How Are You Investing Your Time and Energy?

William Morrissey |

What would you say your top five priorities are? Most people say family, friends, faith, or health. But the real question is, are you prioritizing your time to reflect those priorities?

How you invest your time and energy more than likely shows what your top priorities actually are, not necessarily what they should be. Even though this may not directly tie to your finances, it can have a significant impact on your health and mindset, which can snowball into making poor financial decisions or potentially impact your long-term healthcare needs.

Most of us know what our priorities are expected to be or what we want them to be, but our behavior tells a different story. We know what’s good for us, but we don’t necessarily invest our time and energy into what’s good for us.

This isn’t about putting yourself down or feeling bad about how you spend your time, but it is about recognizing what you say versus what you do so you can adjust and make choices aligned with what really matters to you.

You might say family is a top priority for you, but the truth is you choose to play tennis with your friends when your spouse and kids have been asking for more quality time together. You might say your friends are a priority, but the truth is you’ve been promising to catch up for so long that you no longer know anything about what’s going on in their lives. You might say your faith is a priority, but the truth is you only lean on your faith during times of crisis. You may say health is a priority, but the truth is you skip the veggies and workouts in favor of junk food and the snooze button most days.

A priority is something on which you place a higher degree of importance than all other things. Something is only a true priority if it takes precedence over everything else in your life in a tangible way. It’s when you lose sight of this that you begin to feel uneasy or unsatisfied. You stray further from your goals and wonder why you don’t feel good about your life's direction. 

Your friends would not be considered a priority if you don't make time to see them. Your faith might be important to you in theory, but if you allow other things to get in the way of that time, it isn't something you are prioritizing. Are your finances really a priority if you are not making solid moves to protect your financial future and are spending frivolously? 

Summarizing the Greek philosopher Aristotle, Will Durant stated, “We are what we repeatedly do.” To be someone who prioritizes something, we have to invest in the things we regard as important — with our time and energy. We have to show up, make an effort, and take action, again and again. Our priorities deserve our attention, our devotion, and our best efforts. Only then will we accomplish our desires and live the life we want.  

We created an exercise for you to mindfully reflect on your priorities, future goals, and what makes you feel good. Click here to download your exercise. And while we are on the topic of prioritization, we would also like to share some helpful tips on managing your time. You can find this blog at

Sound Financial Planning, Inc., (SFP) offers client-centered, fee-only financial planning services, and investment advice to individuals, families, and businesses in Northwestern Washington. Learn more at 

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