Posts Tagged ‘priorities’

You own your time!

I was watching a show on the weekend where Harry Belafonte was being interviewed. He was being asked for advice on how to be a social activist today. Of course, Mr. Belafonte has had a lot of experience as a social activist from his work during the civil rights movement to fighting apartheid in South Africa. The person who was speaking with him thanked his and he said something that has stuck with me – he said the pleasure was his and that time is the only thing can give anyone since it’s the only thing he truly owns.

I believe that’s a powerful statement. Do you feel like you own your time or do you feel like someone else has control over it. I know that my greatest points of frustration were times when I felt like my time wasn’t my own. I wasn’t consciously choosing where my time was spent. I was doing things that other people wanted me to do, or things I thought they wanted me to do without considering whether it was the best use of my time. By the time I figured out it wasn’t time well spent, I had already too far gone.

When I’m at my most fulfilled, I’m doing the things that are important to me. They’re either things that bring me joy, or things that are going to bring me closer to achieving my goals. The sweetest spot, is when the things that I’m doing that help me get closer to my goals are things that I enjoy J

I believe there are three things you need to do in order to really own your time:

  1. Get clear on the mission and vision for your life
  2. Know what your priorities are and why they are important to you
  3. Set boundaries based on your priorities

When you have these three points covered, you have clarity on the activities that are a good use of your time. You know what to say yes to and what to say no to. You reduce feelings of frustration and overwhelm which has a positive ripple effect on your relationships!

Regardless of how much control you feel you have over your time right now, the good news is that things can always change for the better. You want to take back control of your time? Get comfortable saying no. Create a plan for how you want your day to go and be mindful of interruptions and distractions. Ask for help.

Want some help getting started? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary, no obligation call with me today!

Make time for self-care!

The first half of 2017 has been non-stop. I had the opportunity to welcome 2017 the same way I did 2016 – on vacation. While it was tempting, I remembered how difficult it was to get back to business when we returned, so I decided not to do it this year. Instead of not being able to build momentum throughout the year, it felt like things never slowed down for the first 6 months of the year!

I thought that I would get rest after the career fair was over, but there always seemed to be something else to do. I kept promising that “next weekend” would be the one where I took a day for myself; no work, no computer, no phone. That day didn’t come until last week and it wasn’t something that I scheduled, it was something I was forced to do.

When I started to feel the sore throat, I went to my natural remedies to nip it in the bud. I had an event I was speaking at in a few days and I didn’t want to have to ask the organizer to reschedule it, especially since the date had already been moved. This meant I had to heal quickly and the best remedy I know is sleep. I have to admit that this was the most I had ever slept for this year! One day, that’s all I did – no phone, no TV, and my laptop didn’t get turned on for anything more than to listen to my morning meditation audio.

I am feeling better. I wish that it didn’t take a summer flu (or aggressive seasonal allergies?) that got me to rest. I know better. I’m always talking about the importance of self-care, reminding people of the importance of taking care of yourself so that you’re at your best. I believe it’s the only way to give your best to others.

While I was in bed bonding with a couple tissue boxes, I felt like the shoemaker with no shoes. Why is it so easy to see what other people need to do yet so challenging to take my own advice? Busy isn’t something to brag about. We’re all busy. Being productive is something to celebrate. Getting the results we want becomes challenging when we’re running on fumes. We can’t give to ourselves or others from an empty cup. We have to find a way to recharge our mind, body and soul on a regular basis.

When we don’t make time for self-care, our bodies will step in and take charge. If we won’t give ourselves the rest that our body needs, the body will demand it in a way that we can’t refuse. Don’t wait for illness to sideline you. It’s okay to slow things down. Giving yourself the opportunity to reset, refresh and recharge is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. It gives you a chance to rest and start the next phase of the journey with clear eyes and a clear mind.

You may think that you can’t afford to slow down. The truth is you can’t afford not to! ♥

Making time for what’s important

Today is the first day of my June Refresh and Recharge Challenge that focuses on creating positive daily habits for success. Preparing for this challenge has made me reflect on my own journey and having the discipline to stay consistent with the things I know keep me on track. It’s one thing to stick to a routine when life is going relatively smoothly, it’s an entirely different story when life gets a little (or very) chaotic.

