Setting Your Priorities Straight: How to Always Keep Your End Goal in Mind 38

setting priorities straight

We do many things every day.

Some of them get us closer to our goals, and are connected to what’s most meaningful in our life.

Others – to which we dedicate much more time than we should – are activities that distract us from what’s really important, that make us feel good in the short term but actually worsen our life.

Every morning I go to the kitchen to have breakfast. And most of the times I’m dying to choose biscuits over eggs (which I’m trying to make a permanent choice for breakfast). And sometimes I do. But it doesn’t end there.

For the rest of the day I’m just thinking of the next unhealthy thing I’ll put in my body. Not to mention how bad I feel, how bloated my stomach gets and to what extent I realize that tomorrow I’m going to regret it.

But in the days that I actually choose the healthy option – the one that will help me get fit over time, improve my health, repair my taste buds (as all the junk we eat messes with them) – I feel great.

Yes, I will be challenged again at lunch, or any other time I enter the kitchen. So I can still ruin my daily diet.
But working on one change at a time and making your first meal a healthy one, will have a huge impact on so many areas of your life after some time.

So how do you make yourself go for the eggs? What is it that makes you have some limits, resist temptations and think long term?

Setting your priorities straight

It means knowing what you want in life, having your goals and dreams in mind all the time.
Constantly reminding yourself of them and realizing that what the chocolate you’ve been thinking of for the last few hours will give you is instant pleasure that will last for a short time. So it’s not worth it at all and will only make you more miserable.

It’s all in your head.

Making changes in your environment so that you can start doing only the right things doesn’t really help.
Yes, getting rid of the junk food at home will make it easier. But you’ll still have to resist the temptation to buy something when you go out, or else.

Know deep inside that every little choice you make throughout the day shapes your future, you as a person and how you feel about yourself.
Try to really grasp how important it is to stay true to your beliefs in the face of momentous pleasures.

I’m not talking about self-control and willpower here. I’m not trying to tell you to lie to yourself so that you can resist urges.
These play a role too, sure. They may be easier for you. But they are all things you can use up that make you feel emptier after that.

What I want to say with this post is that a strong conviction is what creates the outcome of your actions.

If when opening the fridge you can see both the eggs and the junk food that looks incredibly delicious, you immediately think of how important your health is, how good you may look in the summer, how proud and fresh you’ll feel later in the day, you’ve won the battle even before eating the meal.

It means that your priority in this situation is health, being fit and feeling great in your skin.

And you know that you have many other habits and do a lot of stuff in one day, but this time you divide them into two categories: things that are good for you (that you need to be doing in order to get closer to what you desire or keep what’s important), and things that are bad.

You’re now completely aware that the eggs are what you want and no outer factor can change that.

I may fail later. I may make the wrong choice in a few hours. But after that I’ll feel bad, will get tired of all that and will remind myself of my priorities again.

Until then, I know I’m on the right track.

So what’s most important to you?
And what sacrifices are you willing to make today?

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4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Mental Health 28

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Your Mental Health

While most people pay the most attention to their physical health and work hard to achieve a healthy body, they often overlook the potential mental health issues that may have been well tucked away.

Understanding and paying sufficient attention to your mental health issues is an action that should be prioritized in every situation. What could seem like the simplest mental health problem to you might actually be affecting your life in more ways that you can imagine.

Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t ignore the signs.

1. It Is Way More Common Than You Believe.

You might think that mental illness is not present in many situations but the truth is that almost everyone has or is facing such an issue.

In fact, one in five Americans suffers from some type of mental illness. The saddest part about this though, is that very few of them seek treatment.

The person affected by the illness can even be one of your family members. Sadly, symptoms are easy to hide and even people who are severely depressed can mask their health issues from their families and avoid getting help.

2. It Can Also Affect Your Physical Health.

How to Green up Your Morning Routine

It is known from a long time ago that the connection between the mind and the body is strong. Any sort of physical distress can have a huge effect on your capability to work or focus on things around you. Following this same rule, any sort of mental problem can easily affect your physical health too.

The first few things that a mental illness will affect are your mood, energy levels, sleep cycles, appetite and quite possibly your sex drive. Along with these problems and as a result of them, your immune system can also be affected and that can lead to more often colds and an overall impairment of your physical health.

People who face mental illnesses are often left unmotivated and drained of energy.

The illness blurs your mind so much that you have no energy left to function properly in your everyday life. Ask any person that has faced a major depression and they will tell you just how much they let themselves go and how they stopped caring about simple everyday things, such as brushing their teeth or taking a shower.

Physical symptoms won’t take long to appear and you will simply keep increasing your risk factor of a number of health problems such as heart disease or heart palpitations, insomnia and fatigue. It is very important that you ask for help if you feel such symptoms arising. Make sure that you consult a board-certified practitioner to be certain that a mental problem is not the cause of them.   

3. It Plays an Important Role in Your Success.

One of the most frequent symptoms of a mental illness is the lack of motivation. You just feel so tired of everything, you find that you are not interested in what others are doing and you just end up losing interest in things you used to love.

The lack of mental health can, therefore, play a huge role in your success. No matter if you are a college student, an employee or a working parent, you can easily lose sense of what’s important to you and hinder your success in whatever role you might have.

In whichever situation you might be, you will definitely need to be able to be creative and productive. Your success in your studies or your workplace might be your only source of stability and income.

An untreated mental illness can be the reason behind your reduced productivity, your lack of creativity and your overall negative attitude towards your work.

Keep in mind that a large number of homeless people are those who are suffering from a mental illness but sadly left it untreated.

Looking for help and letting the mental health professionals guide you can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. It can help you see things from a different perspective and give you the courage and motivation you need to get back on track and find yourself again.

4. It Can Affect Your Relationship with Your Peers.

Most people who face a mental illness find themselves intimidated by social situations. Even spending time with friends or family can seem like a very tiring or pointless task and they will often opt out of it. It is important to remember that this does not apply only to depressed people, as many might think, but to a large area of mental issues.

Anxiety disorders can alienate a person from their circle because of the constant fear of something going wrong, of someone not liking them or of an overall new situation. It is very common for the solution to your mental health issue to be holding the key to you getting back your behavioral health.

Mental illness can also affect your relationship with your family.

Apart from losing contact with people you probably care about, you might even end up harming them more than you think. It is not rare to see a person struggle both financially but also emotionally when it comes to helping family members that are battling mental illness.

Another very important reason to not take your mental health lightly is for the sake of your children. It is very often reported that children of people who struggle with a mental illness are abused or neglected. That can play a huge role in their lives and affect their entire lives, from childhood to adulthood.

Make Your Mental Health an Everyday Goal!

There are many places to turn to for help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, otherwise known as NAMI, can be a great place to start. Through it, you can find a suitable medical center that will provide you with the suitable health services to help you regain your mental health.

It is important that you are not ashamed of your personal struggles or mental issues. Everything is part of the human nature and the fact that there are so many people available to help comes to show just how human this situation is and how much attention we, as a society, should be paying to this important issue.

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Leona Henryson is a professional writer and passionate blogger. Her goal is to help people achieve their personal self-development and mental wellness.