In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert paraphrases a famous quote by Richard Bach when she writes, "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them". That saying is now on a sticky note at my desk and a reminder to reflect on the excuses I make for myself. Often I find that my limitations are a direct product of something else I have made an unhealthy, unreasonable, or suboptimal priority.
We may be prioritizing the novelty or simplicity of grabbing a coffee to go in the morning over future savings. We may be prioritizing our need to stay updated or feed that impulse to check our phones instead of using them for communication to our close ties. We may be prioritizing time spent watching television over time spent exercising or engaging in alternative forms of healthy self-care. Don't worry - the view isn't too high from my horse right now as I have done all of the above. And it's not even something to fault for. But I think we could (myself included) take better ownership of the fact that what we do have time for in our busy lives are the things we are making (consciously or subconsciously) a priority.
Throughout your next week, when completing different actions or making decisions, check in with yourself to realistically ask, "what am I making a priority right now?". Then reflect on whether or not that priority is in line with your overall goals for wellbeing. There may be times in our lives where under the circumstances we are doing the best we can, even if it means some of our more optimal priorities have to take a backseat. But the awareness of this is what puts us back in control. Can we be kind to ourselves when we can't fully live up to our optimal priorities, but then challenge ourselves to do better at a time when we have the capacity to do so?
I don't know many people, of any age, who feel like they are well rested or getting the most out of their sleep at night. And fixes may not be that simple especially if health conditions are involved. Some priorities like kids, caregiving, or working an extra job are non-negotiables. But if we feel limited by fatigue yet stayed up late watching television, then we prioritized watching that show over our own sleep. If we continue to feel unrested but do not change behaviors or seek professional help then we are prioritizing comfort in the status quo over challenging ourselves to try new solutions. Again, no one is saying whether it's right or it's wrong...but let's own it. It may require some extra effort to address, but something we struggle with, like lack of quality sleep, may not be so out of our control.
The HCC, Work/Life and RFC have teamed up to create the #sassleeptransformation a two week online sleep intervention program. I plan to sign up and I hope that you do too. Maybe it's time that for a few weeks, we place getting our best night's sleep as a priority. Let's avoid that latte, cocktail, or juice a few days to save up for the $10 registration fee. Find out more by clicking here.