your full attention.
It may also mean finding efficiencies in other blocks of time, and setting non-negotiable boundaries so you can avoid other tasks bleeding into and taking over the time, energy and heart space dedicated to your new priority.
I know this can be challenging, especially if you’ve already got a full schedule, but if you’re truly ready to make a change, you can absolutely find a way to make it happen.
So what are you committing to, and how will you stay in action?
If your commitment is to your health and your IBS, I’ll help propel you forward: apply for an IBS Consult Call so we can create an action plan to help you achieve your goal.