The biggest mistake we make in life is forgetting to prioritize. We are so quick to judge others for their shortcomings, yet we don’t follow through with our own New Year’s resolutions, goals, commitments, relationships or even our daily chores. We get lazy. We quit. We stop. We don’t prioritize according to real priorities. We don’t make ourselves a priority. We need to change that if we want to change our life. Here’s how you can start:
Set a goal and commit to it.
What is your biggest goal? To be rich? To be happy? To be healthy? To fall in love? To have a better relationship with a higher power? To win an award? Whatever your goal is, and there may be more than one, but whatever the goal, make an outline, a plan, an agenda for ways that you are going to achieve that goal. Do something every day that gets you one step closer to getting whatever it is that you desire. Don’t be crazy and revolve every day around it; just be conscious of it. If you want to be rich, you’ve got to start saving money. If you want love, you’ve got to be loving. If you want a better relationship with God, you've got to talk to him. Create a plan for how you intend to do that.
When you wake up, when you go to sleep, when you enjoy something, before you eat … Just very quickly, say a little thank you. It just really puts you in the present and gets you in tune with being grateful for the little things. Something else that’s helpful is a grateful journal. Every day, write something down that you’re grateful for. It may be as simple as the way the toast was perfectly toasted to literally dodging a bullet. Give credit where it’s due.
Make it a priority to be nice. We can all be bitter at times, but make it a priority to leave your baggage at home when you arrive to work. Leave your problems where they belong. Don’t bring the negativity of your day to the lives of others. Be nice, smile, laugh. Enjoy the simple things. By making the enjoyment a priority, you’ll be happy. Which leads to the next priority …
Above all things, choose happiness. Choose the surroundings, beings, things, places, material items, relationships that make you happy. If you don’t like something, you stay away from it, right? I hate mushrooms, so I don’t eat them, buy them, look at them, nothing. When you dislike something, don’t even bring it in. Just focus on what makes you happy. Writing, reading, music, food, exercising, talking … whatever it is, do it and make it the number escape to find happiness. Focus all your energies on the things that make you happy. If they do not, do not let them enter your brain.
Do what you love.
If you hate your job, it’s going to show … in your work ethic, in what you produce and in conversation with co-workers, as well as your friends and family. You MUST enjoy your job to have an enjoyable life. There’s no way you can go through life with a smile if you're miserable at the workplace. Make it a priority to enjoy your work and to do what you’re passionate about … even if it means you’re making a little less money or doing a little more work. If you’re happy doing it, that’s all that matters.
Understand the power of time.
Time is the one thing that we don’t ever get back. Make sure you live life to the fullest, using your time wisely. The only way to do this is to prioritize. If you prioritize, you will have more time to do things you enjoy … to do things you WANT to do, rather than what you need to do. Nothing is more discouraging than wasting a day being mad or sad or feeling blue when all you want is to smile and have fun. Use your time to do things that make you feel good. Call on people who cheer you up. Make the time worth it by managing it better.
Don’t half-ass things. It just creates more work. Be efficient in your doings. Cook something thoroughly. Be patient with tedious tasks. This all falls back on time. If you do things right the first time, you won’t have to do them over again. We’ve got enough things in life that we do wrong the first time around—let’s try to minimize those by prioritizing.
Learn to let go.
Make it a priority to let things go. Analyzing things far longer than they need to be thought about can become sickening … to the point where you’re crying hysterically, begging for answers with a migraine that lasts for days. Don’t do it to yourself. Have the strength to change your course whenever you feel the need to let go. Have some faith and talk to God. Put your worries in his hands and go about your day. Read scripture. Do whatever you can to get your mind off of whatever it is that causes you grief and let it go.
Learn to love again.
Make it a priority to love everything. Love the way the sun comes up, the way the rain hits the ground, love the way your kitchen smells when you prepare a home-cooked meal. Don’t put your love in another human being, unless it's in your child, otherwise … that’s how you get heartbroken. Put your love in your environment. Put your love in yourself. Put your love in your work. Put your love in your faith. These loves are forever.
Live in the present.
Of all the things we need to remember, it’s to live in the present. Add all the things above into one pile, and this is what you get … You’re happiest when you live in the present. You’re happiest when you are loving. You’re happiest when you’re smiling. You’re happiest when you have time. You’re happiest when you are nice to others. You’re happiest when you let go. You’re happiest when you are efficient, set goals and feel grateful, and you achieve happiness by living in the present to endure all these things. When we live in the present, we can live with no regrets. We can find peace in knowing that we are truly living in every moment we experience.
Learn to let positivity be the force that helps you make the changes needed to live a prioritized, fulfilling life. Make your well-being a priority. Make your heart a priority. Make your life a priority. You got only get one, so be sure you're making the best of it. Happy Monday!