By Kathy Gates, Professional Life Coach
Would you hire somebody to baby-sit while you
cleaned out the closet? Of course not. You'd hire
someone to clean out the closet, while you spent the
extra time with your kids.
Examine your priorities and see where you have
hired out a "baby sitter", instead of hiring out a
"closet cleaner". Where in your life have you
misplaced your priorities?
The message here is to think about how you put
your time, your energy, and your resources into one
thing that agreeably needs to be done (like the
closet) - but at the expense of something that was
more important to you (like the kids).
Or maybe you've spent your money on something
that you *needed* (like a vacation), but at the
expense of something that was more important to
you (like a secure retirement).
Ask yourself these questions:
Is my lifestyle set up to *contribute* to what I
want -- or contaminate it?
Do I make my choices consciously? Or do I just
"let things happen".
What's first in my life?
Use the closet/kids metaphor for any priority - or
anything that's important to you in your life. What
comes FIRST in your life? Do you put your job
before your relationships? Do you put your taste
buds before your health? Do you put watching
"Friends" reruns on TV before exercising? Do you
put the latest electronic gadget before a secure
Here's the key -- Never trade what you want at the
moment for what you want the most.
If you just react to the next thing that gets your
attention, you'll never have enough time for what is
really important. Consciously SCHEDULE your
priorities every single day around your 24 hours.
Decide how you're going to spend the next day. If
you let the next thing that gets your attention dictate
your schedule, you'll end up accomplishing
If you find that you often say, "I want to -- but I
just don't have the time", begin to think of it this
way: It just doesn't have a high enough priority in
my life. I have time to read the paper, or I have
time to watch TV, or I have time to surf the net, I
have time to go out.
You'll not only create a wonderful TODAY, you'll
also take an active role in determining your future
by deciding "What's Important Now".
A Word of Caution: Don't mistake ACTIVITY for
A big part of honoring your priorities is the
willingness to say NO to things that don't fit into
what you want in your life. It's a discipline, a
dedication to things that are important to you, and a
discipline, a dedication to weed out or filter out
things that don't fit.
Sarah Hughes, Gold Medallist for Figure Skating,
had to spend many many hours on the ice learning
routines, choreography, and athletic jumps. In
addition to that, she followed a diet program, did
weight training, took dance classes, went to fittings,
and photo shoots. If Sarah Hughes had
procrastinated on any of those things, or if she had
chosen to spend her time as most 16 year olds do,
she would not have been a Gold Medallist.
She had the DESIRE + DECISIONS +
DEDICATION to eliminate the things that
distracted her from her goals.
Commit yourself to making conscious choices, and
you'll find that you can: