Priorities and Your Time

priorities and your time kelly heard coaching pretty watch on note card

Can you believe we’re already more than a week into the new year?

How are you doing with your resolutions and goals, if you have them?

If you’re not doing well with them, that’s ok. No shaming here.

Last week I shared a simple idea for busy working moms to choose New Year’s goals that are less than audacious in nature. And, how to fit them into their lives in a way that works for their schedules.

Maybe you’ve thought about something you want to change in your life this year. But rather than create a solid, tangible goal, you opted for something…more fluid.

More like: less time on ‘have-tos’ and more time on ‘quality time want-tos’.

But does an even more fluid goal like that feel hard to reach? 

Do you constantly feel frustrated that between the demands of your career and your household you don’t have enough quality time to spend with your family? 

You know, doing the things that you actually want to do? The things that you actually consider important and fulfilling

So many women unknowingly put the burden on themselves to do as many things as they can because they feel like they “should” do them.

That they’re somehow obligated to dedicate all of their time on housework and errands to take care of everyone else, and if and when all of that work is done we can just let the other ways we spend our time fall into place. 

How often are we deliberate in how we spend our time? Among all of the ‘must-dos’ in our lives, do we make sure we prioritize spending time on the things that have meaning, like spending time with our kids? Our husbands?

To be clear, this is not meant to be criticism or judgement. It’s simply to point out that sometimes we unconsciously slip into spending time in ways that don’t align with our priorities.

And it’s no wonder. We’ve all got countless things in our lives that are competing for our time and attention: apps, streaming services, social media, shopping sites, etc..

Then throw in IRL things like work, kids’ sports and other activities, requests for help with school fundraisers, laundry, grocery shopping, and the rest of that endless list.

If you’re constantly feeling squeezed by all of the things you currently spend your time on, and always find yourself putting off the things that are important to you, it’s time to hit the reset button.

With the new year well under way, now is the ideal time to take inventory of how you spend your time vs. how you want to be spending it. Make a list of what are your life priorities are, and decide how to spending your time in a way that aligns with that list.

What are the most important things to you? Are you giving them enough time?

A really important part of this exercise is to be willing to be really honest with yourself about what truly is a priority. Are you allocating time for things that you just think your family expects or needs from you, but never really asked for?

Are you doing things for people outside your home simply because you don’t like the experience of someone being unhappy with you because your turned down their request?

Pro tip: saying no to a request for your time and not feeling guilty about it is actually a thing.

Ask yourself this:  in 5, 10, or 20 years from now, are your going to be happy you spent time doing that instead of something on your priority list? 

If you truly want to create change in your life, you need to make a plan for how to do it, and commit to sticking to that plan.

Deciding loosely in your mind what you want to spend more time on isn’t going to be the method for making it happen. It’s too easy to think about something we want to accomplish, then put it on the back burner the minute something urgent comes up.

Or, to scrap it the first time we decide we’re too tired/bored/frustrated late in the day to do something that requires brain power and planning.

Or slip into an old habit of losing time on social media because FOMO got the best of you.

If you do start out strong but then to slip away from your commitment, remember to be kind to yourself. Don’t make it mean that the change you’ve worked for so far simply can’t happen, then throw in the proverbial towel on your plan.

Just assess where you went off track from a place of curiosity and non-judgement, then go right back to the habits you wanted to adopt – without beating yourself up.

In the end, you probably won’t miraculously find all the time in the world to do everything your heart desires. What you will find is that you’ll create more time to do the things that matter to you because you’re not wasting time on things that don’t.  

So, happy planning everyone! I have every bit of faith that you’ll create and implement a plan to help you make more use of your time in a way that’s in tune with your priorities for the coming year. 

If you’re yearning to create your own plan for spending more time on the things that are important to you, sign up for coaching with me.

You can even learn a bit about how life coaching works before signing up for a full coaching package by registering for a free coaching consult. Just click here to get started.

Get The Working Mama Mail

Quick bites of Mama inspiration right in your inbox.