Consciously focusing your priorities on what makes you happy

priorities

It’s been a month since I wrote a blog post and reflecting on that is so upsetting to me. I have felt uninspired and distracted, focusing on my business and on “income producing activities.” I wouldn’t categorize writing as an income producing activity and so I wouldn’t do it. I was rationalizing the fact that I wasn’t writing because I was “too busy” while also telling myself “well, so much time has already passed since your last post, you already fell off the schedule you made for yourself, so who cares when your next post is?” (Really positive thinking, huh?) As I was sitting on my new couch in my new apartment in my new neighborhood with my new roommate I thought to myself, “wow Nancy you are prioritizing everything else in your life besides yourself and your writing. So much is “new”but what about the old that was positive and that was working? You have stayed so busy and changed so much and yet you aren’t doing something you love each and every day.” (Yes I talk to myself). So I walked across my apartment, picked up my laptop and began writing this post.

Note to self: It’s okay that I haven’t written in weeks, it’s okay that I have been distracted, it’s okay that I have prioritized other things in my life. I need to remind myself of that and stop being so hard on myself. Easier said than done but it is a habit and a practice I am working on. Being a perfectionist sucks because you are so hard on yourself in every aspect of your life that when one thing isn’t going the way you want it to, even if there are other areas that can be celebrated and that are going well, you focus on that one area that needs improvement because it isn’t perfect. New priority-acknowledge myself for all of the good I am doing and all of the places I am growing and focus on the positive.

Your priorities can change each month, each week, each day and each hour even. Your focus can change. And it most likely will. One of my mentors always talks about how the most important thing you can do is move in the right direction. She says direction is all that matters. When I take a step back and zoom out on my life (even just the past few weeks) I know with confidence that I am moving in the right direction, but when I am in the day-to-day nitty gritty, I tend to freak out and overwhelm. I am sooo hard on myself. I don’t think about the direction, instead I think about the money I am not making and all of the money I am spending, I compare myself to others and I drown in my negative thoughts. My priorities become doing things that “look good”, trying to talk to as many people as possible, staying as busy as possible, and trying to make as much money as possible. My priority becomes doing things that make other people happy (there are my people pleasing tendencies again) and ignoring my thoughts, beliefs, worry and pain.

Rarely is my priority doing things that make me happy, taking a break, and just relaxing. I hate being bored, I hate having down time, I hate being “unproductive” and I hate being alone. I have anxiety over wasting time, disappointing others, and paying my rent. Writing has not been a priority for me. But that is okay.

My writing is for me. I don’t do it for the likes, the comments, the messages or the acknowledgment. I do it because it helps me process my thoughts, it makes me feel better, and it is a way for me to relax. I write to provide value to others, to be transparent and to inspire others to do the same. I write to take off the masks I wear and to be my authentic self. Now that is somethingĀ  I need to make a priority.

When I tune in to myself and change my priorities to focus on what makes me happy, that is where the magic is. That is where the success is, that is where the bliss is, that is where the money is.

When was the last time you thought about your priorities and if they were making you happy and moving you forward? When was the last time you thought about what truly does make you happy and why you get up each and every morning? When was the last time you began your day with focus and excitement? I know it’s been a while for me. Your priorities are uniquely yours. They are not your parent’s, your friend’s, your roommate’s, or your significant other’s. This means you may make some people in your network unhappy while making yourself happy because they are focusing on themselves while you need to focus on yourself, but that’s okay. Because everything is perfect (even when it’s imperfect) and happens exactly how it is supposed to. You are meant to mess up your priorities so you can learn how to realize that and get back on track. That’s relatable and that’s human.

My priority is to feel good and to be happy. My priority is to write. My priority is to help others. My priority is to live in the present. My priority is to care less about the little things that don’t matter as much. We take life so seriously, always focusing on the next step, and rarely focusing on the present.

Take a second to reflect and think about your priorities. This is a conscious practice. It takes effort, focus, and purpose. Are your priorities in line with the direction you want your life to go in? Are you making time for the things that truly matter to you? Are your priorities making you a better person and helping those around you? Doing this practice takes some extra time but prioritizing your priorities is where happiness lies.