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Brooke Castillo

Video: Priorities

Join in as Brooke Castillo from The Life Coach School talks about priorities and why we make the choices that we make.  Explore what your current priorities are and why they are different from what you want your priorities to be.

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Episode Transcript:

Hi, it's Brooke Castillo from the life coach school, and in this video I'm going to talk to you about priorities. One of the most common things your clients will come to you, and maybe even you will have is this idea that there's not enough time. One thing that I hear over and over and over again in my practice is, "I'm not going to have enough time to do that, I don't have time to make this happen," and that is one of those excuses, one of those ideas that has very little substance behind it when you actually take a look at it.

One of the first things that I like to do with clients is have them keep a time journal and write down everything they're actually doing with their day. This is actually a really powerful thing for anybody to do, because most of us have an idea, a story about what we do every day, and then there's the reality of what we do every day. Usually those two things are very different.

Once you have what I call that "time journal" for at least one day, you can do it for an entire week to get a really full snapshot of your life, and the more detailed that can be, the better.

The next exercise that we have you do is write down what your priorities are. Whenever I ask anyone to do this they always come back with this question. They'll say, "Well do you want me to tell you my priorities the way they are, or do you want me to tell you my priorities the way I wish they were." That's a really important distinction.

What I have my clients do is write down what are their priorities the way that they are right now, and then how would they like their priorities to be. This is a really revealing exercise for people because they have the reality of what their day is, then they have what they think their priorities are, and then they have what they want them to be. I will tell you all three of those lists never match up.

The reality of our day, the story of what we think is important to us, and the story of what we want to be important, usually doesn't match up. The first thing that we do is we look at why? Remember that. That's our most important question. Why is the day, why is the week looking the way it is? Why are we making the choices that we're making, and why are our current priorities lined up the way they are. Why is that different than what we want our priorities to be?

That right there, that could be like a month long worth of work for a client. If you look at what they want their priorities to be, and most people will say to me, "My number one priority I really want to be my health. I really want to start taking better care of myself," and then when you look at how they're spending their day, there's nothing there, and they want that to be their number one priority. That's pretty powerful.

The second thing most people say that they want is either their relationship with God or spirituality, or their relationship with their family. When you look at the amount of time that they're spending on their relationship with God and their spirituality, it's usually non-existent. When you look at how they're spending their relationship with their family, it's all be default. It goes on and on. Career, how they're spending time taking care of their physical body, how they're spending time contributing to their community, creating a legacy, spending time with their kids, whatever they want their priorities to be versus what's going on in their life. That is so powerful because what that means is they're letting their life happen to them instead of creating it based on this map of their priorities.

Once you understand the why, it's very tempting to all of a sudden organize the client's life, right, and to say okay, you need to start living according to your priorities, but don't be in a hurry to do that. You want to first understand why is it the way it is now. What are the thoughts, the religion, the belief system underneath that that's causing the person to live their life this way. How can we then look at why we want it to be different? Why do we want our priorities to be different?

Once you understand the underlying causes for both of those, then you can start making those shifts. I recommend that you do that shift from that place of being really consciously aware of the thinking behind it. Don't try and take a bunch of action steps there. In the beginning we just want to change the thought processes that are driving the feelings and the action, and then from there we can take action from that space.

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