Setting & Scheduling Your Priorities with Ceri PayneWe all want to spend more time pursuing our priorities, right? We want to do the things that matter most, spend time with our most important people, and make an impact in our own way. But it's easy for life to get in the way and keep us from spending the time we want on our priorities, whether they are health, relationships, work, family, etcetera.

Today we have a wonderful guest on to help us get some clarity on our priorities and how to make more time for them. Ceri Payne is a long-time friend of mine and a life coach focused on helping people set their priorities and schedule the time to pursue them.

In this interview, Ceri and I chat about how she helps her clients discover their priorities, why you can't choose your priorities from a place of fear, and why scheduling your time is such an important piece of this puzzle. Ceri also offers several exercises and tips for deciding what makes it on to your calendar and what can be left behind. This is the perfect episode for kicking off an especially vibrant year!

And, last but not least – it's my birthday this week, and I'd love if you'd leave me a review in Apple Podcasts. Click here to write one!

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why it's so hard for many of us to pursue our priorities.
  • How to start to get clear on your true priorities.
  • Why you should make a list of your top five priorities and compare it with a list of the top five ways you spend your time each day.
  • How to schedule and plan time to pursue your priorities. 
  • How to apply your priorities to your goal-setting and make sure your goals have a strong “why” behind them.
  • Ceri's favorite time-saving tips. 

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 201. We’re talking about priorities. Stay tuned.

Hi, I'm Jen Riday and this podcast is for women who want to slow down, find balance, and love more. You'll learn how to get off that hamster wheel and to make time for yourself without the guilt. How to love yourself and get your sparkle back, and how to create a phenomenal life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast.

Hey, my friends. What’s new with you? It is the second week of January. I can’t believe that. Over the Christmas holiday, we went to my parent’s house and got a new cat; a barn cat from my cousin. And the cat was named Autumn for the first three days, until we learned how to correctly identify cat genitalia, kitten genitalia, and now it is Felix. And Felix is doing well.

Now I’ve been allergic to cats since I was five. And so, Felix is a garage cat. My girls are out in the garage all the time, so my husband said, “Well, if one thing is positive coming from this, it’s that they’re getting a lot of fresh air.” And Felix can go out of the garage and he likes to climb trees. And those of you who love cats, I’m starting to get it, even though I’m allergic.

I was petting him once and I tell you, within an hour, one of my eyes was just watering, watering, watering like crazy. So, I love Felix from afar, just like I love all of you from afar.

But, speaking of love, some of you I’m going to see soon at the Vibrant Happy Women retreat. And speaking of the Vibrant Happy Woman retreat, I was looking through the reviews on iTunes. By the way, we are at almost 500. Thank you for leaving those reviews. And now, let’s take it a little bit further and I’d like to get to 1000.

This happens to be my birthday week and here’s what I was hoping you could give to me; a review on iTunes. And it’s very simple. All you do is go to jenriday.com/itunes and leave your review.

You’ll see when you get there that there’s this place where it says, “Listen on Apple Podcasts.” Click that and then it will take you into the review area and you can leave your review.

Well, while I was there, I saw a review from Kansas Horse Girl and I want to read that on the air. She said, “This podcast has been an inspiration to me. I truly believe we pour out what we fill ourselves with. I went through some rough times this year and Jen really has helped me shift my perspective as I’ve filled my thoughts with what I have learned from her and from her guests. I am signed up for the retreat in January and I can’t wait.” I can’t wait either, Kansas Horse Girl.

I don’t know what your real name is, but I cannot wait to meet you at the retreat. So, everyone else out there, for my birthday, go leave me a review on iTunes. That’s jenriday.com/itunes.

So, on this podcast today, I have a guest, Ceri Payne, who actually used to live in Madison. We reconnected and she is going to be talking to us about priorities. I’ve talked about priorities on the podcast before.

Priorities are a listing or an identification system that helps you know what’s important to you. And many of us learn priorities from our parents. And then, at some point during our 20s, or sometimes even earlier in our teens, we start to identify our own priorities. We start to separate those and often we’ll set up priorities that are different from our parents, and that’s normal.

The really interesting thing is that we can choose our priorities at any time. They don’t have to stick. For example, on the Vibrant Happy Women Club coaching call this week, I was talking to Junu. And she was sharing some of her top three priorities. One of which was certainty.