What’s interesting about the challenge to find time for positive habits when life gets hectic is the fact that it’s when life is hectic that we need those positive habits even more! Who hasn’t been in a chaotic situation where a few minutes of quiet feels like a gift? Couldn’t taking the time to visualize what the end goal is going to look like help you to keep on going, even when you’re ready to give up?

I remember hearing someone say that anyone who thinks they don’t have time for meditation probably needs it more than others. I believe it! There are lots of positive habits that I let fall to the waist-side when life gets busy, but meditation isn’t one of them. For me, it’s that tether to calmness that I need to get me through trying times. I might not get to it at night, but it’s one of the first things I do when I wake up in the mornings.

Whether it’s eating healthier, starting a physical activity routine or starting to write in a journal, in order for it to become a regular habit, you have to make it a priority. You wouldn’t leave your house without brushing your teeth, right? When you consider the benefits of the habits you need to implement in your life so that you can operate at your most effective level, you have to treat them the same way. Ask yourself how creating those habits will benefit your mind, body or soul and keep that in mind on those days when you just don’t feel like it.

T.D. Jakes says commitment is doing something even when you don’t feel like it. I don’t think that means torturing yourself. What I do think it means is that sometimes it can feel like it would be much easier to stay in bed and not deal with the day, but you’re not going to get anything accomplished that way. When our goals are important to us, we find a way to make them happen, even when it can sometimes feel like everything is working against us.

Making time for what’s important to you makes you feel good. It allows you to recharge and refresh in whatever way works for you. It makes you feel like your accomplishing something. What are you going to make time for this month? ♥

Knowing your why

It’s a catch phrase that’s been around for the last few years. You hear it a lot in entrepreneurial circles (or at least I have). What’s your why? This question is meant to illustrate your purpose, the reason at the root of everything you do.

I haven’t always been clear on my why. If you had asked me what my motivation is for the things I do 20 years ago, the answer would have been “because it’s expected of me.” It wasn’t until circumstances made me question whether or not that was the way I wanted to continue to live my life that the answer changed. If I’m asked what my why is now, I’d say that it’s to be the best I can be in each moment so that I can help others do the same.

Your why, your raison d’être, your reason for being; whatever you want to call it, should be something that inspires you. It’s the reason you get out of bed in the mornings, even when every cell in your body wants to sleep in. Sure you might say that paying the bills is what gets you out of bed, but paying the bills to do what? Are you working towards freeing yourself so you have more time to be with your family, or are you just working to put money in the bank?

If there’s one thing that I’ve realized in my work with clients and in discussions with friends and family, the truth is that at the end of the day we all just want to be happy. What that happiness looks like for each of us will be different, but that is the common thread. It isn’t just about surviving, but thriving.

If you’re not sure what your why is, think about what life would be like for you and those around you if everything worked out the way that you wanted it to. Would you be travelling the world, or volunteering your time to a worthy cause? Maybe you’d simply spend more time with loved ones and be there to support them in whatever way they need. Remember, this is about what motivates you to keep going, not what you think should motivate you.

Getting clear on the reason I do the things I do has been a life changer. It has helped me to get clear on my priorities, which has helped me establish boundaries. I no longer live my life the way I think other people expect me to; instead I live my life in a way that fosters continuous growth and learning. Whenever I get the chance I do things that feed my soul and give me a feeling of fulfillment that was once lacking in my life.

If you’d like some clarity on what your motivation is, I’d love to help! Book a no-obligation discovery call with me here. ♥

Fixing things before they break

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve not only heard it said, I’m pretty sure I’ve uttered those words myself. While I titleunderstand that reinventing the wheel is a futile exercise, I don’t believe that it means that we can’t do something about enhancing its performance. Besides, not every wheel serves the same purpose, does it?

We don’t have to wait for things to be broken before we pay attention to them. It actually serves us better to do regular maintenance to ensure that things are running smoothly in all areas of our lives. When you have a car, if you neglect to take care of the little things; gas in the tank, air in the tires, regular oil and filter changes, etc., you’re going to constantly be at the mechanics. It’s the same thing for us. If we neglect to take care of ourselves; exercise, eating healthy food, cultivating healthy relationships, and taking care of our emotional well-being, we’re not going to be running at maximum efficiency either.

