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Prioritize Your Life
Finding a Healthy Balance

Prioritize your life by finding a healthy balance. With life and it's many demands, it's easy to become overburdened and stressed out.

No matter what kind of life you live, a healthy balance of events will keep you feeling accomplished and satisfied. Finding this healthy balance is necessary in order to maintain good mental and physical health.

We all have things we absolutely must do everyday. Then there are things we agree to do because we feel obligated. Let's face it, many of us have a hard time saying no, and even if we didn't want to say no in the first place, we don't feel like we are allowed to change our minds! And then there are those things we want for ourselves and most of the time, we don't have the time to get to those.

It's important to realize that you can't be all things to all people... all of the time! It's impossible to do everything without something else suffering for it.

I don't know about you, but there are times when I have felt like there is just not enough time in the day to accomplish everything I imagine myself doing (or have planned for myself to do). I know that at times, I have accomplished this very long list of duties I have placed on myself (of course they were things that I felt I had to do), but instead of feeling happy and accomplished, I ended up feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

Now let's face reality. We are human! Yes, we hold the ability to accomplish anything we set our minds to doing...but not all of it at the same time.

Learning to prioritize your life effectively takes some real work. I am sure many of you will find it extremely challenging, especially if you have a hard time saying no to other people. You must remember that it's okay to say NO and without feeling guilty! Many people do not like saying no for fear of what others might think about them or they simply don't want to hurt their feelings. I want you to know that you have a much more important job than pleasing other people.... and that it staying true to yourself by doing those things that matter to you the most.

There is only so much time in a day!

So what's important to you? Be honest with yourself.

Recognizing what those things are and writing them down will help you keep things in proper perspective. Make sure you post them where you can see them and be reminded everyday.

What are your absolute MUST DO's for the day?

This will be those things that require your full attention such as going to work or attending an appointment for you or a family member.

Things like laundry, cooking, cleaning, and other chores are all important, but only to an extent. We do have the choice when and how we want to accomplish these things. Many of these things, although a necessary part of life, are not usually dependent upon time limits.

Only you know what is most important to you at any given moment.

Try This Exercise:

Write down your daily routine. This will help you see all those demands on paper.

Put a #1 next to those things that are most important for the day. Remember time for you should be marked as a #1. So make sure you add yourself to this very important list. Most of the time, people do not take time for themselves each day but I am telling you that it is extremely important to do so. Whether it is for exercise, getting your nails done, or just taking a hot bath.... DO IT! If you don't take care of yourself and make yourself a priority, how will you ever accomplish that long list in front of you without burning out? Oh, and guilt is NOT allowed!

It is this list that will be your main focus for the day.

Then go through your list again, putting a #2 next to those other things that come in second (and maybe even third place) for importance. These are the things that, if they had to wait, can wait until tomorrow if necessary. Third place means you don't have to do it at all and it can be written off the list if necessary.

Again, only do what is most important to you.

Remember that your positive self-talk is extremely important. How you perceive yourself and your abilities matter greatly. Remind yourself often of what's most important to you. Encourage yourself daily. Write a list of positive, truthful things that will keep you focused and place it where you can see it throughout the day.

Another important thing that I need to tell you is....Never mind what others are doing!!! Do not compare yourself to them and how they are doing life. We all have this tendency to measure our lives by looking at the lives of other people. The whole idea of "Keeping up with the Joneses'" is a destructive way to live. Don't buy the lie! Your life is your life. It is just as valuable and important than the next guys. What is more important to you? Having what others have, or being happy and having good mental and physical health? Be true to yourself, this is where true happiness lies!

Life is what happens when your busy making other plans."
John Lennon

If you haven't read the story called The Mayonnaise Jar, be sure to read it. Print it up and remember to keep things in proper perspective!

Return from Prioritize your Life to Stress Management Activity

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