Well, Junu is contemplating a change in her life and I pointed out to her that she does not need to keep certainty as one of her top priorities. If it doesn’t serve her, if it is not helping her get the outcome or result she wants, then she can put it aside and maybe she makes adventure or excitement a higher priority in her life.

Well, we’re going to be talking all about priorities in this episode with Ceri. Priorities are really important because they help you make decisions about what’s important to you. They help you know how to use your time as well.

Well, I am so excited to talk more about priorities with our guest, Ceri Payne, so let’s go ahead and jump into this interview.

Jen: Hey, everyone. Our guest today is Ceri Payne and she’s a mom to three teenage daughters, wife to a very busy man that has moved her all over the country, living in 18 homes in 16 years. That is insane, Ceri. She has a Master’s degree in education and teaches special education. And it was a big part of her life up until this past year when she left the classroom to pursue her life coaching career full time. She is a certified life coach and works with women to organize and streamline their schedules, goals, and mind, teaching them to use their time with intention and purpose so they can accomplish all they want to achieve without sacrificing health, sleep, or relationships. That is beautiful, and welcome to Vibrant Happy Women, Ceri.

Ceri: Thank you for having me, Jen. I’m really excited about this conversation today.

Jen: I am so happy to talk to you because you used to live in Madison and we were actual in-person friends. And we just reconnected. And I thought, oh my gosh, there’s no one more perfect that Ceri to come talk to us about time and making time for what’s important, so thank you so much for being here.

Ceri: Thank you. I’m excited as well. It’s been fun reconnecting.

Jen: So, Ceri, real quick, 18 homes in 16 years, what is the deal?

Ceri: Yes, I like to tell people my husband has ADHD. But really, he just was – not true… well, totally true. But really, he has just been busy climbing the corporate ladder and just finding new and different, bigger, and better jobs and so we just, as a family, followed him around so he could enjoy his dreams and become an amazing human that he is in his world.

Jen: And so now you’re taking the time – your daughters are getting older – to make for what’s important to you. Tell us about understanding your priorities and then how you’ve made time for that in your life.

Ceri: Yeah, so I don’t know if you want to hear the whole story, but I think just kind of that whole story of us moving around a lot, and so we would start off in new places about every year. And I just started to feel like there was more out there as my kids got bigger and as they got older. And so, I wanted to do more. So, I started getting involved in different kind of community organizations, a little more church service; a lot of different things that I could do. And I just still felt like there was more for me. And so I just – because I had taught prior to having kids, I went back into the classroom and I started teaching again. And even then, I just kind of felt like there’s just more.

And so, the long story short is I then went into life coach certification and I was able to prioritize being a mom and working in the classroom and being able to run a successful life coaching business, and that’s when other coaches and other mompreneurs started to notice that I had time for all of it, and started to want to know my hacks and my tricks and what I was doing. And so that’s kind of where it comes full circle that I just decided that I would start to teach people my mindset of there’s always enough time and enough energy and whatever you need to do everything you want to do, as long as you make it a priority for you.

Jen: I love that. So I’m sure there are a lot of women listening. We’re here in January, starting the new year, and that phrase, there’s always enough time for everything that’s a priority, how do you start people out on discovering those priorities?

Ceri: The first thing I do is just have them identify their priorities. So maybe they can list their top five priorities in life. They just kind of start thinking questions like, what’s important to you? What do you enjoy? What do you want to accomplish? What creates happiness? Some of those questions allow you to understand what your priorities are. Sometimes, you’ll just kind of get them off the tip of your tongue fairly easily; like family, relationships, health, spirituality, organization, whatever they may be. But really, to solidify them is determining the why. So why do you think they are a priority?

Because, if you know the why, then it allows them to then become more of a commitment and ingrained into you. A lot of times, I have clients who will say health is a priority, and then I ask them, “How do you spend your time each day?” And they list, they list the way they spend their time each day and health isn’t anything they do, whatever health looks like to them. Whether it’s intentional movement or eating in a certain way, they are just noticing that it doesn’t line up. And then they start to get kind of frustrated and annoyed that their health is declining or they’re not losing weight. But I allow them to see, they’re not even making it a priority in their life because their actions aren’t showing it. And so that’s why knowing your why is super-important when you’re creating your priorities.

Jen: So let’s say the priorities for someone listening are family, love, health, spirituality, and organization, like you said. What would be some examples of why statements for each of those?

