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      Focus and peace.

      focus and peace | woman meditating at sunrise | kourtney thomas fitness life coach denver

      Boyfriend and I have this super cute calendar right on our entry wall where we keep track of our schedules for the month. It also has sections for Notes, To Do (usually I just put “HUGS” in here), Coming Up (travel!), and Goals.

      Every month in 2024, I have had a goal to write at least one blog/email per month.

      We’re more than six months through 2024, and I have achieved this goal only three times out of seven.


      I didn’t even write to tell you about my awesome 40th birthday party and my absolutely fabulous Dolly cake!

      Other things that have been in my Goals notes over the course of the year so far:

      • At least 30 minutes per week of CCSM course (This is laughable. I’m about halfway through the course modules and stuck. And! I even cut this down from one hour per week to make it more reasonable for me!)
      • Finish Google PM Certification (This is even more laughable than the cert course above – I even canceled my Coursera subscription.)
      • Totally empty space (Wow, Kourtney.)

      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I realize you don’t care how much I show up in your inbox. You’re not thinking about me.

      But what’s so weird is that I still care about you and this space. I care about showing up. I care about practicing my writing. I care about nurturing this thing I’ve built over 13 years.

      And yet, life gets in the way.

      I’ve always coached that priorities drive your choices, and values drive priorities. You’ll make time for what matters to you. You’ll choose what’s meaningful.

      I wholeheartedly still believe those things to be true. There’s no doubt about it.

      However, living a much closer experience now to many of my clients, I can see while things might be true, they’re still not always possible.

      It’s the classic case of both/and. Yes, and. I know…and…

      Specific example: One of my goals for 2024 was to get a new, more aligned job. Probably not an uncommon goal for a lot of us. I know both of the certifications above will support that goal, which is why I chose them. And…I’m still not making time for them. Still ignoring the goal.

      Why? Why the resistance? 30 minutes a week is nothing. And when I get going, I usually complete two hours in a breeze.

      Well, because days are long and brains are fried. The last thing I want to do after working is do more work that’s related to my work. And my other values and priorities are spending time with Boyfriend, moving my body, engaging in hobbies, sleeping, trying my best to connect with other busy friends. And, other actions move the needle more – if I don’t actually apply for jobs, a certification won’t help. So, I spend the 30 minutes doing that instead.

      Same is true for why I don’t write as much. I think about it often. I create lists of topics and sometimes whole emails or posts in my head, and then I go hiking instead. Or we go do something together. Or I take time to research and plan trips. Or I get lost in my embroidery. Or I simply don’t want to sit in a room on my own for a couple hours when I can be spending time together. Also, still all priorities aligned with my values.

      I’ve been talking to a couple clients and potential clients lately about this as it relates to fitness and food. The story will always be true here too. Of course, we want to take care of ourselves. Of course, we want to make time for it.

      Of course, we will always have competing priorities.

      The thing I’m learning this year is that we have to learn to hold those competing priorities, and to let go of them.

      Understand that they exist – we value multiple things, and always will – and also understand it’s likely we won’t be able to touch all our goals, choose all our priorities, at any given time, no matter how much they mean to us.

      Offer ourselves self-compassion. Give ourselves the gift of focus and peace. Release some of our own pressure and expectations. Give it a rest.

      So, if I’m focused on this new job situation (super close to some news here, thank goodness), and on a new fitness program, and on camping more – guess what? I’m probably going to be sending out fewer emails. I might not even put it on the calendar for next month. I don’t need to stare at that perpetually-not-crossed-off item and feel shitty about it.

      Just like you don’t need to keep “lose 10 pounds” or “work out more” or “read 30 minutes a day” or “journal every day before work” or whatever other nagging “goal” on your list. You can just take it off, for now.

      I’m not saying just pick one thing, as I realize that might not feel good either. I picked three. But I am saying really zero in on what matters today, and what you can comfortably incorporate with focus and peace, today. Don’t run up the list, just because, and set yourself up to feel crappy. And don’t forget that life isn’t always about more goals and more accomplishments.

      Find the space to reflect on all your competing priorities. Take a breath and take a step back. Look at the whole picture of who you are, who you want to be, what your life looks like, today. Recognize life will have seasons, and you will need patience and trust to get through them.

      And then, remember that you can trust yourself. More than anyone else in the world, you can trust yourself.

      When the time is right, when the priority comes up and matters most, you’ll choose it.

      In the meantime, let it go. Choose your focus. And choose your peace.

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