I broke one of my own rules – one that shouldn’t be broken.
I can’t tell you quite when it happened. To be honest, it probably wasn’t all in one “moment,” but a series of moments that slowly led me off track.
Being that it happened so slowly, I didn’t really even quite realize what was happening until I found myself more and more discouraged, burnt out, and complacent. Then the anxiety attack hit, and I knew for certain that I had wandered far beyond the line of peace that I so strongly champion.
Even then, I was so thick in my own mind, that I couldn’t see the way out. God seemed distant, and prayer, nearly impossible. I asked for prayers and support from my close-knit circle of friends and family. Then I sought out my coach, because I knew that I was too much in the thick of all that I was feeling to see clearly what was going on.
What was impossible for me to see, ended up being completely clear to her once we started talking and I shared what I was going through. To put it briefly, I was acting outside of my values.
Let’s stop there for a moment. Are you in a place right now where you are also feeling discouraged, burnt out, and complacent – overwhelmed with all that needs to get done, but without the motivation you need to actually get it done or with a cheerful spirit?
Do you get up each morning dreading the day before it has even begun?
Do you lay there in bed, already exhausted and sore?
Then you may just have found yourself acting outside of your values as well.
Before we get into what your values may be, let’s talk about what it is you have been focusing on and prioritizing lately? Now, this can only be of help if you are fully honest with yourself.
What has been your biggest priority lately? What has come after that? How about after that?
Continue going until you’ve run out of things you’ve been prioritizing more or less of – I had about 6. Remember you’re listing these things in the order of how much you’ve actually been prioritizing them, not in the order that you think they should be prioritized.
Look at your list. Did you include yourself in there? Did you separate your spouse from your kids? Did you include your hobbies or business? Where does God fall?
Now it’s time to make a separate list. Using those same priorities, list them out in the order that you WANT to prioritize them. Here you could lump together your spouse and kids together as “family” if that makes it easier or makes more sense for you.
Do you notice any discrepancies between the two lists?
Do you notice that you’re craving more time to focus on something in your first list? Is that something close to the top of your second list?
How can you make sure that you make your priorities are ordered correctly? What are you afraid will happen if you change your actions from being in line with the first list to being in line with the second list?
After going through this process with my own coach, I realized that I wasn’t acting in order of the priorities I had laid out in my second list. While I was searching for ways to make more time for God and for myself, those top priorities ended up way at the bottom of the first list in reality.
In their place, I had put my business. I was afraid of what might happen if I didn’t give it top priority.
What is at the top of your first list? Is it in line with what you have on the top of your second list?
Today I want you to brainstorm some ways that you can give more priority to those things that are on your second list. How can doing so help you stay on top of ALL of your priorities more effectively?
As for myself, I’ve already seen a difference in my attitude. I feel more hopeful, fulfilled, and inspired to take correct action as I commit to putting first things first.