Ceri: So, the one thing I want to always remind people is not to make it out of fear. So whatever it is, lots of times, people are like health, and maybe they have a history of type two diabetes in their family. And so they’re like, “I want to be this healthy way because I don’t want to have that,” and it’s more of a fear-based. And that is not a motivation that is very productive for long. It may help for a minute, you know. Fear is a good thing to have sometimes when your life really is in danger and it really is productive. But long-term, it’s not.

So just making sure that it is a reason that you would want to have it in your life, and then it brings like a positive feeling and good joy. So you want to have family relationships because you enjoy the bond or because you enjoy being around family and that fuels you, so you want to make your relationships great, rather than, “Well it’s going to suck at holidays if I don’t have a good relationship so let’s just make them great.” That’s not good motivation.

Jen: Yeah, “I don’t want to be alone when I die.” Not a good reason…

Ceri: Yeah, those kinds of things, like, “So I have someone to take care of me.” That’s all, like, fear-based. Spirituality, same thing, like, “I don’t want to go to hell,” or whatever we may think, rather than, “I would rather have the positive of that spirituality so I can know who my savior is or who my god is,” or whatever you’re calling them. But it’s not because you’re scared or fearful of not doing it. It’s because you want to do it because you want the results of the good feelings that come from having those as your priorities.

Jen: So, when you know the why behind your priority, it makes you more motivated to go for it then?

Ceri: Yeah, absolutely. It helps you stay more committed because if you are knowing your why, like why you really want it – and sometimes it can be a superficial why for a while. Like, I have clients that maybe are working on losing weight, and they just may say that they want to have a hot bikini bod or something like that. If that’s really motivating and driving them, there’s no one saying your why isn’t good enough. But after a while, when they start to get, let’s say, that bikini bod, and they start to feel really good in their clothes and their confident and everything’s happening, it takes a new why sometimes to maybe lose that last 10 or 15 pounds.

Because if they have like maybe 50 pounds to lose, you lose 30 or 40, you’re like, “Man, let’s put on a bikini.” But to get that last, you then really have to sharpen up and tighten up your why. So, your whys can change. They don’t have to, but they can definitely change as you grow and as your priorities and your life roles change sometimes as well.

Jen: That makes sense. So, let’s say we know our top five priorities. How do we look at our lives and decide, A, are we making time for them? And B, how to make time for them?

Ceri: Yeah, so one thing I do with my clients – I kind of touched on this a little bit before — is I have them write down the top five ways they spend their day and then you write down your top five priorities. And what you do is compare these lists together and don’t be shocked, but most of the time, they don’t align. Like I said, sometimes they’ll say spirituality is really important, but then maybe they’re not doing those things every day that they would determine would be the actions to gaining spirituality. Or, like, health is another one.

Very often, since I work with mompreneurs a lot, it’s their business. They want to grow their business, but when they say their top five things they do every day, working on their business or working in their business is not a priority, and then at the end of the day they’re frustrated because their business isn’t growing and they’re realizing, hey, it’s not even a priority on my list. So that’s the first thing I have you do.

And then, when you realize how you’re spending your time and what your priorities are, you try to figure out what you’re allowing in your life that’s not necessarily a priority anymore and what you need to put in your life to really show that it is a priority. And that’s the first step you do in order to even kind of figure out what those actions are to then put on your calendar or to schedule into your life.

Jen: So, drop the things that aren’t a priority and then figure out how to add room for the things that are?

Ceri: Yeah, and just kind of noticing a lot of times, kids are in a lot of sports and the parents are like, “Oh, it’s really important. I want them to be in sports.” And as you say why, and then they’ll answer it, and you’re like, “but why is that important?” Sometimes it will deepen to some big seated thing that kids that don’t play sports aren’t part of a group and a club and they’re not cool, or something weird that maybe was something that they believed as a kid.

And so then it’s like, do your kids really want to play sorts? Do they want to be involved in these activities? And if you really kind of hone into all of that, those activities – and I’m not saying that this has to be what drops off, but sometimes things like that are what drop off is because you were involved in things because they were more fear-based. Like, you thought it had to happen or you thought your kids wanted to.

And when you really have those conversations with yourself and your kids, you’re realizing a lot of the things on your calendar are things that people don’t necessarily give as much weight to you and you can drop those off very naturally, especially if they were fear-based. You know, like, “If my kid isn’t in a sport, they’ll gain weight and be frumpy and never go to college because they won’t be able to have the desire and motivation and commitment to a team.”

