Forget Words! Action expresses your priorities.
Three very true words. Action Expresses Priorities. Words don't do the trick. What I SAY is irrelevant when it comes to priorities; it's what I DO that matters.
If you really want to know what I truly value, look at my calendar. Examine my finances. Focus on my behavior.
Do I merely talk about smelling the flowers, or do I actually schedule time to take a walk?
Do I advocate generosity, or do I actually give until it hurts?
Do I say people are important, or do I find practical ways of making YOUR needs more important than mine?
If you had a camera and were following me around at home, you would learn how I prioritize tasks and whether I value my family and friends. You would be able to see the link between time and temper. You would learn if I had boundaries and systems for making sure that the different requirements in life blend. (I don't believe in "balance," as you know.)
Social media doesn't count. Memes don't matter. What I write on this blog or post on Facebook is irrelevant to the tangible things I do in life.
For instance, if I say that my family is a priority, then I better be home for meal time. Forget what I say (or post). What do I DO? If I value my team at work, then I have to be available to meet with them and support their projects. As you can imagine, it's difficult to have real friendships without actually talking to people and making their life important to my life.
All of this requires building in margins in the day so that I can take the call, have the conversation, or just plain be available. This desire means that I have to find ways to blend my activities.
I was comparing notes with a friend recently and we talked about a few things we re-prioritized (meaning demoted or removed) in an effort to build out the margins in our lives for all that truly matters. The following "reductions" don't necessarily work for everyone, but they definitely make my life easier. Much of what I minimize doesn't mean that much to me to begin with. That is why it gets minimized...in the name of what DOES matter. Your list is likely different, but here's a short list of what I cut down or out:
- Shopping (I speed shop instead of doing leisurely "girlfriend" shopping)
- Manicures (so sad...)
- Reading magazines (I used to do that!)
- Julienne cutting (rough chops only!)
- Consignment sales (everything gets donated!)
- Live TV (Hello DVR!)
- Using a lint brush (ahem!)
- Personal exercise (If the whole family isn't hitting the Y, I'm not.)
- Properly matching socks (don't look closely)
- Some chores (This requires a whole post, but suffice it to say that many days end with a lot that is still NOT done!)
- Pre-soaking anything (stain? What stain?)
- Having a nice "coif" (hair clips are a wonderful thing)
Of course, it's easiest to minimize those things that don't bring "joy" to the day for me, but it's also easy to have the little things creep up in the priority order and squeeze out the things that really matter.
How do you make your actions align with your priorities?