One of the biggest differences I see in people who are undergoing a conscious period of personal growth is that the "overwhelm" and frenzy that characterises everyday life starts to recede very quickly. They start feeling like they have more time, not less, because they get super-conscious about what they choose to fill their day with, and what they will no longer tolerate.

Unhappy people generally suck at prioritising. Their time gets dragged and pulled in a dozen different directions and they reach the end of each day feeling frazzled, that they have been constantly rushing from one thing to the next, but that they have achieved little of consequence.

This is because unhappier people spend time on what's immediately in front of them not what they have consciously decided is most important to their life. Their time will get sucked in different directions depending on what or who in their life is shouting the loudest at that moment. By losing sight of their true priorities in the tsunami of life - stuff to get done, overwhelm is guaranteed.

Happy people know that the choices you make consistently reveal your true priorities. Your priorities are not what they say they are, they are what you consistently do and choose in favour of. Your priorities are not something you say, they are something you live.

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Identifying our true priorities is really important. Only when we step back and consciously do that, can we make better choices in the moment that will lead us towards them. Getting clear on your true priorities cuts through the clutter and noise like a knife through butter and we can make the most purposeful choice in the moment and avoid being sucked into other people's stuff (and it usually is other people's stuff).

You need six priorities for the next year - three personal, three professional. If you haven't already, list them now. It's a valuable use of your time to get clear on these priorities. Living in a healthy, fit body. Spending quality time with the family. Being promoted. Gaining a new qualification. Renovating the house. Conceiving. Winning an award. Learning a new sport. Playing a musical instrument. Deepening your marriage. Travelling to South America. Running a marathon. Whatever it might be, figure it out.

Then choose in favour of those priorities. Consistently. Rationally. Ask, with every choice that comes up, whether it moves you in the direction of one of those six things. If so, it's a no brainer "yes" choice. If it doesn't - well it's automatically seventh, or less important to you. That's a lot easier to say no to. Fill your life with purposeful choices that move you in the direction of what you want.

Happy people know overwhelm is a choice. And a poor choice at that. So they choose not to make it with rigorous, consistent and guilt-free prioritisation that frees their mind and their time.