And that’s not true, but that’s what we tell ourselves sometimes about things. And so it’s just kind of noticing the whys of why you want you involved in things and why you want your family and why you want your kids involved.

Jen: Yeah, well that reminds me, recently, we had our daughter drop jazz band, which is a great thing to do. However, by her dropping that, we were able to do one of our bigger priorities, which is have a family fun night. And it’s been amazing.

Once in a while, my husband will still say, “You used to be in jazz band. That’s so sad.” And I’ll have to say, “But look, we got to do this and this and this ever since she stopped.” It’s really tricky though to decide which is a bigger priority. How do you help people through that, comparing the priorities?

Ceri: Yeah, so just an example, my daughter, the same kind of thing. She’s an amazing talented singer and she’s a senior this year, and they needed her to be able to take two different choir type classes for the level that she was at. And she just kind of decided, you know what, singing isn’t going to be my passion. I mean, it is her passion, but it’s not going to be a career. It wasn’t something she was going to turn into a college scholarship. And it wasn’t anything she saw herself doing maybe professionally.

And so at that point, she’s like, what can I do? So dropping that, which was a hard decision, very much like your daughter in jazz band, but it allowed her to open up her schedule at the local college. And so, at the end of this year, she will have 24 college credits as a senior in high school, which if you translated that into college scholarships or staying in choir just because of the what-ifs it could provide, like scholarships and stuff like that, obviously the route she went is way better in the priorities that she has for herself, which is to graduate form college and to do it successfully and quickly.

Now, had her priority been to get a college scholarship or to be involved in, like, community programs at a bigger level, then obviously staying in choir could have been a better path for her in that way, or if she enjoyed it. So, she loved choir. It wasn’t like her favorite class. So there wasn’t that enjoyment factor in there as well. So it doesn’t mean that you have to be all career goal oriented and try to get all of these college classes. It would have been fine to stay if she just would have loved it and enjoyed it and being part of it was something that fulfilled her, but it wasn’t. and so for her, dropping it was like, “Let’s go and try something else.”

And that’s what I’ve noticed a lot. And this is something I think is probably important to bring up. When we drop stuff, as women, we sometimes then say, “Oh, well we’re a quitter. We give up. We never follow through.” And I have to work with my clients a lot to allow them to know, your priorities changed. That has nothing to do – same with your daughters – being a quitter of jazz band. It was just like the priorities changed and you see a different path and a different way for you.

And really, as women, we’re sometimes so hard on ourselves when we start something and we, “Don’t finish it…” it’s not that we didn’t finish. It’s just that we have a different direction and a different priority in our life.

Jen: Yeah, saying no to create space for a better yes. That’s how I look at it.

Ceri: Yes, for sure.

Jen: So, a big issue many women face is yeah, they know their priorities, they know what they want to do, but then life happens and there’s all of these shoulds pressing down on us. What kind of a scheduling or a calendaring system do you use or recommend to help with that planning process for everything that needs to happen versus maybe doesn’t need to happen?

Ceri: Right, so again, knowing the priorities and scheduling your time. And then my top suggestion that I have – and this gets a little tongue-tied, but it’s scheduling time to schedule the way you spend your time. So that means take whatever it is, a Saturday, a Sunday, a Monday morning. Have a specific time when you schedule your time, so you don’t just let it go arbitrarily. You’re just knowing, every Monday, 6am, that’s when I schedule time to then schedule the way I want to spend my time.

Because if you set aside time to schedule, whenever that may be, then you plan from your priorities. And those activities that are not a priority, they shouldn’t make it onto the calendar.

Jen: Yeah, that makes sense. So how do you plan for your priorities? Do you write them down and then do you, like, do a brain dump? How do you decide which things make it onto the calendar and which don’t?

Ceri: Well, so maybe a good place to start is, like, what’s one on your calendar currently? So what are some of those things that you feel like are taking a lot of your time, and then analyzing where they’re at, where do they fit in your priorities?

So, for example, to go back to this musical choir thing with my daughter, it could say, where’s that at? And if her priorities are to graduate from high school, to be – she’s also working. I’m just trying to fit in some of these different priorities. Health is an example for her, friendship, and family relationships. So if she’s not hitting any of those, if choir doesn’t contribute to her health, if choir doesn’t contribute to her relationships because maybe her friend group or the people she enjoys aren’t in choir, so then it’s not contributing to her relationships. And if it’s not contributing to her current work, then why would you continue to keep it on your schedule?

