Seasonal priorities are the secret sauce to reaching your goals. Life is full of a variety of seasons and using that to our advantage to tackle what is important to you.
A Seasonal Shift in Priorities Transcript
It is almost fall, y’all!
Okay, I’m not southern enough to get away with that, but it is almost fall at the time that this episode comes out. We will be four days away from the official start of fall.
And while I am not personally a pumpkin spice person, I can appreciate a really solid change of season.
I think with changing specifically to fall, we think of starting over, starting fresh. And then there’s so much excitement that builds up into the winter holidays that are coming up, we get lost.
We get lost mostly when it comes to our goals and our priorities. And that was something when I polled everybody on Instagram, it was pretty loud and clear that you guys wanted to talk about how to set seasonal priorities.
*Okay, so this is future Sam interrupting the beginning of the recording, Sam. And I just wanted to stop by. I finished recording the episode and there was something important that I think I need to tell you before we get too far into this. And that is that we are not setting goals today. We are setting seasonal priorities. And the difference in that, that I want to clarify is, with goals we feel like…if we miss one opportunity, one milestone, if we don’t hit a timeline, we fall off completely…we tend to kind of ignore and avoid them and say, “Oh, that’s not my goal anymore. I kind of lost it way back there on, you know, January 12.”
Instead we’re going to focus on setting seasonal priorities.
You can’t fail a priority. All you can do is give it your time, your focus and your attention, and it’s going to return the favor by giving you the results that you want. And if you don’t have time in one day to prioritize one of these things, then that’s the priority the next day. Seasonal priorities can carry on whether or not you are going to make a streak out of it.
So for this whole episode, please think about priorities. Please think of, “If I have free time, I know that I’m devoting my time to this.” Not a goal as in, “Oh, if I ate too many carbs today, then I guess I get to go buy a dozen doughnuts tomorrow.” Those are two different things.
So there’s that clarification. Back to what I was thinking about when I started recording this. Okay bye.*
I guess there’s not really one simple step that’s going to happen, but instead, we’re going to walk through a simple way to look at how you can prioritize for the season you’re in. Whether it is the actual season that the weather is showing outside, or the season of life that you are currently in.
Whether that is you have a newborn or a new job. Maybe you just need to relax.
Three Areas of Seasonal Priorities
Let’s take a look at the three different areas that will help us navigate what can be a priority in the moment.
To do that, we’re going to look a little bit like Scrooge here. Let’s look at the past, present, and future.
So we’re going to start by jumping into the future. And to jump into the future, we’re going to find that magical little place that we don’t get enough of. Where we can just sit with our thoughts for a minute.
You can either journal this out or just kind of sit with it in your head, but I just want you to (I mean 10-15 minutes honestly) think about life in 10 years. Just think of all of the details of life 10 years from now. And this is how we’re going to get an idea of maybe what our bigger goals are that we can focus on.
What I love about this exercise is it is so simple. It can literally change on a day to day basis. What you see for yourself 10 years from now today, is probably different from what you would have done a month ago depending on what’s going on in your life. But it really helps us set a priority for what we are focusing on or what we are struggling with in the moment.
So right now, if I were to focus on my life, 10 years from now, I would notice that I am feeling really confident from the strength that I have from just getting active. And getting active with my kids and building relationships and that sense.
If I look 10 years from now, I feel like I am enjoying calm afternoons sitting in a sunroom (that I do not currently have) and reading books because I have a less stressful life.
Well, that is going to inform my seasonal priorities in the present because that is currently what my brain is thriving to have. And that’s why it comes up when you think about the future.
I’m going to take those notes, say, “Okay, well, my brain wants me to be more active because I really want that for myself, and my brain wants to reduce my stress.
That does not mean that I have to build myself a sunroom today, and get my butt out there reading a book every single day.
Instead, what that tells me is my priority right now needs to be finding a way to get active and reduce stress.
By looking into the future, I can tell myself what I’m craving right now in the moment. And while that isn’t the full picture, it’s a really great start.
So now, let’s jump to the past. When looking at the past, we’re going to look at a couple of different stages. So let’s just talk like pretty recent past. What goals did you set for your New Year’s resolution this year?
I personally am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I feel like it’s a super arbitrary time. And then we all feel really defeated because it’s the middle of winter, but whatever.
What New Year’s resolution did you set for yourself that you feel like you want to still continue to inch towards? What are some things that are still driving you even if you may have lost a wheel off of that wagon? That doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just means we took a bit of a hit at first.
And then we jump, like anytime further back in the past, and we’re going to look at trends.
Historically, if you have had this type of season in your life before, what has worked in what hasn’t? What do you feel like your availability for time management is going to be to add in new seasonal priorities? and what have you, kind of looking back, wish that you would have prioritized instead?
Now when it comes to things like Christmas, for example, I know that I have always prioritized getting my kids the right type and amount of gifts that I thought would be perfect for them. And then I always want to declutter their toys immediately afterwards.
