This simple, fast (and free) exercise could change your life!

Amanda McPherson

I had a not-so- pleasant realization the other day that really stopped me in my tracks; I am not sure I have been living my priorities. It’s not that I’ve been living without values and that I don’t have priorities. But if someone were examining my daily, weekly and monthly schedule they might be a little confused with how my “priorities” are jiving with how I’m spending a lot of my time.

I talk about my priorities. I think about them regularly. But, if I added up how much time I spend actively nurturing the top two or three priorities that are really important to me right now…well, let’s just say they don’t really look like priorities.

So, I decided to try a very simple, quick (and free!) little experiment. I wrote down my top three priorities and decided to start evaluating how I’m spending my time against this short list.

Simple? Yes. Easy? No.

I like to make people happy and, conversely, being around people makes me happy. So, my personal challenge is carving out time to focus on my priorities because they can’t always involve other people or making others happy (ugh, just writing those last few words makes me cringe). But now I have a clear, concise roadmap to consult when I am making decisions about when I need to say yes and when I need to politely say no.

So, I challenge you to join me in this simple exercise: Take 5 minutes to write down your top two or three priorities. Don’t create a laundry list. Keep it to two or three items that are really, really important to you. Then, look at what needs to be eliminated or added in your regular routine to match those goals.

Do you need to get up earlier to fit in a workout? Do you need to say no to a fun trip so that you have money to pay off your debt? Do you need to say no to taking on more work so that you have more time with your family? Only you know what you need to be better aligned with your priorities.

Congratulate yourself if you are already actively living out your priorities (and email me your secret)! But, if you’re like most of us and feel like the noise and clutter of life often gets too much of your attention, get excited because this simple exercise can be implemented so quickly that you’ll notice the positive results in no time.

Try it and let me know how it goes.

Lucky for me, communicating with YOU is one of my top priorities.

Amanda has a Masters degree in Counseling and specializes in helping women feel more empowered in their relationships, career and overall life satisfaction. To inquire about individual coaching sessions, please email

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