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Self-Improvement: How to Get Your Priorities in Order

Published on Oct 11, 2016 at 1:25 pm in Fun Stuff.

Remember last week when we talked about finding innovative solutions to the unique predicaments we each face in our lives? We’re continuing that theme this week with a bit of an off-the-wall topic for a legal blog– the topic of self-improvement. We know. Pretty off-the-wall, right? Hear us out.

No matter what your career-related goals are or your personal goals, we all have areas that we know we can make improvements on. Self-improvement is what enables us to keep reaching our goals and keep surpassing them. It’s what lets us to become the best versions of ourselves and better those around us. You know that saying that basically reads “Know thyself before you can know others?” It’s true, and it rings true for more than just the act of knowing.

When we continuously work towards improving ourselves, we naturally inspire those around us to become better people. In time, tiny inspirations lead to greater ones. When we all focus on becoming better versions of ourselves, the world becomes a better place.

Speaking of self-improvement, think about your to-do list. How many things are you trying to accomplish every day? Do you usually manage to finish them all? If not, is everything on your list really that important? Trying to handle too many responsibilities only leads to stress and failure. The way to regain control over your life is to determine what your priorities are and how to achieve them.

First, take a big step back. Not just to look at what you’re doing today; imagine yourself 10 years from now. What decisions should you be making today that you will be happy with in a decade? Do you want to get out of debt? Spend time with your spouse? Watch your kid’s football game or school play? Get that promotion?

When you know what you want to do, consider why that is. Is getting out of debt the first step to financial freedom? Will having dinner each night with your spouse keep you emotionally connected? Do you want to be a part of your kids’ lives before they grow up? Would being promoted be a step in advancing your career? These end goals are your priorities.

Once you recognize what your priorities are, put them in order. Physically write them down, so when it comes time to make a decision between them, you know what you should choose. Remember that while your priorities may be divided between different parts of your life, they are not disconnected. If staying late at work will impress your boss, is that the right choice for you if it falls on the same night as your daughter’s recital?

There is no right or wrong answer to the order of your priorities. After all, they are yours. Don’t let someone else dictate what you feel should be important.

Finally, let everything else fall away. It can be tempting to take on those old burdens when you feel like you’re managing everything well. You might think about volunteering for the PTA again, starting a blog, or joining a book club. Don’t. If an activity does not support your priorities, don’t let it take up your time. The key to managing your priorities is not letting yourself be too ambitious. You cannot do everything. Nobody can. But you can do what you truly want, and be happier for it.

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