Life Lessons for Women
7 Essential Ingredients for a
By: Stephanie Marston, M.F.T.
Evaluate Your Priorities
The French philosopher Rene
Descartes said, “I think therefore I am.”
Our modern day version has become “I do therefore I am.” So many of us live by the mantra “I have to
keep up,” “I am what I do,” “I have to
push myself,” “I have to prove my worth,”
“I have to keep going.” While
many of you thought that you left peer pressure back
in the halls of high school, it’s still very much in operation in our adult
Many women have one clear
priority--get through the day. Sure, no
one will deny the importance of that, but it’s simply not enough. Many women go through life on autopilot. You rarely stop long enough to consider how
you spend your time and energy. Yet, without determining whether your
priorities match your reality and your values you will continually be out of
synch with yourself.
Living a priority-centered
life means balancing responsibilities to others with responsibility to oneself;
obligations with enjoyment, work with play, activity with rest. It means finding a natural rhythm to one’s
day-to-day life that will support an atmosphere of fulfillment. It means getting your priorities straight.
Think of a typical day and a
typical week. Think about how you spend
your time. Ask yourself, how much time do I devote to my family? What about
health and fitness? Religion or spiritual practice? Work? Personal interests and hobbies?
Social time? Finances? Friendships? The
categories you choose may look somewhat different from these, so feel free to
customize them to reflect your
life. Make a list in order of what gets
the most to the least amount of your time.
How you spend your time will make known your priorities.
You may be surprised to
discover that there’s a discrepancy between what you thought your priorities
were and what they actually are. It’s
time to be honest with yourself and see what your life is telling you. Is your life balanced? Are you overextended in one area? Is there an area that you’re neglecting? What percentage of your time is devoted to
caring for others? What percentage is
spent caring for yourself and doing things you love? Are you in synch with your core values? Are there any adjustments you need to make so
that your life more closely reflects your values?
One of the greatest
challenges women face is balancing the wishes and expectations of other people
(especially your family) with your own
needs and desires. You must hold your
priorities sacred. You must invest your
time and energy in what you value. You
have to commit yourself to make time for what’s important every single day.
Ask yourself every day, is this what I want to be doing? If the answer is “no,” you can alter your
course a little each day. Changing
course is a process. It happens slowly, incrementally, but if you are
persistent, you will end up where you want to be.
Food for Thought
If you had only a year to
live, what would you do differently?
It’s time to take
action. Whatever you’ve been waiting to
do--Just Do It!
Stephanie is an acclaimed speaker and author. She speaks from experience. Stephanie is the “go to” expert for those seeking to create quality driven lives. She is the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Life Lessons for Women: 7 Essential Ingredients for a Balanced Life, If Not Now, When? For more information please visit her website: http://www.stephaniemarston.com/
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