It’s been quite a while since I’ve written something for myself, in fact, my last post I wrote for Mind & Matter Fitness was on February 28th.
That’s quite an anger-inducing amount of time.
Now I haven’t been silent due to lack of caring about this website or my thoughts, ideas, and motivations. I’ve been silent because I was experiencing one of the busiest times of my life to date.
From personal training at a big-box gym, to a promotion at my day job, to writing for The Well Path, (latest post HERE), to exploring new business ventures (more to come on that soon), things were hectic.
Now without complaining too much, I’ll get right into why this post to me is so important. I was really busy. I couldn’t even make time for my family and friends due to my schedule, and it was drastically affecting my mood, behaviors, and outlook on my life. And it wasn’t for the better. I’ve written about the choice to be happy, but as I got busier and busier this choice became harder and harder.
It really showed me how negativity can be so incredibly toxic. While laugher is contagious, negativity is infectious. It takes over you and it can spiral out of control.
It also opened my eyes to the importance of maintaining a list (even a mental one, at best) of my priorities. This list should serve as a means of asking yourself, what are the top 2 things I want to accomplish in the next month, 3 months, year, and what are the steps, people, and things I need in and out of my life to get there? And even though during this time, the activities I was pursuing kept me busy and felt like they were helping me to get where I need to go, I found that the tradeoff of doing too much and not thinking about my priorities outside of my jobs was not an advantageous one for my mental health and happiness.
Having priorities is extremely important to goal attainment, however priorities cannot exist in silos. While I was very busy and seemingly working towards what I ultimately want for myself and my career, other priorities like my own workouts, my friends, and my family, got put on the back-burner. This led to a feeling of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction. Our priorities must work synergistically. Because just like a well oiled machine, if one piece is malfunctioning, the entire system suffers and does not perform at maximum capacity or ability.
There’s a reason why we have priorities. And there’s a reason why they are priorities in the first place. They are the most important things in your life. And if you aren’t working to satisfy or accomplish those priorities as a whole, then they either aren’t actually priorities, or your life is not in balance, and you are choosing to put those priorities on hold which can lead to unhappiness and a sense of stagnation.
No matter how full our lives feel, or how much other people may tell you what you’re doing is right, it is extremely important to align priories with actions. If we aren’t working towards goals we set out for ourselves but also are not giving the proper time to the things we truly care about, it won’t take long before you start to feel unsatisfied and unhappy.
We need to always be working towards something. Striving to attain what it is we want. For those that already have the fire within them know that any activity not working for the vision is a distraction. For those that are in a smolder, waiting for a gust of oxygen to invigorate you into a flame, be honest with yourself and make an assessment of your activities and how they align to your goals and priorities. Are you doing everything you can to make you happy? Are there people, jobs, physical things in your life or in your way that are setting you back? More importantly, are there people or things in your life that must remain in your life in order for you to truly be happy and who will encourage you to accomplish your goals?
It is often more important to think not about what you can give up in order to accomplish your goals, but what you must keep in your life. I made the mistake of only thinking about what I could give up (personal time and sleep), and not what I needed (time with friends and family) in order to remain happy and help me accomplish my goals.
So when thinking about your priorities and setting and accomplishing your next goal, try to spend as much time (if not more) thinking about what you need to keep versus what you have to give away. This will allow you to make smart decisions about the true sacrifices you are willing to take, and who or what in the end will help you to achieve more.