3 Tips To Help You Prioritize Your Life, By Keeping Promises To Yourself
We make commitments to other people all day long. We help out our friends and family members, volunteer, help the neighbors, manage various appointments, etc. And this is on top of our normal day to day responsibilities. The list sometimes seems like it’s never ending.
If we are lucky to have any extra time, we may attempt to squeeze something in for ourselves. I know for myself, the efforts often ended up being inconsistent, half-assed and typically ineffective for me getting much benefit out of it. And it’s frustrating.
When you are not filling up your own cup, eventually burnout happens. And a burned out mama isn’t a happy mama.
And believe me when I say I understand the struggle. I understand it to my core.
As I sit here on the 3rd day where I’m desperately trying to finish this blog post. As my attention has constantly been split and distracted by my own two little ones, and all the things that need to be done in my house. I’m a stay at home mom who is also running her own business. And while most of the time I am proud of what I’m doing, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my moments where I thought I was crazy for even trying to do this. Sometimes balance seems like a total illusion.
Because as a woman, wife, mom, housekeeper, chef, homeschooler, and chief operating officer of the home (feel free to fill in the blanks to any other hats you are currently wearing), it’s really hard to do anything for yourself. Especially if you are trying to accomplish more than one thing.
But, where there’s something that you truly want in life, you have to make a promise to yourself to get it done. Even when it’s difficult.
Here are 3 things that have really helped me, even though it’s still sometimes a struggle. I have come to the conclusion that it’s always going to be a bit of a juggling act. But I will continue to be solutions focused, instead of throwing in the towel to the things that are important to me.
1 - Figure out your priorities
What is most important to you right now, in terms of your own personal self care and growth? What would make the biggest difference in your life?
At this current time in my life, I’m personally focusing on my health, wellness and growing my business. And of course my day to day responsibilities are focused on my family.
Then think about what exactly you need to do in order to accomplish your personal goals. What are the individual tactics that will help get you there? Make a map for yourself. These are the things that you need to strategically plan into your day.
And if you aren’t not totally sure what you want in your life, then check out this blog post “3 Tips to Help Find Purpose in Your Life”. There are some great suggestions to figure out what is most important to you.
2 - Schedule your time
Hope isn’t a good plan. We can’t just hope to find the time in our day to accomplish what we need to. And unfortunately, many of us operate this way. I’ve been there too, so I’m totally not judging. Pretty much everything I share are things that I have personally struggled with.
This is when you have to make a literal appointment for yourself. If you made a dentist appointment for your kids, you wouldn’t miss it. Right? So give yourself the same courtesy.
Figure out a day(s) and time(s) that will work best for you. Add it to your calendar, and make it a priority. Seriously, write it down! It’s a little tough when you start, but as you keep showing up for yourself.
So if you want to do a workout, add it to your calendar in advance. Trying to find the time to meditate? Schedule it. Read a book? Schedule it. Want to start your own business? Schedule it. Write a blog? Schedule it. Ok, you get the idea.
Do your best to accomplish your task when you have it scheduled. But if something comes up, which at times it will, learn how to flow with it.
For example, every morning I schedule my wake up time 1 hour earlier than my kids wake up. My alarm is set for 6AM. This is when I do my morning meditation (which is 20 minutes), and then start working on my business.
Mornings have always been the time when I’m the most productive. Mostly because I’m the only one up, and don’t have to focus on everyone else. I don’t necessarily love waking up early, but I feel so accomplished and motivated after getting things done in those early hours. Peace and quiet is something I have come to love as a mother!
But let me just say that my kids like to challenge me. I’m fairly confident that they have some type of internal radar connected to me. Because on so many occasions, they will wake up earlier than they normally do, totally and crash my appointment with myself. Thanks kids!
So I will do one of two options.
1) If I’m in the middle of something I really want to finish at that moment, I will give them their tablets to keep them occupied until 7AM or so.
2) If I’m at a point where I can stop and finish later, I will do that.
But the key is making sure you do plan it for another block of time during the day. Remember, the goal is to keep those promises to yourself!
Even if the entire day has slipped away from me, I will do everything in my power to finish what I need to after the kids go to bed, and before the night is over. A promise is a promise!
3 - Have grace with yourself if you slip up
Even when we have the best of intentions, life sometimes happens to us. And when you know that you truly tried your best, just have grace with yourself, and treat the next day as a new beginning.
I definitely know how to guilt trip myself, big time, as I’m sure many of you also do. And this accomplishes nothing but making us feel bad about ourselves.
I try to remind myself that certain seasons of life are extra challenging. I am in one of those seasons of life myself, being a stay at home mom, still in semi-quarantine, with 2 kids under 5 years old. I know at the end of the day if I didn’t get to do something for myself, it was because I had to focus my energy on them. And that is ok. Because this is all a delicate balance between focusing on our responsibilities, and focusing on ourselves. We just need to remember that our needs are important too, and make the best arrangements we possibly can to fulfill what we have set out for ourselves.
Because quite frankly, if you are actively trying to be a better version of yourself, then you are already in a really great place. And if you are reading this, I know that is something you are trying to work towards. So keep up the amazing work mama.