Prioritize Your Way To Success

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I always ask my clients at the beginning of my work with them, what are your top five priorities in life? They list lots of different things, and the list usually includes their family, their job, maybe their religion. Every once in a while, not very often, someone will put themselves fourth or fifth on his or her own priority list. Whether they list themselves or not, I end up asking the same question:
Why are you not number one?
There are lots of reasons to put other concerns, other people, before ourselves. We all have people and things that are important to us and obligations to fulfill. In addition, there are outside forces pressuring us for our time and effort. There are also factors that may hold you back from prioritizing yourself in the right way. Things like lack of energy, motivation, or time can all be stumbling blocks. The number one obstacle I encounter when I encourage clients to put themselves first is guilt: they feel selfish for making themselves their first priority.
At the end of the day, though, none of these things are more important than making sure you are healthy and happy. Whatever goal you set out to achieve, if it is important enough to you, you will make it, and yourself, your top priority. When you find yourself slipping down your priority list, go back to the underlying reason you set your goals in the first place. The motivation behind your desire to change can help strengthen your determination to make yourself your first priority. Then the obstacles we mentioned before just become excuses, and you have to ask yourself why excuses should be more important than your self-worth?
Prioritize your goals
This idea can be applied to weight loss, an achievement in your career, growth in your personal or family relationships, or anything else in life. When you set out to accomplish a goal, you only achieve it if you make the changes to yourself and the habits and attitudes that stand in your way. If you can’t focus on what you need to accomplish to make those changes happen, they never will occur.
Additionally, when you prioritize your goals and the change you want to see in yourself, you will soon find that your other priorities become easier to take care of. At first it might seem counterproductive to focus on yourself as a way to reach the goals you have set in the different priorities of your life, but the underlying idea is simple: if you are not okay, you can’t take care of anyone or anything else in your life. It’s the same as the concept of the emergency oxygen masks in a plane – you will never be able to help anyone else get their mask on if you pass out because you did not put your own on first. Your goal should be to become fully functioning, empowered, and ready for life. When you do this, you will find you can give 100% to the people and efforts that matter most to you, rather than only running on 25% and being unable to give anything to others.
It can be hard, and even a little frightening, to put yourself first; but as you do so, you will find yourself moving purposefully towards your goals and becoming more aware of what you need to do to accomplish those goals. So, you need to ask yourself the same question I ask my clients:
Are you number one on your priority list?

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