And so it might be a good spot for all of us to just kind of see, where are we spending our time this current week, or even this current month, and just noticing, what is that activity doing? Is it hitting those priorities and how?

And sometimes it takes a little bit of creativity. And I don’t mean the creativity to keep things in. But I like to make meals for other people when they need help. And that’s very easily something I could say no to because it doesn’t contribute to my business, it maybe doesn’t create to my family time, it maybe doesn’t create to my spirituality.

But my spirituality is kind of a slash, where it’s spirituality and service. And so if I feel like service is important, then when I’m asked to make a meal or I decide to make a meal for someone, it’s not like something I’m adding on as a should-do, but it’s adding on something I want to do because I feel like service is a priority. But not everyone has to feel that way. And so if you don’t think that providing service in some capacity is necessarily a priority for you at this time, like your service might just be with your little family that you have, then when people ask you to do stuff, there shouldn’t be any shame and guilt around it because you’re like, “I want to stay true to my priorities. That doesn’t really fit in. It’s a no.”

Jen: Yeah, powerful no. I love that. And what about dishes and laundry and all those things that aren’t a priority? How do you make them feel more like a priority since you have to do them anyway?

Ceri: Well, a lot of times, I just try to think of what’s the result? You’re right, there’s not a whole lot of people in this world who like to do dishes and that like to do laundry. I know there are people out there. But it’s more so that I like the result of my kids having clean clothes, or I like the result of having dishes when I need to cook with them.

And so it’s doing it from that result place, of the feeling you’re going to feel when it’s done, rather than the feeling you get when you’re starting. Because if you have a feeling about it – because most of us do when we’re starting those dishes – think about, okay, how’s this going to feel when it’s done? And if it feels great and it feels amazing for you and it just is something you feel complete about getting that task done, you kind of tap into that feeling when you’re doing it to allow you to be like, “Okay, just hurry up and tackle it.” Not everything is fun, but being done is fun. So if you can be done with a task, you can tap into that.

Jen: And it can be an action step toward a bigger priority, like that quality family time or having a place that feels spiritual when the clean clothes are put away and the dishes are put away, you know.

Ceri: Yes, good point.

Jen: Yeah. Okay, so right now is a time for big goal-setting. How do you apply this priority method towards setting goals? How do you do your goals; monthly, weekly, annually? What works for you and how do you stick with them?

Ceri: So a lot of times I like to suggest people – I do this myself – I make them measurable. A lot of times, we forget that there needs to be – we’re like, I’m trying to think of a goal, we’re just like, “I just want to lose weight,” rather than saying, “I want to lose 10 pounds.” I work a lot with like a SMART goal. So you guys can Google that if you’re not familiar. But basically, it’s an acronym that starts, first you want to make them specific and measurable, attainable, and then relevant to your priorities. Lots of times we forget, like, how relevant is that really to my life. And then time-specific, can it be done in allotted time?

And so, when we create our goals, another thing I like to encourage people is to create them with just small wins at a time. Lots of times, we have that go big or go home type of mentality, or we have that all or nothing. And sometimes, it’s just nice to make a goal that you know you can set.

So a lot of times, I start my clients out with making a 30-day goal that is something that’s very simple for them, but also something that challenges them, but something that they want to create. So, let’s just say it might just be drinking eight glasses of water a day, or something of that nature. It’s something that they can easily do and obtain if they want to and if they desire to it, but it’s not necessarily about that goal. It’s the process that they run through to show that they can create goals and keep commitments to themselves. Because we start so many New Year’s resolutions off and I think it’s a ridiculous amount. Like by two weeks, most people aren’t doing it.

And I don’t know the 100% reason why, but the gist is we use that as evidence that we’re not a person that keeps commitments. We’re not a person that can attain a goal. So the best thing you could possibly do is create a goal that you know is important and that you know you can achieve, and then you start to build evidence for being someone that can create goals and achieve them.

Jen: That is so huge because I know when people are trying to lose weight, they will think back to all the diets they failed on and their thoughts are like, “I’m totally not going to be able to do this.” How do you walk people through changing those thoughts and shifting into a thought that might support their goal?

