Many years ago someone told me to write my priorities down and then rank them from most important on down. I thought I knew what my priorities were well enough, but did so anyway. I think I really did know them, but writing them down and then putting them in order not only helped me see what was really important then, but has influenced how I make decisions and why, ever since then.
Our priorities should govern our lives and everything we do. We can set new priorities as we progress, so they aren’t set in stone, but there are some that shouldn’t be negotiable. When we have good priorities, it helps us to set better goals, better boundaries, and to achieve more conscientiously in our lives. I love to exercise, and eat healthy. When people ask me why I look like I do, I start talking about exercising and eating right, and they quickly stop me and say, you just must be blessed to be fit. Actually no, it is a priority in my life to be healthy, and so I take the steps to be so. Sometimes people set priorities and then feel like they are restrictions on themselves, I notice especially in the fitness department. Eating less food, or exercising everyday is viewed as an inconvenience, or as a punishment. Priorities aren’t punishment, rather, a means to an end.
I will share with you several of my priorities and why they are what they are, and where they are in my ordered list. Your list will look different than mine, but I want you to really think about what is important, why, and how you are going to get to where you want to be. It takes effort, but disciplining yourself will help to make you who you desire to become, but doing nothing about what you want will keep you where you are.
First priority: My relationship with my Heavenly Father, and as appendages to that, with my Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. These relationships are the most important thing in my life, because I want to go back to live with them, and that responsibility lies solely with me and no one else, so it is totally up to me to maintain that relationship. No one else can do it for me. What do I do to work on that, it’s actually pretty simple, pray, lots of prayer. I pray all the time. Sometimes formally, but mostly in my mind. Read my scriptures daily, usually takes about 30 minutes. And lastly, try to emulate my Savior in all I do. I fail often, but I have made progress. Progress is what it’s about, not perfection right now.
Second Priority: My family, first my relationship with my husband, second my kids. These are the most important relationships I have on earth, and I want to get back to my Heavenly Father with them, but it takes all of us working individually to do that. What do I do to work on this priority? My husband and I try to go on a date at least once a week. Sometimes it’s dinner at home without the kids, sometimes at a restaurant, sometimes its a trip to watch one of our kids play sports, but we get the drive together and hotel room alone. Sometimes it’s going with him to get materials for his job, that happens a lot of the time. I also try to listen to what he’s interested in so I can ask intelligent questions, and actually understand what he’s doing. I spend time at his job sight helping, and usually get to clean it up regularly. Today, I am typing in the truck as we drive to look at a job. My kids learn, or hopefully learned they were a priority as I spend hundreds of hours volunteering at their elementary school in various capacities. Making their education a priority all the way through, even though it meant schools twice as far away as the normal schools because of the opportunities. Hiking and biking in the summer. If they have a hike they want to do, or a place they wanted to visit, we try to get there. Playing games on a regular basis, and teaching my kids about Jesus, so they can make good choices. Participating in the activities they want to participate in and finding the money to do so, even when it’s tight.
The next few priorities aren’t in a particular order as they all are of equal importance to me.
Being healthy. We all have genetic predispositions to things. Those things might kill us in the end, but, I always tell my kids, I want my genetics to kill me, not my lack of taking care of myself. I want to postpone all the genetic problems I might have for as long as possible. What do I do about it? I exercise 6 days a week (Sunday is a day of rest). I strive to make healthy choices in what I eat. This one is harder as I love food. But for the mot part we eat pretty healthy.
My Church. Going to Church is important to me as it makes my week go better. Also, we always have a job, and making sure I do my job is really important as well. What do I do? Well, obviously go to church, but I also do my calling, which right now is an early morning seminary teacher. That happens at 6:30 am Monday through Thursday. I am grateful I team teach with a friend. We enjoy the kids, and it has been one of my favorite callings. I also help out when I see a need or am asked to help with other activities or meals, etc, and check on several other people in my area regularly to make sure they are doing well.
My business. This is important, not only to me, but hopefully someday, it will benefit our families income. I enjoy art, I enjoy sharing my art. I also have enjoyed my blog, learning about new products, and sharing my interests with others. I am still trying to figure out a lot of how to move forward, but I am enjoying the journey for the most part, and love it when I get feed back from people, whether it’s suggests on a new product, something I could do better, or just people enjoying what I do, it helps motivate me to continue.
Everything else comes after these few priorities. You don’t need to have a ton, but you do need to know what you want in life, and how you want to get there. A lot of my goals stem from what is important to me, or new things I want to learn about that may some day become new priorities. Priorities can help to guide your life, make decisions easier, and give you a reason why you do things they way you do. Priorities and goals go hand in hand. If anyone ever asks you why, be enthusiastic about it and share, you never know who might need ideas or help getting started. If someone thinks what you want in life is dumb, ignore them. It’s not their journey. And when someone tells you their goals, encourage them, help them if you can, everyone needs a cheerleader once in a while. Whatever you do, go write them down so you know exactly what they are. I would love to hear some of your priorities and how you make them priorities in your life.