30-Day Challenge - Writing

Day 11: Life Priorities

Today, Mr Andy Milne shared this blog post through twitter. The author, Mr Ryan Stetler has written a beautiful post about Life Priorities and a Health lesson that he shares with his HS students about their life priorities and how they rank them and then asks reflective questions to enable them to really reflect on what they believe in and why; and whether their actions and choices are in alignment with the decisions that they make.

Stetler then goes on to explain that his own health has been poor recently and that this has truly given him a moment to reflect on his life priorities and decisions. I thought that I would follow in his lesson and take the time to do this for myself. I wonder if my MS aged students would glean something from this lesson too – and whether some of the richness of the content comes from having peers in the classroom doing the same thing or if the power of personal reflection transcends that, and so doing it remotely or through eLearning would offer the same benefits from the lesson.

Step 1: Write down the important things in your life – there are four headings and it is okay to group some things together. I have shared mine, in no particular order below.

PeopleMaterial possessionsActivities/ HobbiesGoals to achieve before I’m 49
Husband, ChildrenRunning shoes, training clothesRunningSpend (more) time with my children and husband, outside doing amazing nature things!
My parents, brother and his family, cousinsBike, Bike trainerRiding, SwimmingBe happier with my work
Friends and family – Australia, China, Japan, USARings, WatchWalking Race faster at 70.3
PD mentors SunglassesWriting and listening to musicStay healthy and fit without injury

Step 2: List these things in order of importance. I am not confident that I want to publish this list on my blog, but I did take a good go at it.

Step 3: Stetler asks me to reflect on the following questions:

1. For the people, you identified as “most important,” when was the last time you communicated your appreciation to them?
2. Can you envision a scenario (possibly a “Friday or Saturday night” bad decision) that could negatively affect your relationship with these people?
3. Can you envision another bad decision (perhaps DUI car accident) that might inhibit you from participating in your favourite activity again? Are your goals also at risk?
4. Final thought for contemplation: You identified these items as top priorities in your life right now. Protect them. Foster them. Develop them. Invest your time in them. How much time are you wasting on frivolous activities and selfish people in your life that are in no way connected to your priorities? Surround yourself with genuine, supportive people who want to see you succeed and you can accomplish unimaginable feats.

I have been working hard at sharing my gratefulness and thanks to those who I admire, love and who are so selflessly giving. I think that this is a serverely underated action that is not hard to do nor does it take much time to make happen. I need to be more aware of expressing this more regularly and not waiting for ‘special’ moments in time or for someone to have ‘done’ something to earn it. At this Covid-19 time, I believe we need to be more assertive in sharing our love and gratefulness – both to strangers who are doing amazing service, but also to our loved ones who may be struggling more than usual.

I am very aware that my self-care time can eat into ‘family’ times and my training hours can affect time to spend with my own children, but I believe I am articulate in this, and that I am a better mother, wife and daughter, when I have been for a run and am settled and ready to ‘be’ in the moment with others.

I am very aware that I need to make better decisions around nutrition and looking after my gut and body. I have really worked hard to look after myself so that my actions and movements are offering me the least risk to my health so I can continue to train, move with my family and continue working to support our lives.

The truth is that I need to let go of some of my social media time, I am accutely aware of this and have blogged about it before. I have shut down SM tabs as I work and write and am very aware of my tech habits during meal times and conversations. I think that this is something that I value highly. I have a quote on my office whiteboard – ‘What am I doing now? How does this hold true to my highest values?’ It could so ‘What am I doing now? Why? How does this hold true to my life priorities?’ – I am hoping that what I am doing is in line with that. I don’t have time for anything else. Even a late night that cuts into a morning training session curtails my life goals and the expectations that I set for myself.

Thank you Andy and Ryan for giving me this time to reflect. I hope that you are well and supported Ryan, your students are so very lucky to have you in their lives.

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