• What Really Matters to You? Find Out.

    They call it the “daily grind” for a reason: Days flash by as you hustle to satisfy an unappreciative boss, overcommit to community fundraisers and attend social events to keep up “appearances.” We humans have a finite amount of time and energy. All too often we spend too much of it reacting to the demands and expectations of others — and too little considering “why am I even doing this?”

    Give yourself space and permission to identify what’s most important to you. Think about how you want to live, what you want to accomplish — and the things you’d like to leave behind in the time you have. Understanding and naming those things can help you better allocate your valuable and limited stock of minutes, hours and days.

    Most of us have multiple roles and responsibilities in life. And some of those may be more fulfilling than others: spouse, worker, friend, neighbor, employer, artist, athlete, parent, citizen, leader. Unfortunately, there never seems to be enough time for everyone and everything. We have to make choices about how to spend our time and energy. But as we increase our awareness about ourselves, we’re better positioned to make those choices more fulfilling ones rather than dictated by our immediate situation — and others’ wants and needs. Gaining that awareness is the first step to leading a more purpose-driven and fulfilling life.

    Here’s an exercise, taken from the book Act on Life, Not on Anger by George Eifert, Matthew McKay and John Forsyth: Write your own epitaph. Imagine the headstone of your own grave, and also imagine that it’s blank. What would you like it to say? How will you want to be remembered?

    “But,” you counter, “I’m too busy to think about all this … and besides, it’s depressing.”

    That may be true, and if it is, you may especially benefit from this exercise. And better a little sadness now than a whole bunch later. This is an investment in your future happiness and success. Carve out several hours when you won’t be distracted or interrupted — by the kids, work or house duties — so that you can devote your entire focus to thinking about the things that have made you feel proud of yourself, and about your future goals and how fulfilling their achievement would be.

    Most importantly, after listing your future goals, consider what might be stopping you from achieving them. Is it really lack of time? Or is it more your ability to manage your time? Is it lack of opportunities? Or perhaps there’s a missing skill or relationship you might develop.

    With an end goal in mind, and some idea of the challenges that lie ahead, you’re much better equipped to make the countless decisions you face every day about how to spend your precious time and energy. Spend them in ways that will enhance your feelings of happiness, achievement and fulfillment. Once you’re clear on your priorities, it can simplify all your choices and help you make better decisions.

    If you’d like to understand more about yourself, a therapist is an excellent resource. You can request a free phone consultation by calling 407-579-2070.

    Therapy services available via Telehealth.