You should have had an opportunity to complete the time tracking exercise for at least a week now. If you missed that post, take some time to go back and review it here.
Once you have spent some time writing down your weekly activities, begin looking for daily patterns. Do you find that you have about the same habits each day, throughout the course of a "normal" week?
? If everything doesn't fall into one of the Faith, Family, Fitness, Finance areas, is there another category that you could create that fits better with your life and priorities?
Review the information that you have collected at this point. Are there any surprises in how you spend your time? Does the breakdown look as you had expected it to look? If not, why not? Sometimes we have trouble seeing things that absorb our time until we start tracking them. (This is also why tracking your food for just a week can be so revealing about how you are really eating).
You should now have enough information on the amount of time you spent on each of the 4 F categories to rank them, from 1 to 4. Number 1 will be the category that consumes most of your time. Number 4 will be the least. If you aren't comfortable about how these rankings look, now is the time to begin working on making changes in your life.
Take some time, 15-30 minutes, to think about what your priorities in life are.
Take 15-30 minutes of quiet time to think about what you really would like your life to look like, if you had an opportunity to plan it out, based on your priorities. Given the chance, how would you rank each of the categories, based on priority; Faith, Family, Fitness, Finance. Think about times that you have had to make decisions that were difficult, even when you thought they were the proper decisions for your life. Did that decision involve choosing one of these categories over another? Deep down, we usually know how we want to live but feel obligated to conform to the regular pressures of society. If you are out of alignment with the way you want to be living, you most likely have a burning feeling in your stomach that is trying to tell you such, if you will just take the time to listen to it.
This exercise might take a couple of attempts. It might be something that you have to think about for a couple of days. Taking some time to quiet your mind and deliberately think about what priorities you want to create for your life is the starting point for making changes.
You should now have two lists. The first list is the 1-4 ranking from your time tracking exercise. This represents how you are actually spending your time. The second list is a different ranking of the same four categories that represents your priorities in life. If the two lists are in different orders (and they most likely are) it means it is time to start making meaningful changes to your habits and routines that will move you from living a life that drives you to a life of meaning and purpose based on your priorities.
Keep this list close. It will be the guiding principles for your decisions going forward. We will be referring back to it often. Finding your true self will require living by the principles that you establish as your list of priorities.
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