priorityLife can feel overwhelming at times — that’s a fact. And when you are feeling over-the-top, it’s not uncommon to focus all of your time and energy on what’s going on around you, leaving your own needs unattended and your personal goals laying by the wayside. That’s how you end up paying your bills late, eating fast food instead of cooking a healthy meal at home, or finding yourself stuck in the same unfulfilling job year-after-year. It’s important — critical, in fact — that you make yourself a priority. When you take care of you, that allows you to share a better version of yourself with others.

It’s All About Mindset

If you think of yourself and your needs the same as you would think of your job, there is a higher chance that you will give yourself the attention you need and deserve. Shifting your mindset works because when you think of personal needs with a business mind, your brain categorizes it differently. No longer is it in the “get it done when I can” category, it’s in the “let’s get this done” category.

Here’s a personal example. For a long time, I wanted to write a book. I was working full time, managing the kids, the dogs, and home, in partnership with hubby. It was overwhelming to think of working full time and writing a book. However, when I shifted my writing goals from the personal category to a business category, it made a huge difference in how I approached my work. With a business approach, I carved out the time needed for writing and was able to write my first book while still doing everything else.

3 Tricks for Making Yourself a Priority

  1. When it comes to administration, bill paying, filing, setting appointments, etc., imagine you are the #1 to the CEO of YOU. Whatever the CEO wants, you are not only going to make sure it gets done in perfect time, but you’re going to go above and beyond. After all, you are the #1 for a reason! Of course, you are both CEO and the #1, but because you are only performing one role at a time, you are tricking your brain into switching gears even though the goal hasn’t changed. When you are in the CEO role, your brain is focused on what needs to be achieved. When you are in the #1 role, your brain is on the execution. It’s a mind game that works!
  2. Development of employees is key to any company that wants to stay competitive; and the same is true for you. You must continue to learn and develop your skills to stay competitive and self-sufficient. In organizations, employees have development plans. Why should that be any different in your personal life? It shouldn’t! Consider the areas where development could most benefit you, and then set up a training plan to ensure you make the time to get what you need. While some of your training goals may require an investment, you can find lots of free webinars and courses online. Here are a few courses I took in 2014: a 30-day Kindle publishing course through book coach Kristen Eckstein (paid); a free webinar on marketing on Pinterest (Pixel of Ink); a free Creative Visualization teleconference (Lisa Nichols); and a free, five-week course on digital story-telling ( Whether you are looking for technology development (SEO), social media enhancement (Pinterest), or graphic design tricks (PicMonkey), webinars are plentiful. What’s even better is that they usually only take 45 – 60 minutes, and include a free recording you can keep for future reference. With a development plan and so many self-training options to choose from, you can easily progress your development throughout the year.
  3. Incentives are key! Just as it’s important to reward good employees with a raise or bonus to acknowledge a job well done, it is just as important (if not more) to acknowledge yourself for your achievements. For longer term projects, celebrate milestones along the way. For example, when I’m working on a book, I celebrate the completion of the draft, the revision after I execute my editor’s comments, and again after publication. Since I like champagne, I pop a cork after those milestones are reached. For shorter term projects, celebrate by having lunch or dinner with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or take a weekend trip and spoil yourself.

Personal Reflection

If you were to consider your personal needs and goals more like a business priority, what changes would you make? How would those changes help you live healthier and pursue your lifelong dreams with purpose?

Sheila Callaham is the author of seven books. Her latest publication, The Power of Living Joyfully: Your Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals that Enrich Your Life, is a self-empowerment book to keep readers on the path to achieving their biggest dreams. Available on Amazon for $1.99. Go on, reward yourself. You deserve it! 

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