Prioritize Your Life
Finding a Healthy Balance

Prioritize your life by finding a healthy balance. With life and its many demands it is 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 must get done everyday. We work, put others first, don't say "no" when we should and before long we are overwhelmed and overburdened by everything and everyone. We are usually last and often don't accomplish the most important things on our list. When priorities get mixed we feel the effects of this dysfunction in almost every area of our lives. We all have limits, we all have a certain amount we CAN and CANNOT do in a day and when we over-extend ourselves and try to do too much, the most important things suffer and it leave us feeling emotionally drained.

Decide What's Important

To prioritize our lives means we need to decide what's most important and then give those things the attention they deserve. When we can do this we renew our sense of control over our lives and we find that internal pressure releases and we are able to enjoy our lives more efficiently. It's important to identify what your values are, your goals, and what you want most from your life. For most people, these things often are up at the top:

  • Your Own Personal Spiritual Life and/or Emotional Needs
  • Finances (managing money better, saving, paying off debt)
  • Family Life & Relationships - Marriage, Taking Care of Others, Building Friendships
  • Career Moves, Going to School/College, Learning a New Hobby
  • Health - Exercise, Building a Better Body and Improving Health

  • Most of the time when the above things are taken care of everything else doesn't seem to matter so much. You have heard the saying, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" and the "small stuff" in this case should be all the stuff that's lowest on your priority list.

    How To Prioritize Your Life

    Take Time to Think about What You Want

    Take time to go over everything; all demands, all wants and needs, and actually decide what areas of your life are most important right now. If you are married, it's always best to include your spouse in these discussions. When you can come to a mutual understanding of what both want and need out of life, you'll be more likely to build eachother up, encourage one another and actually work as a team.

    Make a List of What's Most Important

    Make a list of what's important to you. List these things from MOST important to LEAST important. Maybe you have 10 things or maybe more, or maybe just a few, either way make a list of everything. Put this list in a place you can see it everyday - a desk, on your refrigerator, etc. , just put it where you can see it and be reminded.

    Hold Yourself Accountable

    Make a choice to be responsible and accountable for working towards what you want in your life and what you say your priorities are. When situations arise, make the right choices based on your priority list with your commitments in mind.

    Just say "NO" to Distractions

    Say "NO" to anything and everything that takes you away from your priorities. It's OKAY to say "NO" and to guard your own life and your own time. You don't have to agree to do things you don't want to do because you feel obligated. If you genuinely don't want to do something, then don't. Guilt should never get to choose things for you, nor should fear.

    Create New Daily Habits with Small Steps

    Daily habits of small steps can easily push you towards success. By creating small steps each day instead of trying to power through something, you will be more apt to follow through at a steady pace without it affecting, or getting in the way of other important priorities. It is easier to do things in small steps each day, especially when you have a big goal you'd like to accomplish. Remember, baby steps lead to leap and bounds if you are consistant.

    Align Your Commitments with your Priorities

    Don't forget to include your commitments in your priority list. If you don't, you'll find yourself being frustrated by things that are already your responsibility and require your attention regularly. So, include them in your list. They must not be ignored or put on the backburner unless you have already pre-arranged with others to take a break for a specific time. The last thing you need is people nagging you about what you aren't doing.

    Leave Room for Compromise

    Sometimes, we need to compromise with those competing for our attention and time. In life things "Pop-Up" unexpectedly. Leave your mind open to attend to these sitatuations when they happen. You decide if these things are important enough to take presidence. It is completely up to you.

    Stay Focused on Accomplishments

    Focus on what you have already done. The glass is ALWAYS half-full, not half-empty! It is an attitude to keep as you move forward. Always focus on your accomplishments, the things you have already done and are still taking each day to get to your goals. Progress is what matters. If you are having trouble, talk to someone, or journal each day about what you have done already. Keep a vision of your accomplished goal always in the back of your mind.

    Encourage Yourself with Positive Self-Talk

    How you think about your priorities matter greatly. What you say to yourself as you work through them matters even more. It's not always easy to follow-through. Unforseen, unfortunate, circumstances do occur in real life. You really don't want to have a melt-down over "spilled milk" or allow stress to turn into anxiety because things are not going the way you planned. Have a good thought life. Be prepared for the negative thinking that arises as you work to priorize your life. Sometimes it's challenging! When negative things arise, TELL YOURSELF THE TRUTH, encourage yourself and then SHAKE THE DUST FROM YOUR FEET and get back to it when you are ready. Give yourself permission to accept life's mishaps.

    Make Yourself A Priority

    Take a break now and then. Maybe even plan for a day off in your priority list. It's OKAY to balance the stress in your life and take a breather. At any time, if you need to re-evaluate your list and/or make changes, then do that. Nothing is written in stone! So, make changes as necessary and as often as you need to, then get back to it when you are ready.

    Do NOT Compare Yourself to Others

    Do yourself a favor, don't allow yourself to compare your life and/or your own achievements to that of other people. No matter how glorified someone makes their lives look on Social Media, there is always more to their story that they aren't sharing. Focus on your own life, your own goals and achievements, and be proud of your accomplishments no matter how small. You won't get anywhere by beating yourself up or feeling bad about your life because it doesn't look "as good" as your friends or neighbors. Remember, the grass isn't always greener on the other side!

    Additional Resources on How to Prioritize Your Life

  • Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) Paperback – Illustrated, November 1, 2005 by Steven C. Hayes (Author), Spencer Smith (Author)

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

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