The resource that limits us all the same is time. We only have so much available time to do the things we want to do and we must do.
In today’s multi-faceted lives, there are many demands for our time: work, career, family, and all the necessities of life. So often, it is only the time that is left over that we allow for the activities that make us feel most alive and fulfilled.
It can feel as though there is so much we should do, so much we want to do, but the time to do all of these things just slips through our fingers.
This longing to have more time is something I hear often from riders, and a feeling I am very familiar with as well.
I believe we can acknowledge the limited resource of time and make conscious choices about how to spend our time, freeing ourselves from the frustration of “never enough.”
Many people are familiar with the concept of priorities, but very few people take the time to fully apply this concept in their own lives.
When we become clear about what matters most now, we can give it the time it deserves, and allow ourselves a reprieve from wishing everything could happen now. Life is always shifting and changing, and we can rest with knowing that we can make the decision to change our priorities in the future.
Priorities matter to riders whether or not riding is a top priority for you and being clear on your priorities makes the daily decisions of how to spend your time easier.
Here is an example, if you decide that riding and time with your horse is a higher priority than a clean house, when Friday afternoon comes around and you have a choice between tidying your home for the weekend or heading to the barn, the decision to grab your keys and go see your horse becomes the easy one.
On the contrary, perhaps you know that having a clean and tidy home lowers your stress and is very important for you, then the same decision is again made easier. You grab the duster and mop and only go to the barn if there is time left over.
When someone consciously chooses their priorities, there is not a wrong choice. What matters more to one person is not right or wrong, it is simply their choice.
When priorities are not chosen, and decisions are made on the whim of the moment, then regret often sets in. For example, spending an extra three hours on the job doing busy work and then getting home too late for barn or family time. Or cancelling a lesson to go to a meeting for a volunteer event committee that you care nothing about but for some reason volunteered for anyway.
If work or the volunteer event were high priorities these choices would be satisfying and aligned. But with no priorities in place, decisions like these are often made by pressure from others (volunteer event) or simple ease and inertia (easier to stay at work doing random tasks than go riding, which may require more physical and mental challenge).
So how do you choose your priorities? We will go through a simple exercise to get started. First take out a piece of paper and write down everything you are currently doing or want to do in life. This list may include things such as: career, fitness, spend time with kids, learning photography, working in the garden, volunteering at animal shelter, applying to schools for further education…
Take the time to write down as many things that come to mind for you. When you have your list, go back through and pick the top 5 activities that matter the most to you now. Rank them 1-5, most to least important.
Each time you have a decision about how to spend your time, think about the options and ask yourself – “which of these supports my highest priorities?”
Know that you can come back to this list and revise your priorities as often as you wish, and they will naturally shift as life changes.
Being clear on what matters most to you now will make decisions easier and free you from the frustration of feeling as though everything must be done at once.
Watch the video below for ideas on how to decide if riding is a top priority for you right now.
After the video, leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
See you in the comments,