Why Setting Priorities Is Important
To Your Life…
What is a priority?Is it something that you think is important? Urgent? Has to get done? Is it an obligation?
A priority is defined as the concern, interest, or desire that comes before all others. You might be thinking that this covers a lot of things and that you have more than one priority that is #1.
In fact, the word priority came into the English language in the 1400s as a singular noun and stayed singular until the 1900s when busier lives had people talking about priorities in the plural. Today it’s common for people to say they are juggling many priorities.
Why are priorities important?
It’s worth considering your priorities because…
- Priorities help you decide what to do.
- Priorities help you choose how you spend your time and money.
- Priorities help you focus on where to put your energy.
There are two parts to having priorities:
- Defining: Decide your top 1-2 priorities.
- Doing: Carry them out.
To define your priorities, consider your values, wishes, and desires.
Be as specific as you can. While your top priority may be to take care of your health, what does that look like? Does it mean eating better, getting more sleep, relaxing more, or something else?
Each of these could be a top priority in itself, that could feel overwhelming to figure out which one to pay attention to first. It’s helpful to identify a life priority, a large goal, first. Then you can break it down into priorities in order of urgency, importance, and what is realistic.
For example, with a health improvement goal, your #1 priority might be to make an appointment with your healthcare provider, health coach, or nutritionist, to start with good guidance that will help you carry out the rest.
This exercise alone helps you get clearer on what is most important to you. You may find that some things you thought were urgent aren’t that urgent at all. You might discover that there are some things you can say “no” to. You could learn that it doesn’t work to prioritize one thing one day and something else another—you can be more disciplined with your time and your energy.
Carrying out your prioritiesis the second part. I highly recommend keeping it simple by focusing your effort on doing ONE thing well. Once you master your top priority, then focus on a new one. The key is to prioritize, implement, and succeed. Frustration, overwhelm, and exhaustion is best avoided by not taking on too many things—for that is when nothing gets done adequately.
Priorities help you live with intention. Plus, you get to celebrate each small and big win as you see the positive results of your actions!