Do you ever feel like there are so many changes or improvements you want to make in your life that you don’t where to start? Or so many tasks or projects you don’t know what to tackle first? Maybe you’re feeling a little off-course, inauthentic or overwhelmed?
Here is what I have learned.
You can put your life in order by putting your loves in order.
This concept of putting “loves in order” comes from St. Augustine.
Our lives turn upside down and lack meaning when our loves are out of order.
If I gossip about a friend at a party, I am putting my love of popularity or approval above my love of friendship or loyalty.
If I consistently avoid my workout routine, I am putting my love of comfort over my love of health.
This is a tough one: If I constantly criticize my spouse’s parenting, I may be putting my love of parenting above my marriage. Is that ultimately what’s best for my kids?
How often do we value being right (and feeding our egos) over uncovering the truth (and strengthening a relationship) in an argument?
Lack of meaning, discontent, unhappiness and disorder stem from acting out of line with values.
Where to start?
1. Practice Acceptance
The first step is accepting that we cannot do or change everything at once. Yes, I would like my website re-done, files organized, appointments completed, house clean.. I want to set a workout routine, figure out the right foods and supplements…
All the things, ALL.RIGHT.NOW.
But when I think I need to do everything, I feel overwhelmed and paralyzed and don’t do anything.
Sit with the feelings that come with things undone or unchanged. The ability to sit with discomfort will keep you from habits of avoidance (eating, drinking, working, scrolling…)
Remind yourself that taking small steps will show your mind that progress is possible and give you momentum to keep going.
Even with all the things undone or unchanged, you are still okay, worthy, lovable.
The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. - Carl Rogers
2. Put Your Loves in Order
It is worth sitting down and figuring out what is most important and putting your time, attention and energy there.
Turn to page 16 in my Blueprint for 2018 to guide you. Note adjectives and verbs in the life areas that apply to you. Rank values in order of importance. Notice what is very important and in need of your attention to make your life workable and meaningful.
“What do I love? What are the things I really love? And in what order do I love them? Am I spending time on my highest love? Or am I spending time on a lower love?” - David Brooks as told to Oprah
3. Take the Next Right Step
Looking at the greatest discrepancies between how important a value is and how effectively you’re living by it, what is the next right move? To be more at ease with yourself? To make earth look a little more like heaven? To be more of the person you want to be and reach your goals?
If the next right action is spoken, what might you say in the next opportunity?
If the next right action is something you can schedule, put it in your calendar. If a relationship is in need of your time and attention, can you schedule a time to be present and engaged with that person?
Then do the next right thing.
You can even budget your time across priorities the way I budget my money (I use a program called You Need a Budget in case you’re wondering): Take the time you have and first schedule what is most important. Then, with additional time, what is next in order of priority?
The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, 'What is the next right move?' Not think about, 'Ooh, I got all of this to figure out.' What is the next right move? And then from that space, make the next right move and the next right move ... then you won't be overwhelmed by it, because you know your life is bigger than that one moment. - Oprah
You may wonder what beliefs are driving you to put your loves out of order or leading you to self-sabotage (hint: they may worries about what other people think or unhelpful beliefs about yourself). Get to know your thoughts and triggers and let go of unproductive habits and automatic reactions in 2 coaching sessions. Schedule here.