Mo Money. It sounds terribly greedy, but that is my absolute first priority right now. Not because I want to be Filthy Rich, but because I want to be Debt Free. I don’t want to spend another restless night worrying about making ends meet. I went back to school in 2016 toward this end — so that I can get a promotion at my day job that will hopefully come with a nice pay raise as well. The more I learn, the more I can earn, and I work in an industry where there is always more to learn. I don’t expect to be Debt Free by the end of 2017 (although I wouldn’t complain if it happened!) but the more money I earn, the bigger bites I can help take out of our debt. If I can get a side hustle going that doesn’t burn me out, that’s great too. If I could build an app that would give me even a tiny passive income, all the better. If I can sell some of my writing, even better, since that would meet another priority as well. But if all I can do is keep going to school to earn better pay, then that’s all I’ll do.
Mo Better Relationships. These have also been improving since 2016, and I want to continue that trend. As much of an introvert as I am, the close relationships that I have are absolutely vital to my emotional health. Date nights with the hubby, Mommy/Daughter Dates with my kiddo, coffee dates with my friends, all of these things feed my energy like very little else.
Mo Good Things. Since I stopped thinking of my gratitude list as “Gratitude” and just called it “Good Things” it’s been easier to just notice even tiny moments of happiness or beauty or peace throughout the day, which has helped with my emotional balance. I can’t make good things happen — I can’t make my employer give me a raise, I can’t make other people behave better, I can’t make other people do things to make me happy. But I can notice the good things that already exist, no matter how small they are. I can take care of myself, give myself more opportunities to notice those moments of joy and beauty, do more things to feed my soul. Which leads to my next two priorities…
Mo Peace. Yoga, meditation, and studying dharma have given me so much peace and sense of perspective throughout the last several years. I’ve tended to set too high expectations for myself though — 30 minutes of yoga AND 60 minutes of meditation AND studying dharma EVERY DAY. Yeah … uh, not gonna happen. But if I can squeeze in 5 or 10 minutes of yogic stretching, or 15 minutes of meditation, or part of a dharma talk, even just one of those three things. That, I can do.
Mo Creativity. This has been the hardest thing to put at the bottom of my list. I identify as a creative, and often feel like if writing isn’t my number one priority then I’m a failure. Nope. Great big stinking heaps of Nope. If all I can manage is a doodle on my Good Things list, that’s good. If all I can do is fifteen minutes of writing, fine. If I can’t, well, that’s fine too. I refuse to beat myself up if I can’t. So as much as I want to spend more time on my creativity, this is going dead last on my list. And for once, I’m okay with this. It’s still a priority.
If I can make a daily practice of running everything I do through my list of priorities, and avoid anything that doesn’t make the list, this year will be a success. In reality, I know I’m not that disciplined. But when life becomes overwhelming, having this list to fall back on will be helpful, and I can adjust it if needed.