Yes I know it probably seems like it’s getting clients, making money, meeting deadlines, making sure your relationship doesn’t fall apart and trying to set some sort of example for your kids…but it’s not.
And I know you know it’s not! I know you know that you’re the priority, but you just have no freaking idea how to make that happen – and if the truth be known, you’re not sure you deserve to be the priority anyway.
In actual fact, you’re right. You don’t “deserve” to be the priority, because when you “deserve” something it means you’ve had to earn it or exchange something for it – “You’ve worked hard, you deserve a break”, “I’ve been really good this week, I deserve a block of chocolate tonight”.
The truth is, there should be no conditions attached to looking after yourself. You don’t have to earn your worth or exchange your time, energy and happiness for your place in this world – you just have to be you. Because when you do that – when you make yourself a priority by staying true to who you really are and what you really want – you unlock the life you dream of (but don’t think you can have).
Making yourself No. 1 isn’t selfish, in fact it’s one of the most selfless things you can do. Because when you’re healthy, full of energy, confident, motivated, content, and you have clear direction and purpose in your life – you’re able to show up and be present in a far greater way than you ever imagined possible…meaning more effective communication, deeper connections and more powerful outcomes – for everyone involved.
Here’s the good news – prioritising yourself doesn’t need to be time-consuming or costly (ironically, it actually gives you way more time AND wealth – financially, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually). The key is to understand what really drives you, what’s truly important to you, and what makes you happy right down in the depths of your soul. This becomes your guide for life, and allows you to start leveraging the way your brain works to ensure you have the life you want. More specifically, it enables you to:
- Consistently feel good, because you’re constantly communicating to your brain that you’re safe – meaning less time in fight or flight mode, and therefore optimal functioning of your body and mind.
- Make powerful decisions that will allow you to create the future you really want, for yourself and the people around you.
- Live now and have a bloody good time in the process!
Fancy a piece of that? Then here’s how you can get started:
1. Get a big piece of paper and write down everything that comes into your brain when you ask the following:
a. What am I passionate about?
b. What brings me joy?
c. What do I need in my life in order to feel good?
There are no right or wrong answers here, so write down whatever comes into your brain – you can go back and make sense of it all later. Allow yourself to think big (e.g. honesty, integrity, independence) and small (e.g. good food, 90’s music, funny videos of puppies!) Everything that comes up has a purpose.
2. Next, identify which three of the things would make the biggest impact to the way you feel if you had more of them in your life.
3. Identify one way you can regularly make each of these things happen. For example, independence may be linked to your financial situation, so perhaps you could check-in once a week to review what you’ve spent and how you’re tracking towards your financial goals. Good food might take the form of a date night each fortnight with your partner to try out a new restaurant, or limiting your take away intake to once a week. And 90’s music could involve rocking out to a tune or two as you get ready for work every day.
4. Schedule these things into your diary and tell someone else about them so they can keep you accountable – at least until you’ve formed more of a habit around it.
5. Do them!
Sound simple? Almost too simple, right? That’s because it is! The key however, is in consistency. Remember that slow and steady wins the race, so pick things you know you can commit to, do them religiously, and then when you feel ready add in a few more. All or nothing isn’t going to cut it here.
Think of yourself as a house – these little things (which incidentally are all attached to your core values) are the foundations upon which you can build. As with a house, these foundations must be allowed the appropriate time to be laid before the next layer is built – otherwise it will be weak, and eventually cracks will form and issues will occur. You are the same.
Give yourself the time to build a solid foundation and you will have a strong structure that will be able to withstand all conditions, last for a very long time, and create a legacy for the people you love. It’s amazing how much good stuff can come from simply making yourself a priority.