How can setting priorities help you live a more positive life?
Prioritizing what you want to invest in and how you want to spend your time will make a huge impact on how you feel about your days, which will eventually build up into how you feel about your life in general. While we may not have complete control over how we spend our days (we still gotta pay the bills), there are little choices you can make and priorities you can set that will affect your every day life, either for the better or the worse.
So what priorities can you set and how will they help you live a more positive life?
The things you do.
That’s a pretty broad category right there, so let me explain.
Let’s say you have a 9-5. That’s a big chunk of your day already set out for you, whether you like it or not. But you can decide how you’re going to spend your evenings after work. Are you going to complain about work so you’re always living in a negative space? Are you going to take a class that helps you explore a hobby? Are you going to spend some quality time with your family or friends?
What about bedtime? Are you going to attempt to postpone tomorrow by staying up late binge-watching Netflix or are you going to go through a glorious bedtime routine and get to sleep at a decent hour?
And the next morning? Will you spend it feeling grumpy because you stayed up so late? Will you scroll through social media while eating your breakfast, or read a book, or sit in silence?
How about the drive to work? Are you going to let traffic anger you so much that when you arrive at work you’re already in a bad mood? Are you going to use the time to listen to your favourite album or podcast? Are you going to dictate a to-do list for the day?
You have so many little choices to make every day that have the potential to add up into becoming The Greatest Everyday Ever. You just need to recognize that you have the ability to prioritize yourself, or your hobbies, or your loved ones, or whatever it is you need in order to have a good day. Then make those a priority, and then follow through.
The people you spend time with.
Okay, I’m still going to pretend you have a 9-5 (if you don’t, just bear with me for now and see how you can apply these lessons to your own life). Maybe you don’t particularly like the people you work with. That’s really too bad because you spend a lot of time with them! But that just means you need to be so particular about who you spend time with outside of work. Maybe you need to join a club or team or take a class to meet some people that you have something in common with. Maybe you already have friends from outside of work – call them! Have dinner with them! If you have a family, spend time with them!
If you have a lot of people trying to invite you out to events and your reason for rsvp’ing yes is only “because I should,” then maybe you don’t actually want to spend time with those people. There isn’t enough time for us to be visiting with people we only feel obligated to make time for, especially if making time for those people take away from your time with the people you actually want to be with! You need to prioritize who you spend your time with! Make a point of spending time with people who light you up and support you and make you feel full.
The situations you invest emotions in.
I want to figure out a better way of saying this because it sounds a little too nonchalant, but sometimes you have to care a little less.
Care a little less? About what?
About whatever isn’t worth caring about.
A stranger said something rude to you? Don’t care.
Your beach day got rained out? Disappointing, but ultimately not worth crying over.
Boss gave you a talking to? Take the notes, apply them in the future, let it go.
I’m not saying emotions are bad – they’re actually kind of part of what makes life interesting and beautiful – but they can be exhausting, especially if they’re misplaced. I’m just suggesting spending your emotions on situations you want to prioritize like a break up, or a friend’s birthday. Don’t spend your emotions on situations that won’t hold any significance a month from now.
Now, your priorities (the things you do, the people you spend time with, the situations you emotionally invest in) will look different from mine, so maybe my examples don’t quite fit in with your life. That’s okay. You need to figure out what works for you.
You have hundreds of opportunities every day to make a choice that can help you live a more positive life. All it takes is spending a little time figuring out what your priorities are and then making choices based on those priorities.
Thanks for reading!