Your First Step to Creating More Joy in Your Life: Setting Your Priorities

Okay, so I have talked about priorities. In fact, I have even wrote a blog post on priorities. I also talked about priorities in my very last post when discussing how I set up my New Year, so if you feel like I am being a bit repetitive, it is because I am. However, my goal for you, is to find and create more joy in your life and one of the most important things I ever did in creating more joy I my own life, was understanding this concept. In fact, I want to start with this concept for 2024 because I truly believe it is the most foundational to our journey and after a lot of reflection, I want to provide you with as many tangible takeaways that I can.

You see, once you choose and set your priorities, you have a framework to work from. You have a guide to base all of your life decisions upon. You have mentally decided THIS is what I want my life to be about. Thus, when you make that choice and you ACT upon that choice, everything else falls into place.

I truly believe that a lot of what steals our joy, is us not acting in according with the priorities we have made for ourselves. We say we want one thing, but yet our actions don’t line up and we do something totally different. This lack of alignment creates a total disconnect within us, which in turn can lead to unhappiness and anguish. In the moment, you may not feel this disconnect, but when we act out of accordance with what we really want for our lives, that detachment grows stronger and stronger within us, and ultimately creates more and more unhappiness.

We can’t find joy within our lives when our actions and our desires are not in alignment.

In order to set your priorities, you first need to evaluate what has been going well within your life and what needs improvement. Then, choose three main ones you feel are most important to you. If you say family is your number one, but you haven’t been acting in accordance with family, then maybe it isn’t your number one priority. Is that okay or is that not okay? These will also shift based off of your current life stage. For example, perhaps your career needs to take a back seat because your health has been declining. Does it fall in the top three or maybe it is one you focus on after your other three.

Take some time here. Really think about what you want AND what actually makes sense for your life. Be super honest with yourself. It is okay to put certain things lower on your priority list. The reality is that you can’t do it all, but when you are honest with yourself and what you want for your life RIGHT NOW and you act from that place, you will find so much more peace and joy.

A big disconnect comes when you choose your priorities or you say what your priorities are, but that is not where you base your decisions from. The reality is that you can’t do everything and trying to do so, will also lead to unhappiness. So what is it you really want to focus on this year? What are your most important values right now?

A good example of this disconnect I find is when people say their health is a priority. But then, instead of putting their workouts and their diet and their mental health before everything else, they put it to the side. As a result, they never see the weightless they were hoping for or the improvement upon their labs. They never actually get “in shape” and the cycle is repeated over and over and over again. They wonder why they just can’t seem to do it and it is because it is not ACTUALLY A PRIORITY. This isn’t a bad thing either, though. If working out isn’t a priority for you right now, that is okay. But you have to be honest with yourself. When you are not, you “say” it is, but still continue to engage in the same behaviors, you become disappointed in yourself. This is STEALING YOUR JOY. That disconnect, is what perpetuates a massive majority of your unhappiness.

So, sit down, take 20-30 minutes over a few days, and be super honest with yourself. Set your priorities and ACT UPON THEM. And be aware that these don’t have to be your priorities all year or for the rest of your life. I like to evaluate mine quarterly because let’s be honest, life changes and shifts constantly, so what we have time for or can make time for, will shift too.

Once you have set your priorities, I want you to remember them each and every time you make a decision for your life. Does it act in accordance with what you have decided is most important for you right now? If so, then by all means go for it. But if it doesn’t, it is important to decide if you have the bandwidth to include said decision or not. If it is not in alignment, then the answer is no. This might be hard at first, but the more times you do it, the easier it will get because you will gain more confidence in yourself and your decisions.

I would love to hear about you doing this work or if you have any questions, so please feel free to leave them here or tag me on social media. Let’s make this year, the most joy-filled yet!

xoxo,

Melissa

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