I used to feel like I didn’t have time to do the things I want to do, like going to the gym, reading or meditating, but I have learnt that it isn’t time I didn’t have, it is that my priorities weren’t in order. I was working long hours in London, stressing about work, constantly catching up with friends and drinking and eating quite a lot. I’d meet up with a friend for dinner and catching upm then booking them in for another catch up 2 months later when we were both next free. The conversations would be de briefs on what we had done for the 2 months since we had last hung out rather than real, present, natural conversations.
Since moving to Australia I have been able to redefine my priorities and how I spend my time. What am I interested in and who do I want to hang out with? As a relaxed person I’ve often ended up just doing what my friends or family wanted over the years without really thinking about it.
Here are some of my life priorities at the moment;
I try not to do much during the week and go to the gym most nights, usually HIIT workout classes. I know and can feel that it is great for me mentally and physically and I actually really enjoy it (when I am there). You literally show up and the classes are organised for you so making yourself get there is the hardest part and it usually ends up being fun.
I have actually met a lot of my friends since moving here at the gym. Going to the gym and then for brunch and coffee is pretty much my ideal Saturday. I’ve realised that I would rather watch a film or go for dinner on a Friday and get up and go to the gym and have brunch on Saturday over having lots of drinks and socialising in a big group and being hungover. Having always been very sociable and a bit of a yes women it has taken a while for me to admit this to myself and to those around me when I am asked out for drinks and don’t really want to go. Getting the balance is an ongoing navigation and having the faith in what works for me over feelings of what I should do or might miss out on.
Another priority for me is getting outside walking and hiking. Again because of how it makes me feel mentally and physically and I really enjoy it, especially exploring new areas. I try and walk for at least 30 minutes at lunch time at work (listening to a podcast) and at the weekend keep a bit of time free for a walk (and coffee) with a friend or book up a few outdoorsy activities with other friends who have similar priorities e.g. I am going bouldering on Sunday for the first time ah! I’ve noticed my friends that go out drinking a lot don’t want to commit to a hike, as for them boozing the night before is still the priority, so the friends I have made at the gym are perfect hike buddies as we have similar priorities.
A priority for me is getting a balance of busyness so having a few social things on but knowing not to over book myself and giving myself most week nights and some time at the weekend to veg out. Even if I am asked to something tempting I am more inclined to say no if it might be too much for me e.g. my flat mate asked me to an LCD Soundsystem concert mid week butttt I was jet lagged and still settling back into Australia so I weighed it up and ended up saying no. I like that band but I’m not a die hard fan. I had a quiet week but no jet lag by the Friday and a fun weekend of gymming, brunching and hiking!
Another priority for me this year will be to travel more and I have already booked in a few mini trips and have started saying yes to those offers from friends.
I also make time in the morning to meditate and journal briefly which I think helps set me up for the day.
And I try and watch only 1 (or 2) episodes of a series in the evening, leaving time to stretch, read or listen to a podcast in bed.
I also try and keep Sunday evenings free so I can do a batch of meal prep for the week ahead (leaving my mid week evenings for the gym). I would like healthy eating to become a priority, which it kinda is but I need to curb my daily chocolate habit… I’ll aim to do this my eating fruit instead and having chocolate at weekends, lets see how I go…