Personal Growth · Success Is

Success is: Knowing My Priorities

What’s important to you?

And I don’t mean, what should be important. If you were to sit down and write a list of ten things, and only ten things that would be a part of your life, what would they be?

One of the biggest lies in the culture we’re a part of is that we can have it all, that the only thing holding us back from fitness model bodies, overflowing bank accounts, and traveling the world is our own damn laziness. (This lie does serve a purpose – it sells products and services.)

But one day, I figured out I had an incredibly finite amount of time and energy. And when I lay dying, no one would be responsible for how I used that time and energy except me.

I started making choices – this or that? And most of the posts in this series are products of these choices.

The other side of that is, I started saying no to things that were good, but just didn’t fit around my priorities.

Here is one example: I got pretty lean one year. In order to maintain this, I was counting every calorie, lifting weights for an hour a day, trail running three to four miles a day, and hiking five to ten miles on my days off. (And believe me, when you’re working out that much, just eating enough takes up a lot of time.)

While it was cool to see what my body could do, and I had fun, I didn’t have time or energy for anything except work and working out. Since being lean just isn’t a priority for me, I cut down to two days a week at the gym, stopped running, and gained five percentage points in body fat. I have no intention of getting back into that kind of shape.

Being in mad shape wasn’t bad. But even being able to squat my bodyweight wasn’t as satisfying as, say, spending time with my husband, or having energy to learn new things.

By knowing my priorities and saying no to some things, I’m able to say yes to the things that are really, truly important to me.


Read the rest of the Success Is series here:

Success is…

Knowing My Priorities

Directing How My Time is Spent

Making My Creative Life a Priority

Investing in My Spouse

A Balanced, Fulfilling Work Life

Knowing Myself

Constantly Learning

Managing Money Well

Good Family Relationships

Pursuing Spiritual Meaning

Practicing Gratitude

Nurturing Dreams for the Future


14 thoughts on “Success is: Knowing My Priorities

  1. Hm. My ten things. That’s good stuff to ponder. I’m reading this on 1/1/2016 and it seems fitting. Family, of course, but for my personal self: creating, structuring my day so that I have editing and writing and creating BUILT IN. So critical for my sanity and happiness. 🙂

    1. Family and creating are also on my list! And I totally think family counts. Of course everyone would say family, but that doesn’t mean they practice making family their priority.

      Like me, for instance – two years ago I would have said my family was priority, but I picked up all the hours I could at work without even asking my husband if he needed time with me. Now that I actually act like family is priority, I can say no to work pretty easily.

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