It's December. Don't anyone panic!
December is one of the few months that people seem acutely aware of how many days are left and accordingly have a constant pressing timeline in the back of their heads.
It’s almost the holidays. It’s almost the end of the year. It’s almost this or almost that.
It’s as if the core feeling of the month is “crazed”.
As such, social media is peppered with tips to “enjoy the season” or “slow down”.
But it’s hard to do these things when the internal December time clock is tick, tick ticking at a deafening level.
And the ticking doesn’t stop. You are aware of it at work, on the drive home, and at 2am when you are trying to sleep.
To take it one step further, the craziness can be enhanced by layering on shame.
“I should be enjoying all this, I should say no to things, If I don’t do all of this, everything will be ruined.”
I was talking to someone the other day and she asked me a seemingly innocent question:
“How do you like to organize your time?"
I didn’t have an answer (shocking, I know). I literally had to stop and think.
Because I was floundering, she clarified, "what are your top priorities?”
How DO I LIKE to organize my time? What do I even want to be doing? What are my priorities?
What are your top 4 priorities? Do you know?
When I came up with my top priorities, I realized that somehow, they weren’t even making it onto my racing December timeline. They weren’t even in the front of my head.
What the heck?
I was making myself crazy AND NOT EVEN getting to the things I hold most important.
Interestingly, when I realized this, it actually gave me some relief, not a feeling of judgment or inadequacy.
It allowed me to mentally let go of some of the craziness and judgment I was holding around all the things I “had to do”.
Instead, I decided to ask myself first thing in the morning, what am I doing for my personal priorities today, the things that really matter? How are they going to be acknowledged and cared for?
The beauty of a priority is it inherently takes precedent. It inherently allows other things to recede in their importance. If I can focus on my priorities, I can have satisfaction AND peace.
And the best part? YOU get to PICK your priorities.
You can pick whatever you want, for whatever reason you want.
Your priorities can change (which is why it’s good to know what they are). A priority this month may not be a priority in a year.
My priorities this month are as follows
the relationships with and wellness of my husband and children
my own physical health
meaningful interactions with friends
maintaining and growing my relationships in the nursing community
These are priorities I feel good about. These are priorities that absolve me of stress if my dining room table is covered with stuff, or if we are having take-out again.
Making dinner every night and having a spotless home is not on the agenda this month. Sure, it may happen (don’t hold your breath), but my happiness is not contingent on it. I am picking my priorities.
The moral of the story? Prioritizing your life can help you keep things in perspective, it can quiet the frenzied clock. It can make you feel better.
Pick your top 3-5 priorities.
Find a way to make sure they are actually making it into your day-to-day life. They don’t have to take the most time, they don’t have to all be fit into every day. Just make an effort to stop burying them in things that are supposed to be less important.
It’s just about intention, about doing what is important to you, about being in control.
Enjoy your newfound freedom from December.
Let me know how it goes.
Does this appeal to you in theory but you are struggling to implement it in your own life. You don't have to do it alone- reach out to find out how I can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org