Priorities are those items in life that we put above others. Priorities should and will shift as we navigate the waters of our life. In the early years when my son was a toddler, he was my priority. He was my focus and I spent my days teaching, playing, and enjoying his young life experiences. Now that he is a young adult (how did that happen?!?!), my priority is not to ensure he gets enough sleep, eats well, and has outside time everyday.
Though my son’s wellbeing continues to be important to me, his day to day choices are out of my scope as they are now his responsibility. Different ages and stages in life elicit a varying list of priorities. I tend to reboot with every change in season. With autumn hot on our heels, I am reminded to update my beliefs on what is important to me in the coming months.
Autumn’s Priorities #1
Meditate daily. I love to meditate. I am well versed in the benefits of meditation and I experience first hand how amazing it feels to begin each day with hope and love in my heart.
In fact, I am delighted with a special mediation I experienced just a couple of days ago. There I was sitting on a cliff above the water’s edge. The ocean waves crashing below me. The wind gently kissing my face. The morning birds calling to one another in song. With out the rhythm of music or the guidance of thought, just me, my breath, and the sounds of nature, I went deep into a restorative state of meditation.
It would seem likely that with a recent experience such as the one described above, I would leap right out of bed each morning and put meditation first on my to do list every day. Priorities can be challenging. They can argue, cajole, and try to convince you to do them later. I noticed this morning that my priority of mediation tried some of those tricks, listing off all the other important tasks that needed doing.
In order to stay true to my priorities, I need to silence the voice of all other things and focus on taking care of the things that are important to me first. This is one reason why I keep my priority list to a small number. I fully believe I can do anything I want to do in this world, I just can’t do all of them at the same time.
Autumn’s Priorities #2
Exercise and eat well. Staples in life, if you ask me. But it is all too easy to fall off the wagon of healthy life choices with the fun times of summer days. Not to mention the wine sipping patio evenings.
Yes, it is time to get back to daily green smoothies (really they aren’t that bad) and the weight room. 5:30 AM walks are full of life fueling elixir in summer. The days though are beginning to get shorter. The mornings more dark. It is so much more desirable to stay warm and cozy in bed. Then there is the rain. I know it is just around the corner. I am certain I will be even more invested in doing whatever I can to avoid being wet.
This is where having a support network comes into play. I manage to get out of bed (most days) on wet, soak you right through so it lasts all day kind of weather because I am not alone in the journey. Meet a friend, drag your spouse or your kids, or your dog. Actually, you likely won’t need to drag your dog as they are generally eager companions. If you want a morning walk to be a priority in your day, plan to go with someone else. If nothing else gets you out the door, the guilt alone is sure to give you a big push.
Autumn’s Priorities #3
Work towards a goal of importance. For me, the goal is book number 3, the final title in my historical fiction series. A deadline is looming and I am determined to meet it while living a balanced life. This is why my work goal is listed as number 3 and not number 1. If I do not have a sturdy foundation from which to build upon, goal number 3 simply won’t be met.
So once I have exercised, eaten well, and meditated, I am free to focus on my writing. Fitting in all three priorities shapes each day and each day in turn shapes my life’s goals. I am far from perfect. I can and do falter. Knowing that I have a lifeline of priorities that I have chosen, that is what keeps me on track. If I stray one day, I pick it up again the next and try again.
Choose your priorities wisely and be willing to change them up as needed. Be firm and flexible with yourself and just begin by taking one step at a time.