Get your priorities straight

The first exercise helped you discover what values were important to you. This is important to know before we move to the next exercise, so if you didn’t do it, go back and do so now!

Your season of life

In this exercise, we are going to bring this more closely to our day-to-day life. Although we all come from different walks of life, we each have our own set of responsibilities and our own stressors. Some may be new mothers, others may be empty nesters, each in a different season of their lives.

We are going to talk about your priorities and making sure you have them straight. It is important to understand and come to grips with the fact that certain priorities take precedence during certain seasons of our lives. Raising children typically take precedence over most other priorities, so in the midst of that season, your priorities may be limited or at least shifted.

Determining your priorities

One thing that can cause feelings of being overwhelmed and off balance in life is due to the fact that you are not living by your priorities. You may be living on auto-pilot, just doing whatever is thrown at you. Or you may be doing the things you were “supposed” to do, imposed by your family or the culture around you. To gain some control over those overwhelming feelings, and start to regain some balance in your life, you must determine what your priorities are at this point in your life.

Begin to think about some of the activities you are doing in your day. Are you doing it because it is something you chose to do, or is it something that has just become habit? Does it help you get what you are wanting out of life or does it take away from it?

A quick little quiz

Here is a fun little exercise to just get you thinking about the order of your priorities. 

Five things are happening in your house at the same time. In which sequence would you solve them?                                           
1. The telephone is ringing!                                             
2. The baby is crying!                                                   
3. Someone’s knocking or calling you from the front door!                 
4. You hung the clothes out to dry and it is beginning to rain!           
5. You left the tap on in the kitchen and the water is already overflowing!  

In which sequence would you solve these problems?

First write YOUR sequence from 1 to 5 then scroll below and read after!

BUT BE HONEST, THE FINDINGS ARE EXCITING.                                 








Every individual point represents something in your life.                 
On the list you can see which meaning every point has:                   
1. Telephone represents Work                                             
2. Baby represents Family                                                 
3. Door represents Friends                                               
4. Clothes represent Money                                               
5. Tap represents Love Life                                               

Your chosen sequence determines the priorities in your life.  

FYI, my answers were 2,5,3,4,1

Now, this is not scientific, but it does show you a thing or two about what is important to you! 

Six months to live?

Another way to think about what is important to you is to consider what would you do if you were told you only had 5 years to live? 1 year? 6 months? 6 weeks?  I know this is a tough one, but having been faced with almost losing my husband to a brain anuerysm, you learn to consider what is truly important in life.

Put it on paper!

Now it is time to truly do some soul searching and determine what your priorities are in life. You need to pull your values list back out as well and refer to it as you choose your priorities. Click to download the Priorities list.
[Values List]Click here to download the Priorities List. You may also righ-click and “save target as”.

Defining your priorities are is an important step in balancing your life.

Leave a comment below with your top priorities, or you can post them over at Facebook or on Twitter!

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32 comments to Get your priorities straight

  • Greetings from The Blog Frog! I started the Post in Mckmama about “Sharing Your Blog and Link”. I stand by my word! :) there thus far. Thank you for stopping by!

    I love your site…it’s wonderful and highly informative! I’ll definately be back soon! I’m also now a new subscriber here.

  • I did the priorities list and found that I was not focusing enough on creating my art and that I am doing that out of fear that I am not ‘good enough’ to get my art out there ~ and avoid doing thus by focusing on other priorities ~ So am going to work on this and have a 3×5 card that I decorate with paint in front of me to remind me of what I am focusing on first ~ so thanks ~ got to leave and go Paint! hugs and namaste, cz:)
    Carol recently posted..LIVING IN THE VOIDMy Profile

    bernicewood Reply:

    I am not focusing on my writing enough and I understand that fear of not being good enough. Putting this challenge together was a way of forcing me to do the work I know I have in me, and what I am called to be doing. I can’t procrastinate if everyone is expecting me to post, right?
    Have a great day!

  • Lynda

    I am 47 years old so maybe my 1-5 list would be different if I was still in my twenties. This is my list now:
    5. tap water
    1. telephone
    2. baby
    3. door
    4. clothes

    I have been working on my priority list for few weeks now. I am also learning that to much compromising can hurt me and makes me bitter. So yes a balanced life is important.
    Thank you

    bernicewood Reply:

    I am glad you are working on your priority list. Compromise can be hard on you, it is better if it is on both parts.
    Thanks for participating!

  • Jennifer

    Carol- I’m the same way. I don’t know how old you are, but I’m 48 and for years have been saying I’m going to start working on my art- and I still haven’t. :( I paint and draw and want to start doing batik. One good thing I am doing, is I’ve gone back to school and I’m taking a ceramics class (I LOVE pottery). I’m just tired of saying I’m going to start working on my art and try to sell it (but like you I’m always afraid I’m not good enough- though so many people say I am). I work fulltime too, and have a family and home to take care of, so it’s hard to find the time.

    bernicewood Reply:

    I applaud you for taking the ceramics class. It is important that you do something that *feeds* you. Now obviously this class is taking some of your time. When the class is done, can you take another art class? Or just carve out the time to work on your own stuff? I am 45, and I am making the effort now to work on my *art* which is writing and helping people. I don’t want to be 60 or 70 and wish I had done so!
    Thanks for commenting!

  • Meg

    Had to chuckle–my priority list was the same as yours, even though I’m oodles older :)
    Meg recently posted..January 2011 Minimalist Lifestyle UpdateMy Profile

    bernicewood Reply:

    Ah, but I’m an old soul! I’ve been married almost 30 years and have 7 grandkids! Thanks for coming by Meg!

    Tanja from Minimalist Packrat Reply:

    My list was the same. Baby first, tap second. Then get the door so whoever is out there can help me get the laundry in. The phone just has to keep ringing! Awesome Bernice.
    Tanja from Minimalist Packrat recently posted..Not Your Average Book Review- Rise Above the NoiseMy Profile

  • I was “Door represents Friends” hah~

    I never see myself as the one who cares relationship for the most but I think actually I do quite care about it and really trying to spare more time to my friends these days for I realized many years I was so ungratefully taking my dear friends for granted :)
    Sandy recently posted..How to drop negativityMy Profile

    bernicewood Reply:

    Oh, you don’t want to take your friends for granted! Appreciate them and they will always be there for you!
    Have a great week!

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  • I love this post!! Just the little reminder we all need to get things recentered, or should I say, knowing Who your center is!
    Great words!!!

  • I answered 2, 5, 3, 1, 4

    But I have small children.
    Alyssa recently posted..Introducing Faith Leaps Radio Show on Blog Talk RadioMy Profile

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  • Cool post. It’s funny because your and my priorities are the same. That’s a great perspective to have of how we view things in our lives. Thanks for that.
    Petula recently posted..First day of the 2011-2012 school yearMy Profile

  • Its funny cause at first this kinda sounded like a riddle. “If I answer the door first, I can get them to hold the baby while I call the plumber to come take care of the sink” Guess its good to try to problem solve when everything seems to be going wrong.

    Thanks for putting things in perspective.
    Paul recently posted..Leg Warmers For Girls Are BackMy Profile

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