I'm here to break some uncomfortable news:
You can't do it all.
Well, at least not all at once.
The conversation I've been having with a number of people recently, both inside and outside of my coaching practice, is about personal priorities.
When I am serving my clients, I'm not concerned with what their priorities are.
To be frank, that's none of my business. If my clients want to sleep on their office floor so they can get more work done because it excites them so damn much, who am I to judge?
What is my business is to help them uncover what does actually matter to them, and help them align themselves with that, in as healthy and well-integrated way as possible.
It might seem obvious, but most of us don't really do it.
Maybe one of the reasons for this is because then we're forced to pick our regrets, too.
(Read that again.)
Here's an icky question for you:
If someone were to objectively look at your life and imply from their observations what it is that you value, what might they say?
Yep, I felt that too.
*Shivers run down spine*
We all have things that we could tune up in some way or another.
You don't need a coach or a therapist or a counsellor or a mentor to do this work of coming back into alignment with your priorities. But what you may need, if you should desire that kind of alignment, is some kind of method to get proper perspective on what's in front of you.
You need an access point to get really honest with yourself.
The absolute best tool I can recommend you for this is SPACE.
This could look like:
1) A solo breakfast date in the sun before the work day starts (tech-free).
2) Scheduling 30-60 minutes to sit somewhere and watch the world (and the mind) go by.
3) Removing all podcasts/music/audiobooks from scheduled exercise activities for a period of time... or forever ("life changing" according to one client's personal report).
4) Taking a 30-minute walk first thing in the morning.
Why not pick one, try it out, and see what happens?
For best results, all of these things should be done without your phone, a book, a journal, a newspaper, etc. Just you and your mind. Just watching to see what's going on in there while you're in the world.
You might however want to jot down some reflections afterwards so that you remember what you promised yourself when you gave yourself the space to breathe freely.
Do you notice some resistance to what I am suggesting here?
Is your mind telling you that you don't have time?
Perhaps that it's a waste of time?
That it's not useful?
It pays to remember that the simplest ideas are the ones that will give you the most traction.
The simplest ideas give you access to a life that moves you and inspires you.
The simplest ideas allow you to actually let yourself have what you already have.
I want you to know that I get how easy it is for me to say these things, and that implementing them is something different.
Simple ≠ Easy (at least not always)
And I know how valuable it is take space, not only because of the insights you may or may not get, but because you send a message to yourself that says:
And matter you do Anne.
There was a period in my life that I really believed that I didn't. To help me remember that I did, my mum took a clipping out of a community newsletter and posted it to me with a sticky note asking me to take better care of myself. I'll never forget that, nor the contents of the clipping.
I've linked it below and encourage you to read it if you're feeling that your priorities are not quite in the order you'd prefer.
If none of this is news to you, and you're still not seeing your values reflected in your life, I would like to invite you to apply for a free consultation with me. Private coaching may be something that can support you in getting the pieces together.
No pressure from my side, as my private coaching books are full until July, but we can already get the process underway sooner so there's no further delay.
Your priorities, insofar as they are grounded in your heart, and less so in feelings of obligation, are an extension of you.
And you, by definition, matter.
I'm inviting you forward.
P.S. If you undertake one of these space-taking activities, please do let me know how you go and what insights (or not) you took from it. I love to receive your replies, so thank you and keep them coming. I'll respond when I can.
P.P.S. Make sure to check out the sections below... this is where I'll be linking up extra information and resources for you. This week that includes an important #MentalHealthMonth conversation I had with Mike Trugman on Cultivating Courage inviting organisations to make mental health part of culture (not branding...).
If you feel like you're constantly running through life and not focusing enough on what is truly important to you, then this parable is worth your reading time.
May is international Mental Health Awareness month. In the latest episode of Cultivating Courage, Mike and I talk about how organisations and their leaders can avoid this being a branding exercise, and create real cultural change year round.
Not yet subscribed? Click the image below to make sure my latest personal development perspectives are arriving in your inbox.