I am the “yes” girl. We all know one. The one at work will say yes to an additional responsibility or task. She packs her schedule full of all the things so she can please everyone. It’s a daily, internal battle to say NO. She’s the one who responds, “I’m SO busy!” when someone asks how she’s doing.
I hate to admit that I am that person. I am that professional woman, mom, wife, daughter, and friend. It was becoming a problem, and I was losing my spark, my “why.” I had to give myself an intervention. Here are five ways to prioritize your life and find your happy . . . from, yours truly.
Here’s a little back story.
Many of us have taken the quiz to figure out our love language, but I already knew mine. What fills my cup and brings me the ultimate joy is GIFT GIVING. Yes! I will plan to find the most unique and thoughtful gifts for my friends and family for months. I will save them in my closet in a box dedicated to the most extraordinary treasures I have found that remind me of the people I love.
Recently, my best friend had a birthday dinner, and I came empty-handed. I was ashamed and embarrassed. Gift giving is something I am known for. I didn’t want to bring attention to it, so I sat quietly as she opened other gifts. I later found something that spoke to me that I sent her as a belated gift, and she admitted that she thought I was upset with her because of the whole situation. Now, this isn’t someone being selfish . . . this is someone who has known me for 10+ years to give thoughtful and meaningful gifts on time.
That’s when I realized that my plate was overflowing and that I was falling short in areas of my life that brought me joy.
I sat down and decided I needed to prioritize my life.
1. Find your philosophy.
What are the words you want to live by? Is there a quote you have seen that holds a lot of meaning in your life? Maybe you realize that you’re not dedicating as much time to your family or aren’t spending as much personal time doing what you love. This is the quote that struck a chord with me . . .
“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault.
Once, I was working late on my side hustle, and I could hear my husband and children laughing and giggling in the other room. It saddened me that I was doing something other than that. It was another realization that I needed to make some changes. I wanted to be a part of those little moments, the moments my children will remember and the ones where I look over to my husband in admiration and think, “Wow, can you believe this is our life?”
2. Determine your values.
Make a list of what areas of your life are most important to you.
I think it goes without saying that you’ll dedicate most of your time and energy to those at the top of your list, so if you are saying yes to an additional work commitment that will take away from your family values, try to reassess.
3. Find your “why.”
Is what you are doing giving you purpose? Does it fill your cup in all the ways you need it to? Does it add meaning to your life’s philosophy and values? If you answer no to even one of these, girl, cut it out of your life.
I used to love reading, and that stopped once I had kids. I decided it was something I needed in my life again. Thus, the ABQ Mom Book Club was born. One day I was talking to my co-admin, Sarah Chancey, and told her that I wasn’t enjoying a book I was reading but was forcing myself through it because I hate giving up. This is what she said to me . . .
“I used to feel the same way. Now I just figure my time is too important to waste on books I know I won’t like. Your time is worth more than the books you hate!”
Now, I know she’s referring to DNF (did not finish) novels, but her words could be applied to anything in my life. Her words are always in my head, reminding me to make room for things I love and cut the stuff I don’t.
4. Learn to accept compromise.
You can’t do it all. I promise you; you can’t. You can try, but you’ll fall short in all areas and never truly be your best in the areas that matter most. We often look to people who are busy and aspire to be that. But being busy does not equate to being happy. It has been hard to accept. I know I want to stop being one to say, “I’m SO busy!” when someone asks how I’m doing. I want to genuinely smile at that person with my eyes shining bright and respond, “I’m doing great!”
5. Give yourself grace.
Making a huge life change and shift in your priorities is not easy. There will be times you’ll fall into old habits. Continuously remind yourself of your goals, philosophy, and core values. Remember, a change like this will reduce stress and make room for all the things that you love and that matter most.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.