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Like Your Life More - Part One in the Prioritize Your Life Series

A Year in the Spiritual Life... Discover Your Purpose: Like Your Life More - Part One in the Prioritize Your Life Series

Monday

Like Your Life More - Part One in the Prioritize Your Life Series

Priorities matter. 


But how do you organize your priorities in a way that makes your life make sense? 

Like you, I have gone round and round on this question in different stages of my life, always thinking that this time I have “it” right. 

Priorities are a matter of balance and counterbalance. We must be resolute in our priorities, but we need to allow room for growth and change. 

How do we develop priorities? 


Priorities are more than goals. Priorities are the manifestation of your Point of View combined with your actions. 

Personal core values are things you truly believe (consciously or subconsciously) that create your unique point of view. Everyone has a point of view, and as Christians we should have a personal point of view that is biblical in origin. 

When our beliefs and our actions (you know, the things that you actually do, not necessarily the things you intended to do) combine we begin placing value on different aspects of our lives and with or without intention we develop priorities. 

Priorities answer this question: What is important to you? 

Step 1: Self-Evaluation 


Now comes the hard part: taking a nice hard long look at where we are in our life. Grab a pen and paper. You will need it for this next part. Look at your life in these areas: 

· Faith 
· Personal Growth (Self) 
· Marriage 
· Children/Family 
· Friendships 
· Career 
· Finances 
· Ministry 
· Health 

Now List them in order of the most important for you AS THEY REALLY ARE, not how you want them to be. 

Now beside each one write one thing you want to change in that area of your life. If one of the above is not that important to you, take it off your list. If you think I missed something, add that to your list. 

Once you have done that, ask yourself this: What would it take to make those changes a reality in a year? In six months? In 90 days? In 30 days? Right Now? 

This honest assessment of our priorities allows us to rank the different parts of our lives as we truly live them, so we can see if and where changes need to be made. 

A Word of Caution 


Rearranging our lives in a total priorities makeover can be more harmful than good if we make drastic changes all at once. The key is to make incremental, purposeful and targeted changes over time. This will lead to a more consistent result of positive change. 

Step 2: The Revised List 


Okay, so now what? Now, you re-write the list. Write each one in order from MOST important to you to LEAST important. I can hear you now- “They are all important, I can’t do that! What if I hurt one of my priorities feelings?” 

Well, maybe not that last part, but you cringed a little when I said LEAST. 

The truth of the matter is that something is going to be the low man on the totem pole. The fact is that if it made your list, then it is IMPORTANT enough to make a priority in the first place. Don’t worry on list placement as much as priority goal setting. 

This list is what you want your priorities to be in the near future. 

Once you have it re-written, remember that question I said to ask? “What would make this change a reality?” 

Write your answer to that question for each category next to each newly ranked priority. 

This is the thing you focus on making true. 

Here is what part of my revised list looks like. 



Step 3: Implementation 


You have made a list; you have checked it twice, now the fun begins. (That was sarcasm, and if you did not read it with a sarcastic voice, do me a favor and read it again.) 

No, all kidding aside, this is not an easy process. Why? Because living according to priorities requires living with intention. Purposing in your heart to follow through on goals and standards is not a natural thing to do. 

Our very nature is to rebel from rules and regulations. This is part of the curse and the fall of man. We are human and that is the state of the world. 

As you work every day toward your goals, read over this revised list. It should take a few seconds. No more, no less. Keep the vision for your life before you. 

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” Proverbs 29:18a

(Hint: I put mine on a post it and stuck it to my bathroom mirror so I can see it every morning!) 

Now, as you make your way through your day check to see if your actions are lining up with your new priorities. Make notes to yourself (mental will do, but I love to write stuff down in my phone or in a journal to refer to later). 

If after a week you see that you have not really progressed the way you wanted, take that list out again and re-ask “What would make this change a reality?” Tweak as needed. 

This is a process. There is no quick and easy shortcut. You have to do the work. I realize that will not make me popular, but I do not write this so you will like me, but so you will like your LIFE more

So what is the hardest part of setting priorities for you?

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