“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen Covey
The iBloom Team is passionate about making our priorities a reality. We want to live out God’s plan for ourselves and our families. And we know it won’t happen by chance; we must be intentional about identifying our values and incorporating them into our daily lives.
Personally, my life flows better, I am happier, and definitely more productive when I have a clear picture of what I value most and make those things a priority. With a little extra effort of planning and implementing, I’m able to live into my priorities.
Steps to make your priorities a reality.
1. Pray and decide what five things you value most in this season.
There are only 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. How will your spend them? What people will you invest in? What values do you want to live out?
Spend time with God and allow Him to reveal what is most important in this season. Some of your core values will remain the same all of your life, but others may change through the seasons.
Living a healthy lifestyle is one of my values that moved up the list over the past few years. Maybe it was when I became single and needed to rely more on myself. Or maybe it was turning 50 several years ago. Whatever the reason, God began nudging me to be more proactive about my eating and exercise. I scheduled the time to workout and prepare healthier foods. I budgeted the money to hire a trainer. My workouts are one of the first things I entered in my new iBloom planner!
2. Schedule your priorities.
You will spend your days and your life doing something. Much of your hours are spent with things that are already scheduled; your work hours, appointments, and other things that you must do or attend. What about the other hours in the day? How will you be intentional about including your values into your life?
My relationships with my daughters, other family and friends are priorities to me. So, I plan ways to spend time with them. I drive to Michigan to see my Mom and two sisters. I try to visit my daughters every 3-4 months. I want to nurture these relationships so I also send my daughters a daily email. We live in three different states, so this is a way to stay connected.
Don’t let your schedule dictate your life – you get to dictate your schedule!
3. Evaluate your priorities and implementation in this season. Make adjustments as needed.
Spend time with God at least once a year reviewing your priorities. I do this every six months. Ask yourself what five things you value most in your current season and circumstances? Are youbeing intentional about scheduling and making them a reality? I learned a huge lesson from God about His priorities and time frame in my life.
Generosity is one of my priorities. During the divorce process, others served and cared for me; after it was final I desired to give back. I really wanted to go on a mission trip – preferably out of the U.S. So, I tried to make it happen. A friend’s church was going to Mozambique and asked me to be part of their Team. I said yes, but did so before asking God if this was His “yes!” As I talked to the Team Leader, I realized my gifts and talents didn’t match the Team’s mission. As I prayed, God spoke clearly to my heart that I could go and would probably bless someone and be blessed in return, but this wasn’t the time nor trip He had planned for me. Gulp, I called and told the Leader I wouldn’t be going. I waited for over a year and then had the chance to go to Haiti and serve at a school. This former schoolteacher was thrilled to have God’s clear “yes!” as I lived into one of my priorities for that season! This experience made we realize that I need to listen to God about what my priorities are in each season of my life. I need to listen to Him and not get ahead of His plans.
Do you ever take on a new commitment or make a large purchase before evaluating if this is living into your priorities? I often ask my coaching clients to look at their planner and checkbooks after identifying their values. Do they align? Are they making their priorities a reality? I challenge you to do this simple exercise and make the necessary changes.
Let us know how you are making your priorities a reality in the comment section below.