Yesterday my priority was a family drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The southern US has experienced many days of heavy rains and we enjoyed a break between downpours, drinking in the beauty of the flowering trees as we drove. We rounded a corner in the road and were surprised to see some of the Parkway’s natives, a herd of deer, enjoying a few rays of sunshine. Our car startled them, they ran across the field, jumped a swollen stream and ran off into the forest. The last deer, the smallest, was a young doe who hesitated, looked at the rushing water in the stream and cleared it magnificently in a mighty leap. She stopped on the other side, looked at us as if to say, “It was a priority to get away from you”, and ran off in the woods to join her friends.
Priority is defined as “a preferential rating; especially: one that allocates rights to goods and services usually in limited supply” (Definition of Priority, 2017). The young doe quickly determined that her priority to run away from humans received preferential rating. Most of us are running like that herd of deer through our daily lives. Our time is a limited supply. How will you choose to allocate it?
A web search reveals 14,800,000 hits on “priority”. Many of these web sites are dedicated to ‘priority health’ because without good health we have no other priorities. One of my daughters devotes a couple hours each week to meal planning and prep to make sure she follows a healthy eating plan that is budget-conscious. One of my friends schedules daily time for reflection and devotion to create a healthy mindset for the day. I set daily exercise as a priority with a personal goal each week.
The act of writing down goals and priorities helps us clarify and achieve. The daily action planner asks us to define our top three priorities each week. What are the three things that are most important to devote your precious time and energy to this week? The time will pass; will you choose to act on what is most important to you?
Definition of Priority. (2017, April). Retrieved from Merriam Webster Web Site: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/priority
One hundred or so days ago many of us welcomed the end of 2016 and saw 2017 as a new beginning. As the midnight champagne toasts with family and friends faded into memories, so too did many of our New Year’s resolutions. Research indicates that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are not kept. Frequently these resolutions fall by the wayside due to a lack of time in our lives.
My grandmother always spring-cleaned her home. Curtains, furniture, knick-knacks, everything received a good washing and sparkled to welcome warm weather. This spring I am cleaning my time. We all have 7 days x 24 hours = 168 hours per week. One hundred sixty-eight sounds like a lot, but we all must sleep, eat, work, shower…time gets eaten up so quickly! This spring I am setting my intention to clean up this precious resource and use it wisely.
Our GPS is a valuable tool to help us drive to where we want to be. There is a valuable tool – the daily action planner available at www.dygcoaching.com/blog to help you drive your time to where you want to be. There will be a series of blog posts and an upcoming free webinar to help you get the maximum value of your time. Grab the action planner and clean up your time!
Once upon a time there was a little girl who was afraid, especially of new things. She wore the same clothes, ate the same foods, listened to the same music, worked the same job, and socialized with the same friends every single day. She only took vacations to the same beach town during the same week every summer so she would not have to go someplace new. She didn’t like the beach very much. She was not a fan of the heat and the sand. Sometimes when she was packing for vacation she would think about going to the mountains instead, enjoying cool crisp mornings, the sound of water rushing over rocks, the chirp of a bird. She thought about going to the mountains in autumn and experiencing the vibrant colors of the trees. Then she would sigh and return to packing her shorts and swimsuit for the beach vacation that didn’t fulfill her. She wouldn’t go to the mountains this year because she was afraid.
She always did the same things, the same way, never stepping outside her comfort zone. During Christmas season, she went to the same parties each year and went to the same stores to purchase gifts. It was during one of these Christmas shopping trips that fate stepped in with the opportunity to change her life. She was at the large department store that she went to every year to prepare for Christmas, checking her list, picking up gifts, went to the same register to pay for her purchases that she used every year and it was closed. The closed register perturbed her a bit, since it was a change from her normal Christmas routine, but she sighed and went to another register. The cashier smiled, said hello, and scanned her items one by one. The girl waited patiently for her total, but was startled when the cashier shouted, “CONGRATULATIONS!!! YOU WON!!!”
The little girl who was afraid trembled slightly and thought, “maybe I won some money, that would be nice.” The store manager came running up to her and shouted, “YOU WON! YOU WON! YOU ARE THE LUCKY LADY WHO WILL GO ON A TWO WEEK SWISS SKIING ADVENTURE!! CONGRATULATIONS!” She smiled politely, but did not plan to go on this trip since it was a new thing. Over the next few weeks her friends and family told her how excited they were for her to go on this grand, new adventure and she started to wonder what it would be like, to fly to a foreign land, go skiing for the first time and she decided to go. She made a list of everything to do to prepare – passport, clothes shopping, and a million other details. Each day she crossed a couple items off the list. She stayed awake at night, unable to sleep, terrified of this trip that was pushing her completely outside her comfort zone. The day to start her journey came, her family and friends drove her to the airport, waved to her as she boarded the plane, and she was off on her new adventure. She arrived at the ski resort and took ski lessons. She fell down a few times while she was learning, but got back up and started again. Her instructors remarked that she was learning quickly and seemed to have a natural talent for skiing. They encouraged her to try a slope. She would just smile and tremble a little bit. The last day of her vacation her instructors told her, “It’s now or never to try that ski slope.” With their encouragement, she rode the lift to the top, looked down the mountain, smiled from ear-to-ear, and took off. She wore that smile the rest of the day and may have even slept smiling. She was still smiling when she boarded the plane to fly home and she was smiling when she landed. Her family and friends did not see the little girl who was afraid when she stepped off that plane. Instead they saw a lady who smiles.
After her return, she started trying new things, continued doing the new activities she liked, eating the new foods she liked, and simply walked away from the things she didn’t like. One of her friends remarked on her new ability to step outside her comfort zone. She smiled, realized her fear was still there, but wasn’t as large and remarked, “You can’t do what you’ve always done and get what you’ve never had.”