Priorities… What are yours at the moment?
I’m seeing a lot of women at the moment, whose actions aren’t aligning up to their goals. They say they really want something but they seem to be doing everything other than what they need to do to get there. It’s often that they know what they need to do but just don’t make it happen. In many cases women blame external factors for them not reaching their goals without asking themselves what they can do about it or change themselves.
I’m a great believer that change comes from within and when you take an honest look at your actions and choices in situations or goals AND understand that you and only you can change them, that’s when there’s a shift. Solutions are found, changes are made, habits can be replaced and the magic can happen!
Common examples I come across include women who are permanently knackered because they aren’t sleeping well, perhaps they aren’t sleeping well, because they’re really busy so going to bed late or waking up in the night because they are stressed. They then find it hard to get up and exercise, eat well and fit training in, which in turn affects mood, energy and hormones. Then they get stressed and their adrenals and cortisol and insulin levels are messed with and then they’re stuck in a vicious cycle. Their goal could be to lose some weight, to become fitter, to drop a dress size, but they’re doing everything against those goals (usually work and/or children) yet don’t know how to turn it around.
I had a coaching client just like this last week and we were going round in circles with me challenging her, then her getting frustrated with me, then with herself and at one point there was quite a heated discussion and I thought she was going to leave! Then I asked her a question that turned EVERYTHING around (those golden coaching moments!).
“What are your prioritising in your life right now?” and BINGO, the session’s energy was changed and she realised she was prioritising everything other than her health and her body goals.
The two main definitions of ’priority’ are:
“The fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important than others”
“A thing that is regarded as more important than others”
So as you start your week today, ask yourself, “what are you prioritising right now?” followed by “Is this what you want to be prioritising?”
Only you can choose what to prioritise and it’s different for every single person. My advice is to get clarity on what is most important in your life today, this week, this month, this summer, maybe even for the rest of this this year? And then check back in at certain points to see if your priority plan needs to change.
If you want to achieve a goal, it’s actually very difficult if some things (or in some cases everything!) are being regarded as the most important thing.
That not to say you can only get a goal by solely focusing on one thing, for me being health is important alongside being a great Mum and doing well in my business. BUT at certain points throughout the year, I often have to prioritise one of these important things MORE than the others.
But modern women are so used to juggling everything that they can often forget how to put more focus into one thing. Or as some clients often say ‘EVERYTHING IS A PRIORITY RIGHT NOW!”
Well, when one client said this to me a few weeks ago, the energy and vibe she was giving out wasn’t a good one, certainly not a healthy one. A vibe of no control, lots of stress and also panic and anxiety as she really didn’t know what she needed to prioritise and most importantly HOW.
(See my latest blog about estrogen dominance with regards to the effect of stress and hormones on the body – CLICK HERE to read – stress is no good to anyone!)
I actually find when I prioritise one thing over others, I become better at it, stronger at it, it becomes easier. The priority creates some better habits, it makes me see what I can do with the right approach and ironically I get better in all areas of my life, ESPECIALLY when it comes to fitness and health.
A really good exercise to help you see what your priorities are is to write a list of all the things you are doing/juggling/areas of your life that are important to you at the moment. A good list usually has about 7-10 things on it and the client I had last week had a list that looked like this:
- Keeping the house tidy
- Fun / laughing
- Relationship with partner
And a great coaching exercise I use all the time is to cross check them with each other, i.e. what’s more important work or sleep, work or health, work or exercise, work or wine, work or keeping the house tidy, work or children, work or fun/laughing, work or fun/laughing, work or relationship. The you go to sleep and cross check sleep with health, sleep with exercise etc etc, going down the list one by one until you get a score for all of them.
This is one I did last week with my burnt out client who was on her last legs!
Work I I
Sleep I I I I
Health I I I I I I
Exercise I I I
Keeping the house tidy I
Children I I I I I I
Fun / laughing I I I I I I
Relationship with partner I I I I I
You then collate a list from the scores and this shows you (from your choices!) about what you need to focus on most.
