And Understanding Why You’re Doing It All To Begin With…

You know we all yearn for it from time to time.

“Stop the world; I want to get off!” we hear ourselves silently cry to ourselves.

That’s about the time we find ourselves reaching for the phone to book a much-needed vacation or at the very least, a night out with our girlfriends.

Sometimes life can ramp up and up into an out-of-control frenzy that can leave us wondering what is the point.

Why are we killing ourselves getting to work, getting the kids to soccer practice, getting dinner on the table, getting to the next thing and go, go, go?

Well, I know I wonder that sometimes.

But I wonder a lot less now that I know why I am doing it all.

Do you know why you’re doing it all? Why you are so busy and over-committed and trying to catch a breath?

I’ve been able to answer my “why.”

And I also know exactly what I need to do to slow myself down and put ME back into the driver’s seat of my own life, VS. all the other things I let get in the way sometimes.

But the key is really being able to answer your “why.”

And when you do answer your “why” and then take a look around, if how you’re spending your time doesn’t match your “why,” then you might have some shifting to do.

I was reading a book lately called Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana. He had something to say that I found really interesting: “What we are really after is the feeling of relief that comes when the drive is satisfied. Relief, relaxation, and an end to the tension. Peace, happiness – no more yearning.”

What would it take to satisfy your drive?

What would it be like to know you have already arrived?

I have a funny feeling that if you answered your “why” then you would be quite a few steps closer to knowing if you “have arrived.” Are you there yet?

In my quest to answer my ‘why,’ I introduced five daily practices into my life that help me stay on track with my “why” every day.  I invite you to try them out yourself and let me know how you do!

Here are 5 daily practices to help you stay focused on your “Why”:

 

  1. Stop “Shoulding” On Yourself

    How often do you find yourself adding something to your “to do” list because you think you “should” and not because you really want to?

    What would it be like if you started separating the two – before you add something to your personal “to do” list, ask yourself why you are putting it on your list? Do you want to do it? Will it bring you joy? Do you have to do it? Or do you just think you should?

    The more you can identify why you are putting something on your list, the more likely you will be able to take things off your list as well.

    Bingo! You are back in the driver’s seat of your own schedule.

  2. Practice Gratitude

    A client recently said to me she was able to stay centered in her busy work and home life when she started practicing gratitude every morning.

    I now have added a very purposeful – and short – gratitude session to my morning routine. Before bounding into your day, take a few moments to be grateful for the family, friends and blessings you have in your life.

    Be grateful for that overflowing plate of activities that is waiting for your. Choose what to put on that plate and know why it is there.

    There is a method to my madness as they say, and practicing gratitude every day helps me stay focused on what’s most important. Give it a try and see how well it can work for you too!

  3. Take Time For Yourself

    The saying “pay yourself first” applies in retirement savings and in everyday life as well. If you don’t take care of YOU, it’s going to be pretty hard for you to continue to take care of all the other people you need to take care of.

    Make sure you carve out time every single day that’s just for you. This time should take steps to fill your tank, bring you joy, give you energy, fuel the positive and make you feel strong and centered.

    I have a number of things that do this for me – a lot of them involve physical exercise like yoga, running and walking my dog. I also love to read, watch TV, connect with friends… any number of these things can help give me the fuel I need to keep giving to others.

    What’s your fuel?

  4. Prioritizing Your “To-Do” List

    This is a tough one. I used to be a gal who had a never-ending to-do list that just continued on and on and on.

    I kept it on my phone so it never really ever got “done” as there was always a repeating item that was waiting for me.

    Now, before I start my work day, I pull out a small sheet of paper that only has room for three items, and I make myself choose: what are the three MOST IMPORTANT items I need to do today to feel I have accomplished what I really need to do today?

    Three items. That’s all you get. It will definitely make sure the most important items rise to the top.

  5. Hug Your Family

    Seriously. Do you hug your kids every day? Even a virtual one if they live miles away?

    Hug – in person or virtually – the people most important to you. They are likely who you’re “doing it all” for, and keeping them at the front of center of your daily busyness will help keep you grounded in a big way.

I’d love to hear your tips for staying focused and grounded in what’s most important to you.

How do you “stop” your world? Leave them in the comments below so we can all stay focused on our “why.”

Personal Balance Equation Workbook ABOUT SUSAN ELFORD

Susan Elford is a PR Strategist & Leadership Coach who especially loves to work with people who want it all: a fulfilling career or business while living a balanced life. Susan helps her clients get real about their strengths and celebrate and promote them so they get more of what they want: success at work; success in business & success in life.

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