Ceri: Great question. So yeah, I try to show them their thoughts because our actions are what happen because of our thoughts. And then we have a certain thought, it drives a feeling, and then we act. So, for example, what you said, like, they may think losing weight is hard or I’m a failure at losing weight. Even if we’re talking about scheduling, they may say, like, I don’t stick to my schedule or keeping a schedule is too difficult, creating a schedule is hard, I don’t have enough time.

Those are all thoughts that we tell ourselves and our brains just wants to prove our thoughts true. It wants to keep it really nice and equal up there. So if we’re telling it a thought, it wants to go find the evidence for that thought.

So what I try to tell them is create a thought that they can believe now, that they can maybe even work on to have better results as the thought gets really more honed in. But it can just be like, “I’m capable of losing weight.” Or, “I’ve lost weight before.” Or, “I know exactly how to do it because those people that have lost weight, they know how to do it, they just don’t stick with it.” And so you create a thought where you drive the feelings for you that allow you to then have the actions that you want.

So, if you have a thought like, “I know how to do this, I’m capable of doing this,” then it creates a feeling of maybe confidence or excitement or empowerment. And then, when you have those as your feelings, your actions are so much more than when you’re like, “This is too hard, this is impossible, I don’t have time for this.” Then, of course, that creates feelings of defeat already and so then your actions are to possibly give up or not even try.

So I really work on their thoughts to allow them to generate those results they want as if they’ve already happened. And you start living in that was, as a person that’s already lost the weight. Then, how do they make choices? How do they go to a restaurant and be successful? And you just start living as that person.

Jen: Oh, that’s brilliant. I love that. And everyone can drink eight glasses of water a day and everyone can lose five pounds. I’m thinking, it’s much easier than 40, 60, 80 pounds. Then why even start? It’s so huge. That’s really, really smart.

Ceri: And then there’s no harm in saying you want to lose 40 pounds, but then what are your action lines to get there? You don’t have to then go to the gym every single day and only eat 1000 calories, right, and just do all this stuff where it’s all or nothing. It can just be starting with, like, five minutes of intentional activity every day if you don’t do that. Or it can just be like adding a vegetable to every meal.

You can just make small little tiny wins because as you start to make those small wins, you’ll start to see improvement in yourself, in your demeanor, in your body physically, maybe if your goal is to lose weight. And then that is what will perpetuate. It’s kind of like that rock rolling down the hill, and you’ll make better and better and better choices and you start kind of tightening up your thoughts and then you become that person that has eventually lost the 40 pounds, but you started with something very simple.

Jen: Yeah, doable habits and then build each one upon the next one. I like that. Okay, so this has been awesome Ceri. We’ve talked about priorities, we’ve talked about planning time, scheduling time to schedule the way you want to spend your time. We’ve talked about goals. Do you have any time-saving tips you can share with us?

Ceri: Yes, I could probably be here all day teaching you how to save time. It’s one of my favorite things to talk about. But I think my number one time-saving tip is to batch everything. So I batch my cooking, like my dinner, my meal prep. I batch laundry days, content creation in your business, even like errand and shopping days, like doctor’s appointments and errand days, they’re all batched.

So if you constrain to certain days and you do your tasks all in the same day, it actually allows you to save more time. One of my things that, when I tell people about it, I get the most response to is I actually have a hair washing schedule. So as women, sometimes, we spend a lot of time in indecision of should I wash my hair? Can I go one more day? Can I put it up? Can I just add extra dry shampoo?

We spend a lot of brain energy and mental energy on our hair washing schedule. So what I have is just created a schedule that works for me, but it saves me time, it allows me to not have that mental energy about can I go an extra day, can I do this, can I do that with my hair? I know it seems silly, but it really does save a lot of time and it’s based on what I have.

So I like to do it on Sundays and then I have another meeting that’s pretty important on Thursdays, and so I like to have the fresh clean hair on that day. And then all the other days in between, it can just be, you know, an up-do or a lot of dry shampoo and re-curl, or a shake out, or whatever. But just knowing that you have a consistent schedule actually allows you to save time.

Jen: That is smart. That is so smart that you don’t have to think about it.

Ceri: Right, and that’s where batching things – it’s like laundry is Tuesday. When you’re getting it, you collect all the laundry. Like, think about all the times – I know it seems silly, but if you have laundry upstairs, if you did laundry every day, you’re going up and down the stairs all day long. If you did errands, you’re 10 minutes into the errand and then 10 minutes back. But if you did all of your errands on one day, then you’re saving time. But if you did it every day, you’re wasting an hour just driving to an errand, you know, if it’s as close as 10 minutes. So just batching everything saves so much time.