Her list of priorities as she told it were this:
- Health, children, fun and laughter same scores at the top, then
- Relationship with partner
- Keeping the house tidy
The irony was this person was putting work, tidying the house and wine above all else! Her face was a picture, another light bulb moment!
Actually when we went through this list in more detail, she addressed that whilst her relationship with her husband and children was very important, she then saw that having better sleep, eating better and exercising would impact these positively as she was such a grump! It’s hard to be the best version of you and truly enjoy life when you’re working so much, not exercising, feeling bad about yourself and having too many stimulants and toxins!
So she also had another light bulb moment that if she didn’t have her health she couldn’t have fun, enjoy her family properly not now or long term. Then we were able to work through the HOW she could create space for exercise and create more balance.
Having this list also helps you make better choices each hour of the day, it’s like your check list, ‘Is this choice I’m about to make reflecting my priorities I just made?’. Then you can address the changes simply AND most importantly with a sense of humour!
We created a list of house rules for her:
- Into bed at 10pm regardless of chores that still need to be done
- Maximum of 1 glass of wine a night
- Up at 630am everyday regardless of how she feels (I suggested using her favourite tune to wake her up each day or set the ducks quacking one – I’m a great believer in starting the day smiling!)
- Exercise for 45 minutes in the morning – either a power walk or Tummy ATTACK video (she decided to sign up having done our session!)
- Delegate a list of chores for her two teenage children and husband to do
- For her and her husband to alternate having dinner throughout the week as a) all together b) her and her children only, c) her husband and their children only, to allow each parent a night off every 3rd night
- To include a family take away and film night each Friday (she was stunned when I allowed this – the TA comes with weekly cheat meals and her top value was to have fun with her kids after all!)
- Her and her husband to do tag team at the weekend – Saturday she did the morning chores / tidying up / sorting kids out whilst he had a lie in and vice versa on the Sunday, this alleviating week day chores
- They had Saturday and Sunday lunch with the kids together but then also tag teamed for 2 hours in the afternoon, to allow for some power walking / shopping / me time
- Her kids had to do a set of chores each week in order to get some extra pocket money, win-win for everyone right?!
If you want results, whether body, business, self-development, fun, you need to make space for it!
Making space for things comes from prioritising. When you prioritise and do the things that take you towards your goals it is a fantastic energy and it spurs you on to do more. Know your list, communicate with those around you to make it easier and look at YOUR role in YOUR life and make the changes YOU need to get YOUR goals.
My goal right now is to be really fit and strong. As a result, I’m prioritising training over all other things (yes I’m still a great Mum and yes I’m still working hard and yes I’m still having some fun!), but I’m making a lot more time for my training. Only yesterday I got up at 5am so I could do some work before the boys got up so I could be ahead on my to do list this week so that I could train for an hour this morning and hit the pool for a swim this afternoon. This meant no wine on Saturday and going to bed at 830pm with the boys. Yes priorities often mean a little compromise!
I’ve also changed my summer nanny’s hours so she starts at 7am so I can get out and train by 715am. I’ve got even more efficient in my office so taking time out to train doesn’t affect my work commitments. And I now plan my weeks around my fitness sessions, rather than trying (which is rubbish, weak word!) to squeeze my fitness sessions in around everything else.
Yes some days it all goes to pot, but then it takes me back to the start of this blog. I look at my role in those days and consider what I could do differently. Not going against myself, being critical or feeling guilty. I just learn from it, change a few things and RE-PRIORITISE!
What are your goals today, this week, this month, this summer? And ask yourself whether you need to adjust some choices to MAKE THEM HAPPEN?!
If you’re going on holiday and want a great beach body, want a healthier body, want a fitness kick start / challenge or maybe a month where you focus on you and your body, over all other things, then get yourself on the Tummy ATTACK, Best Body Bootcamp or Sugar HIIT programs starting today and prioritise it!
If your goal is something completely different, what could you do to make more space and time for it? What do you need to invest in? Who could you ask for help? What changes do you need to make?
You’re the boss of your own life. Get your CEO hat on. Prioritise!
Good Luck 😮