I’d like you to ask you a question that you probably haven’t considered for quite some time: What’s important to you? Is it your family, your health, friendships, your integrity, your career, your faith or the amount you have in the bank? What’s important to you…..really important? Take a few minutes to carefully think about your answer. You might even want to write down the top five things that are important to you.
For many of us, this is a question we rarely (if ever) consciously ponder. Yet, every single day of our lives we are asked that same question – just not in so many words. It’s also true that every single day we answer that question. We answer not with our words, but with our actions.
What we do every day tells us what we really think is important. To get an unclouded and transparent snapshot of what we hold to be true priorities, all we have to do is examine how we use our time, how we give our attention, and where we commit our resources.
If you took the time to write down the top five priorities in your life, go back to that list now and really honestly think about how much time you devoted to each of those last week. Be honest! Nobody will see these answers but you.
What many people find when they complete this exercise is that they are actually spending very little time on what’s important to them. Did you list friendships as one of your life priorities, only to realize that you haven’t spoken with your best friends for weeks? Perhaps you consider family to be a valuable priority, yet you canceled the family vacation again this year due to work issues.
Or, like most people, maybe you listed good health as a top priority in your life. Yet you haven’t made the time to exercise for days, weeks, months or even years.
Later in life, when stricken with a dangerous and deadly disease, people often say “I’d give every dollar I have if I could just get my health back.” By contrast, no one ever says, “I’d give up my health if I could just get a few more bucks.” No one ever says that, but a lot of people live as though they believe it.
It’s time for a moment of truth: are your priorities what you thought they were? Does how you spend your time match up with what you listed as life priorities?
After going through this process, most people realize that they are spending far too little time on one of their top priorities: their health. Look carefully at the actions you have taken in the past regarding your health, and then look at the results. Does your reality parallel your priority list? Success in health, fitness and weight loss will not come from a priority list or what we think we’d like to achieve, but only from what we actually do day in and day out. The actions we took yesterday led us to where we are today, just as the actions we take today will determine where we end up tomorrow.
Take out that list of life priorities again and tape it up on the bathroom mirror for the next few weeks. Each morning you’ll be reminded of what’s truly important to you, and you’ll have the chance to organize your day so that you spend time on what’s important.
At this point in time, right NOW, your life is a clear picture of what has been important to you in the past – of what you have been committed to accomplishing. With that fact in mind, ask yourself one final question: what’s important to you now?
* Tracie Johanson is the founder of Pick Up The Pace, a 30-minute exercise studio for women, focusing on fitness, health and nutrition for maximum weight loss. Please visit http://www.letspickupthepace.com/ for more information.