Have you ever wanted something but didn’t quite have the money for it? I know I have. Sometimes, you want it so badly that you’d make it happen even if that meant at the expense of something else. The inverse also happens. You may think you want something such as to lose weight or get in shape, but then you make choices counter to that desire.
In both cases, it is a matter of priorities. When something becomes a priority, you will move heaven and earth to make it happen.
Bestselling author and motivational coach Jack Canfield says, “Know your priorities and identify the five powerful action steps that you intend to take to move your initiatives forward each day. If you go to a tree with an ax and take five whacks at the tree every day, it doesn’t matter if it’s an oak or a redwood; eventually, the tree has to fall down.”
If you want to lose weight, your priorities need to include proper nutrition, exercise, and some work around creating better habits.
If you want to be more grounded and have peace, a daily mindfulness practice and some counseling to heal old wounds should be a priority.
If you want a better relationship, better communication, being present, gratitude and a whole lot of work on yourself is likely the priority.
When we take the time to set our priorities and then make a commitment to taking action on them daily, it is far easier to ignore or say no to distraction. As Gordon A. Eadie wrote in 1945, “If they don’t stand for something, they will fall for anything.” Your priorities are what you stand for and what you will value and protect.
What are your top five priorities in your life right now? If you can’t think of anything specific, pay attention to how you spend your time. You may find you’ve prioritized things such as television, worrying, or work that is not aligned with the life you truly wish to live.
Imagine you are dead. There’s no time left. Reflect on your life to this point. Are you proud of how you spent your time? Are there things you wished you’d done? Are there people you wished you’d spent more time with? These are wonderful ways to better establish your top five priorities.
Now that you have those, what can you do daily to take action on them? For example, one of my priorities is health. I start my morning with a glass of water followed by meditation. It sets the tone for the day and helps me be more mindful of decisions I make throughout the rest of the day.
Finally, post your priorities where you can see them and daily, write down what you will do as a to-do list. You are more likely to succeed in creating new habits when you write them down. As an added layer of accountability, you could share with a friend daily or even weekly what your intentions are and if you succeed with acting on those intentions.
While it may seem like a lot, I promise it takes little time but the payoff is enormous.