For the past couple of months, I have been reflecting on priorities. What do they mean how do they affect our values? Are they chosen or just accepted?
It all started when I realized there was a misalignment between my daily life, the things I wanted or said I wanted to do, and the actions I took every day. I said I wanted to focus on this blog, but I rarely worked on it. I said I wanted to start making TikTok's again and didn't dedicate any time during the day to accomplish that. I said I wanted to get back in the gym, but I never made time to work it into my schedule. The impulses of my soul, the talk in my head, and the body living out the actions were all in misalignment. It made me feel like a liar and a fake to myself and those around me who could witness all the talk and none of the walk. We tend to act or just react to stimuli around us without mindful intention to what those actions are, or are they even actions we want to take? As I thought about it, I imagined all these bubbles of topics and tasks that consume our day. The bigger the bubble the more time and attention the task or topic got. Normally starting our day with the ones we do the most. We're trying and sometimes we are trying in too many directions to make an impact or the wrong direction entirely.
"You're trying, but your trying looks a lot like lying to yourself." -Inner Voice
Here are some of the journal prompts that I asked myself in order to create my current priorities bubbles and my new priorities bubbles as accurately as possible:
What are the first few things you do in the morning?
Scroll on my phone, pick up and clean something, text or email.
What do you think about mid-day?
Worry about what I am going to do in the afternoon. Anything that shows up that my brain sees as urgent (i.e. friends calling or asking to hang out even if that doesn't align with my goal for the day. or a work thing that I have decided can't be put off.)
What's the first thing you do when you get off work?
Scroll on my phone. Answer texts. Waste time essentially.
What is the thing during the day you look forward to most?
Gym, seeing friends, work, sleep.
How can we recenter these moments around ourselves and our goals?
These actions don't align with my inner impulses. These moments are not moments that are building into a goal or into a healthy habit.
Once I reflected on all of that, I filled out my current priorities circles and let me tell you it was not a comfortable moment for me. Realizing what I have been focusing on and really drawing clarity to where my time and attention was going showed me how the actions and impulses were at a severe disconnect.
Sitting down to confront yourself on what's not working is one of the hardest parts of growing.
My big three were Cleaning, Social Life, and Scrolling on my phone. None of which were building up the parts of me I wanted to grow. It was like going to the gym to build your upper body strength and only running on a treadmill. All the running in the world isn't going to give your strong biceps.
I took a good hard look at myself and reflected on what my true top three goals are currently in life:
Health - Taking care of my mental, physical, and emotional wellness.
Wealth - Building up up my savings, travel funds, and really understanding how my money works with me and for me.
Myself - What do I want out of this life and what little things can I do to boost myself up with meditation or journaling. Just taking time within my day to care for myself.
Then I filled in what other things I want to focus on in my life like:
Career - Looking forward to how to expand and direct my energy within and beyond my current career
Novelty - Having unique experiences and moments
Worthy - Things I am worthy of and may need to continue working toward feeling worthy of
Relevant Tasks - Things that need to be done not demand to be done
Recentering my priorities has brought clarity and value back into my life. This framework can also be used to help my mind make decisions and deciding if they fit within the top three categories or even a subcategory in order to
Knowing your priorities allows you to take back control of your time, energy, and attention.