Jen: It’s smart because when you have an errand or an appointment in the middle of your day, it seems to blow the whole day, psychologically. So putting them all in one day has to be so helpful.

Ceri: For sure.

Jen: Yeah, well Ceri, I’ve loved this. I wanted to quickly ask you a few of your favorite things. What is your favorite healthy food or snack?

Ceri: So, full disclosure, I actually don’t snack. I intermittent fast and I eat two meals a day. But something that I think a lot of people may find as a snack that I sometimes have as a meal is, like, a banana with some peanut butter. That’s one of my favorites. Sometimes walnuts with cranberries. Those are some favorite snacks too.

Jen: Your favorite way to exercise?

Ceri: I, because I do like to save time, I like to do like an elliptical or, when it’s warm, I like to walk outside. That allows me to be able to work out and still listen to podcasts or do some voice memos or create content, something of that nature, so I feel like I’m killing two birds with one stone.

Jen: Nice. Favorite way to slow down?

Ceri: That’s a good one. I am one of those fast-paced fast-moving kind of people. As my schedule, though, as it fills up quickly and I start to get a lot on my plate, I notice that I move even quicker. I talk quicker, my moods are quicker. Everything is faster. And so I actually, to slow down, I actually say out loud, “Take a deep breath,” and I’ll slow down. And I remind myself it’s not a race because sometimes we just feel like we have so much to do, we just go fast paced. And a lot of people don’t function that way and are going too fast that they’re making mistakes. And so I just kind of have to remind myself, just slow down, take a deep breath.

Jen: Yeah, that’s great. Favorite way to find balance?

Ceri: I think I touched a lot on that. My favorite way to find balance is to know your priorities and your goals and your targets so at the end of the day you just feel balanced. And what I mean by that is I have a lot of moms that they work really hard and they do lots of things every day, but at the end of the day they’re like, “I didn’t accomplish anything.” And it’s not true, it’s just that they didn’t have a target of what they wanted to accomplish, so it feels aimless.

And so, a lot of times, finding that balance is just in the feeling that you feel about what you’re doing. So it doesn’t mean that you did 20% of this and 20% of this and 20% of this. But it does mean that what you set out to do that day, you spent your time doing it, so at the end of the day you’re like, “Yeah, I did that. I meant to do X, Y, and Z and I got X, Y, and Z accomplished.” That is where you feel your balance, I believe.

Jen: Yeah, I love that. And final question, favorite way to show love?

Ceri: Definitely, hands down, for me, is acts of service.

Jen: And do your family receive love in the same love language, acts of service?

Ceri: Yes and no. I can definitely see where there’s a few of my children prefer it maybe a little bit different way. But I try to then incorporate my acts of service with what they like. So I have one daughter that likes – she’s more like that gift of touch. And so my service to her can be like a backrub because maybe that’s what she would enjoy.

Jen: Yeah, that’s perfect.

Ceri: So it allows her to kind of receive love in her language but allows me to give it in the way that I want to.

Jen: Awesome. Ceri, this has been amazing. We learned so much about priorities and planning and goals. I love it. Thank you so much for being with us today.

Ceri: Thank you for having me. It’s been lots of fun.

So, priorities, I hope that gave you some ideas on how you can identify your priorities and make sure you’re scheduling time to schedule time for what’s important to you, like Ceri said in the interview. Scheduling time to plan, that’s one of the most important things I’ve found that influences not only my productivity, of course, but how I show up for my kids and my husband and myself and my health is really learning to commit to a schedule, to track what is important to me, to track those priorities, and to get the results I want.

And when I’m not getting the results I want, like a scientist, tweaking my thoughts, feelings, actions, to get those new results. And so I want to challenge you to identify your own priorities. And for those of you who are in the Vibrant Happy Women Club, we are doing that in our workbook this week.

We are using the Priority Pinpointer, so you can answer a series of questions that will really help you nail down the things that are truly important to you, and not just the things you think should be important to you. So that’s going to be a lot of fun.

Everyone, don’t forget, it’s my birthday week. Go leave me a review on iTunes. You can do that at jenriday.com/itunes.

I appreciate all of you for listening. Go make your priorities matter and I will see you again next time. Take care.

If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at jenriday.com/join.

 

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