So maybe a priority for me this year, needs to be taking a note from years past and saying, I need to tone it down and I need to get something that is more meaningful and valuable for us as a family.
But I also know that if I look in the past…by the time fall hits, if I’m setting up myself to want to do a fitness goal, but the sun doesn’t come up until like 11:30 in the morning, and then it also goes down, I don’t know 2pm (whatever time it is), well, I don’t have a whole lot of freedom to go on a nice two hour long jog outside while I have three kids at home, and it’s dark the entire time.
But you know what? This is something that has worked for me. In the past, I have been able to do these certain workouts, but I do feel like I need the kind of forced requirement of a gym.
For me a gym scenario works out if I want to actually work out. So I can take that historic data and say, “Okay, that is something I can apply to my present day situation.”
We have to use the trends of what has happened in our past, the feelings that it has given us, and make sure that we are using that to prioritize this season of life. In certain seasons we may not have experience with, you don’t always want to take somebody else’s advice for.
So this is an unknown season for you…let’s say that you are completely switching careers. Let’s say that you’re becoming a first time mom, then your season needs to be completely dedicated to ignoring the past and just living completely in the present moment.
And we’re reserving a special one for last because looking into the future is great. Looking at what has worked in the past is also great. Now we’re gonna have to jump to the present.
So the present I mean, that’s where we’re actually living. That’s where we know what is going on and what our capacity is. And we also know what is driving us absolutely crazy.
If there is something around you right now, that you know you are just itching to get on the right track because it’s not…that’s also going to be our priority that we have to focus on.
Picking Three Seasonal Priorities
Well, we’re picking three seasonal priorities from all of this.
One from our future. One thing that we want so badly to work towards. To become something that made your heart happy when we were thinking about it. We can only really pick one right now. So pick one and make it good. And that is going to be one of the seasonal priorities that we work on every single day.
You’re going to do something to inch yourself towards becoming that person that you want to be in the future. If that person was financially stable and debt free, maybe every day you make it a priority to log your expenses. Maybe every day you make it a priority to check through your budget. Collect spare change. It doesn’t have to be grandiose, it’s a step in the right direction.
So you’re making one priority every day to be inching yourself towards that future person.
You’re also going to go ahead and pick a priority from your past. Something that worked really well, or something that you have learned about yourself in this type of season of life.
What is going to be something else that you can prioritize that you know you’ve already succeeded at, or you already know is going to be something that will benefit you?
A priority from our past can encompass something along the lines of…I know this worked really well for me, and it made me feel good. Like maybe you really remember enjoying cooking homemade meals twice a week. And you just want to kind of inch your way back to that. That, or steps to get there, is going to be a second priority for your day.
But also, maybe things just hadn’t gone right in previous versions of this season. Maybe instead, you learned a lesson from what didn’t go very well for you. Like maybe you really miss the sunshine in the fall. And I 100% understand that because your classroom doesn’t have any windows.
So if you know that you need sunshine, and it’s gonna be dark before you leave school, you might need to make it a priority to get outside when there is sun. And that can be a priority that will lift your entire day.
So that’s something that we can actually put down as priority number two. Every day, we’re going to work towards something that we know either worked for us or a lesson that we’ve learned from in our past.
Then the last piece is to prioritize that thing that is driving you nuts right here and right now. The number one thing that is just not really working in some way, and you just need it to be more under control. You are going to create a priority to remedy that however it needs to be done.
Depending on what it is, it could be the feeling that you need to declutter, so that you’re not staring at so much stuff, especially going into the holidays, where you’re just going to get more stuff. And it could just be something as simple as groceries are out of control right now. So you’re going to work through your pantry instead of spending $400 a week on things like bread and eggs, because I feel like it’s getting a little ridiculous. And I don’t think I’m the only one.
Now we have our three priorities that we’re going to work on for this season.
And here’s a very key thing. A season is not super long. A season is like three months, right? Because we have four seasons, and there’s 12 months, whatever. It is a short term thing, and we just need to feel that we can have that focus dedicated to these priorities.
We’re not crossing any finish lines. We are not accomplishing all of the big things. You are not going to go out and get a masters or run a marathon tomorrow.
But, you are going to make it a focus and a priority and put your love and attention into it for this season. And when the next season rolls around, you can just kind of shuffle it up again.
It will never hurt you to have inched towards these things.
Every day, we focus on these priorities. You can be as simple as writing these three priorities every single day in whatever planner or on a post-it note. Setting an alarm for yourself, so that you just know, “Hey, one of my priorities is this. My second priority is this. My third priority is this.”
Or you can set yourself little tasks that are going to work towards fulfilling that feeling and put the time and energy and effort into it, making it a priority.
And if you write out a top three every day, and you don’t hit it, it is not the end of the world. But I think one of the lessons I have learned in my past, is the thing that I give my time and attention to is the thing that I see success in.
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Keywords: priority, season, goals, simple, prioritize, focus