[Priorities], huh, yeah — What is it good for? — Ahh… EVERYTHING!
I want you to stop reading, and take 3 minutes to watch this video. Just take it in, keep your undivided attention on the video. I’ll tell you what I think once you’re done.
Welcome back! What did you think? Was it worth it?
For me, I watch it every year and align my priorities to the jar.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about how many (myself included) have lost their New Year’s Resolutions (NYR). Usually, there is a sharp increase in gym membership, buying healthier food items, purchasing athletic-wear, buying books to read, investing in learning platforms, around New Years — “New year, new me” — we tell ourselves this year it will be different, but our enthusiasm fades after 2–3 months. Hence, me thinking about it in March.
Why does this happen? Why do the well-intentioned resolutions wither away?
When I start working with my clients, I ask them to watch this video. It simplifies a complex conversation and helps to deepen conversations. No matter where you are in your life, you will have to adjust your priorities to accommodate your new/additional responsibilities. AND one of the challenges with NYR is we don’t understand our priorities fully.
Okay, take a break. Breathe in — — — — — — Breathe out — — — — — — -
Again, Breathe in — — — — — — Breathe out — — — — — — -
How to identify your priorities?
Now, I want you to grab a pen and paper. No, not your smartphone or a computer.
Grab a pen and paper.
Now, as you’re breathing in I want you to focus on your priorities. Get them in your head. Breathe out and relax. On your breath in, think about your priorities; on your breath out, relax.
One the third breath out, I want you to grab your pen and start writing down your priorities, as many as you’ve identified. Keep writing until you can’t think of any more. Remember, just to breathe normally during this process.
I’ll count you down.
3-Breathe in — — (think about priorities) — — Breathe out — — (relax) — —
2-Breathe in — —(think about priorities) — —Breathe out— — (relax)— —
1-Breathe in— — (think about priorities) — —Breathe out — — (write) — — -
How’d you do?
Good job! Relax for a moment.
While you’re relaxing, I’ll explain why I asked you to grab a paper and pen. The reason I insisted that you use a pen and paper is because it allows us to engage with different parts of our brain, our senses, helps with focus and allows us to make a more personal connection to what’s written. When we’re texting/typing, that feeling is dulled.
Side note: It’s okay, if you didn’t grab a pen and paper, or didn’t do this activity. When you’re ready, I’d like you to try. So, if you need to bookmark this page and come back to it later, then okay. If you want to go back and try the activity, that’s okay too. Take this activity at your pace, because you only answer to yourself.
Congratulations for completing this activity!
How do you feel?
Have you listed all your priorities? You can keep adding to the list at your own pace, this was a quick exercise to have your priorities written. Good job!
I can confidently say that you have not listed all your priorities. You may have listed all your priorities that’re on your conscious mind, but the subconscious mind has a lot more priorities that aren’t fully known to us, yet. Unless you are investing in your self-discovery and have someone to challenge you, you won’t be able to identify all of them. It’s not how our mind works. The buried priorities motivate, inspire, and agitate us, and it requires deeper level introspection.
So, how many priorities were you able to list? 10, 20, 50 !? Good! Wherever you’re, congratulations — you’re making progress in reducing barriers to success.
Let’s go back to the video, the professor presents an empty jar, and he fills it up with golf balls (GB), pebbles (P), sand (S), and, lastly, beer (B); in the end he explains himself and the meaning of the materials he used to fill the jar.
Let’s go back to your list — Next to each item, write out GB, P, S, & B. Then, write in how much time you spend in each item. What takes most of your time? What takes the least? Arrange them, if you’d like. (I prefer to circle, square, color around them to highlight most to least)
Where you spend your time is where you grow. If you’re spending your time with the golf balls, then your value, connection, and time will grow there. BUT, If you’re spending most of your time on the small stuff (sand), then you’ll continue spending more time there.
At Balanced At Last, we help you dig deeper into yourself and learn about what priorities are most valuable to you, but then we go further to help you build a strategy to help you optimize your time so you’re shifting your attention/time towards those that truly matter and make you happy, and balanced.
Back to New Year’s Resolution (NYR) — Most fail or fade because it’s not truly aligned with your priorities, intrinsically. Therefore, you have to fight to start, which will drain your energy, and in return the cost of continuing will be too high to maintain. This is one of the first barriers to your success.
In coaching, we have all clients watch the video after their first session. No matter, if they are coming for Life coaching, Career coaching, or Leadership coaching. This is a common thread in all parts of our life, and once we understand our priorities, we’re able to build focus, strategy, and resources to help you build your success.
How to focus?
Ever try to walk with your eyes closed? How far can you go without an aid?
Let’s try an exercise, grab that pen and paper again. NO — not your smartphone or computer. Pen and paper.
Before you start, I want you to start a timer, and write 3 sentences as quickly as you can with your eyes open, and draw a line underneath your sentences. Afterwards, stop the timer, and retry with your eyes closed.
Start the timer, close your eyes, write the same 3 sentences as quickly as you can, draw a line underneath your sentences. Afterwards, open your eyes and stop the timer.
Were you faster or slower on your second time?
Which one was more legible?
How was the line?
Feel free to take a picture and email it to us. Feel free to follow and tag us on Instagram (@BalancedAtLast).
If you were like me, or most of my clients, there was a clear difference. When I closed my eyes to complete this activity, my sentences were less legible, spacing was off, lines weren’t straight, the line was following its own path, and it took longer, more misspelled words, etc. Below is my latest attempt… What do you think?
The easiest way to build focus is to recognize your priorities. When it’s clear a lot of things start coming into focus and we’re able to accelerate our accomplishments, align ourselves with what intrinsically motivates us, and we find a balanced way of overcoming our challenges.
So, next time you want to accomplish your goals, start by identifying your priorities — build focus.
How do we help you identify your priorities and build focus?
Our first mission is to help you recognize the driving factors that may hinder and promote your progress. When we’ve identified those challenges and strengths, we focus on developing a strategy to help you optimize your time and make attaining your goals easier, and faster.
It’s easier said than done, but most clients start seeing progress within their 3rd full-session, and many build the momentum and trajectory to continue, independently, within 7th full-sessions. Our practice applies a combination of neuro-psychology, mindfulness, positive psychology, counseling, coaching, and data-driven approaches to helping you. Coupled with 10+ years of experience, and years dedicated to educating ourselves to helping you make changes that are sustainable, empowering, and measurable.
When you’re ready — let’s talk. We, Balanced At Last, offer free consultations to see if there’s a fit for us helping you take control back and work seamlessly with yourself so you start optimizing your energy and time. Time is the only resource we cannot create.
Originally published at https://www.balancedatlast.com on March 13, 2021.