We often have the best intentions when it comes to keeping up with the maintenance, whether it’s of our vehicles or our lives. The problem is that most of us are in reactive mode, not proactive mode. Life is happening to us, which is where the feelings of frustration and overwhelm come from. When we are on top of the various areas of our lives, we are prepared when things don’t work out as expected. We’re mentally and emotionally strong enough to not allow set-backs to discourage us or take us away from our focus.

The good news is that it’s never too late to switch from reactive to proactive mode. It all starts with taking charge of your life in a serious way. It’s about getting clarity on your goals, establishing priorities and acknowledging that you don’t have to do it all on your own. Identify what’s important to you and make time to take care of those things on a regular basis. We make time for the things that are important to us.

If you feel like you’re not giving enough time to the things that really matter, then it’s time to ask yourself why. What’s keeping you from focusing on what matters to you? Whether it’s a lack of focus, or the needs of others, know that only you can make the change. Don’t wait for things to break. Be proactive and strengthen those areas that are one the verge of snapping. You and those around you will be glad you did! ♥

Unfinished Business

I watched the movie Unfinished Business on the weekend. I won’t give too much of the movie away in this post. If done is better than perfect quote by Sheryl Sandberg facebookyou haven’t seen it and need some inspiration and motivation, you should definitely watch it!

This movie made me think about things in my own life that I’ve left undone or incomplete. So often we have dreams and goals that we start off very gung-ho about, and then life happens. Whether it was starting a new workout routine, healthy eating habits or starting your own business, how many things have you started but never seen through to the end?

This isn’t about beating ourselves up about it when it happens, it’s about looking at why they happen. Maybe you missed a workout, or indulged in something you knew wasn’t good for you. Too often when we make mistakes or things don’t go our way, we’re ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater. We give up without really putting our full effort and commitment into what we were working towards.

When this happens, I always feel incomplete. I look at that unfinished goal with regret. In the past, I’ve walked away from completing goals not because I didn’t want to achieve them anymore, but because I couldn’t see a way for it to happen. If there’s anything that I’ve learned from my own experiences and those of my clients and others around me, it’s that the way to make your goals happen is to focus on the goal and the “how” will reveal itself.

Sometimes we have to stop waiting for perfection or for the stars to align perfectly and just do it! I do believe that we can always find an excuse not to do something, but that’s just what they are, excuses. Many of the things we come up with in our minds are not actually factual. They are often based on fears, limiting beliefs, low self-esteem and/or self-confidence.

If there’s something you want to do and the opportunity presents itself for you to do it, take advantage of that and go for it! Don’t overthink it. Take some time to quiet the mind and listen to your inner guidance. You know what the answers are, we always do. We just have to trust ourselves enough to do what we are being called to do.

Life is a gift and time is a precious commodity. Do the things that are important to you. Don’t live a life of regret. It’s never too late to go back and finish those things that we have left undone. I had been trying to write a book since 2010. When I finally got in done in 2013, it was one of the most rewarding feelings. It can be done, it will be done, so why not start today? ♥

How are you using your time?

My experiences have taught me that it isn’t about how much time you have; it’s about what you do with it. How many times have you said that you would love to do something, but you just don’t have
BRIXXXenough time?
The truth is that we make time for the things that are important to us. The challenge is to be clear about what your priorities are at all times.

The challenge with our priorities is that there are usually 2 sets: what are priorities currently are, and what we would like them to be. If the two are not aligned, we experience frustration and overwhelm because we never seem to have time for the things that are important to us. We’re afraid of what it would mean for everyone else if we make our needs top priority.

We feel pulled in many directions because of the different roles we play: as a parent, a spouse or partner, son or daughter and business owner or employee. Each of these roles requires our time. Of course, there are always times when we can feel like we’re in the middle of the perfect storm, where everyone needs us at the same time. It can be a challenge not to feel selfish when putting our own needs above those of others. I dedicated an entire post to the subject earlier this year.

When we aren’t clear on our priorities, it’s easy to get distracted. We spend our time doing things that can’t and won’t get us closer to achieving the goals we want. Lack of focus not only gives us “shiny object syndrome”, it also makes it a lot easier to react to putting out other people’s fires. Being focused on what’s important to us makes it a lot easier to know when to say no and when to say yes.

When you know what your priorities are, you know what to focus your time on. The next time you catch yourself saying that you don’t have enough time, ask yourself is this important to me or not? If it is, make the time. It might mean waking up earlier or cutting down your television watching, but you do have the time, it’s just waiting for you to take advantage of it! ♥