A friend recently commented, “You always impress with how smoothly you handle so many loads“. She then corrected herself, “I know they are joys”. And they are. My “so many loads” align with my values and priorities.
I love coaching clients and thrive on investing my time with other coaches and helping professionals in book clubs. Spending time with my daughter and ensuring I attend school and children’s events is essential. I carve out time for writing and creativity. And I make it a priority to continue learning and growing, surrounding myself with people that are also on a growth journey.
It hasn’t always been this way.
I find myself in an enviable position where my busy schedule is one of juggling my joys rather than constantly feeling defeated yet continuously active. To get here, I let go of many expectations I put on myself. Now, I focus on what is essential and make time for what brings me joy.
Are some moments stressful? Yes: there are still deadlines and workloads and making time for little miss 9 (not to mention her homework).
But, my schedule reflects my vision, values and priorities rather than simply being a list of responsibilities.
You have to let some people go.
Not everyone that is in your life aligns with your values and priorities! I have more than one person in my life that has expressed that they don’t receive from me the time and attention that they would like. Their feelings are not reciprocated: I don’t feel obligated to invest my time with friends and family that want me to carry them.
I clarified my values and priorities, including my relationships and how I invest my time in building friendships, networks and relationships.
As a result, I consciously chose to tighten my inner circle and moved some people to a level a little further away from me. They have access to me: they don’t get my undivided attention.
Not everyone gets 24/7 access to your time and energy!
I realised I was spending time with some people from a sense of obligation because they felt “they needed me”. When I got honest about it, they were not someone I would search for shared interests, similar lifestyles, or because I valued their opinion and advice. The only common thread was “they needed me”, and I felt obligated to attend.
Funnily enough, “they need me” is nowhere on my list of values or priorities.
Some of the relationships I prioritise are not easy: at any one time, even the best relationships can be hard work and require effort and understanding. But they are relationships that I value and want to build.
For example, Little Miss 9 is often a handful as she has already started the hormonal, emotional and developmental rollercoaster! But I’m in this relationship for the long haul, and I want to build trust and understanding on a firm foundation.
Nonetheless, even with Little Miss 9, I have a few boundaries that are essential for the well-being of our relationship! If my cup is empty, I have nothing to give to her. So I prioritise filling my cup!
Prioritise relationships that you value:
Which relationships are a priority in your life? If you are feeling exhausted, is it because you are trying to live up to everyone’s expectations without authentically considering the nature of your relationship?
- List all the relationships and people you spend time and energy with weekly. How many hours do they each get of you?
- Make a separate list of your values and priorities and the relationship you value based on those priorities.
Compare your two lists.
Change can happen in small steps; it doesn’t have to be a radical about-face that leaves everyone devastated.
Give an extra hour this week to one of the relationships you value, taking an hour away from interactions that aren’t on your priority list.
We build relationships with intention: the choices we make daily and weekly.
If you want to juggle your joys, prioritise who you value by giving them your time, attention and energy.
Does your schedule reflect your values and priorities?
Looking at my schedule, you will find many wide open spaces. There aren’t back-to-back appointments. I value having downtime and recharging.
I want to give others the best of me, not the rest of me!
My schedule reflects the value that I put on vitality and inner energy! I’ve lived with Celiac Disease and chronic fatigue for more than 20 years, so I know the importance of taking care of myself and managing my energy. I want my energy to flow into my passion and purpose, not waste away and seep out.
I carve out time in my daily schedule for power naps (both in the late morning and mid-afternoon). There are weeks when I don’t take a single nap. On other weeks, I might need two naps in one day.
I keep my energy and focus high by acknowledging that I need to rest.
So, take a quick look at your schedule and notice everything you have made time for. Check that list against what you value and prioritise.
Do you prioritise your goals and objectives? Are you prioritising your dreams and goals?
Your failure to focus on priorities will leave you feeling empty and exhausted! You can’t prioritise your goals and objectives if you haven’t identified them!
How do I juggle my joys? What makes it into my schedule is what’s important to me!
Let your values and priorities guide your personal growth:
My choices for personal growth centre entirely around what I consider truly important. While I allow myself to watch Netflix after my brain is fried, I prioritise reading books and having discussions on those books with like-minded people.
If you are continuing to study or doing an online course, how does this fit the big picture of your life? When choosing which networking events or seminars to attend, do you consider the immediate benefits, or are you taking a longer view?
“Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in ten years.” (not quite sure of the original source, but probably Roy Amara)
Be intentional about how you pursue your interests and personal growth. There’s a lot to be said for trying something completely new, beyond your comfort zone, merely to see what might resonate with you. At the same time, mastery and depth of knowledge and skills in a single area are also of great value.
Whatever you choose, allow it to bring you joy as you fulfil your purpose and prioritise what you most value.
- Juggle your joys: values and priorities, do what you love
- 25 authentic questions to evaluate yourself this year
- Author your life: make choices for authentic relationships
- Your authentic self: it takes courage to be vulnerable
- Be authentic: consciously author your life with creativity