My last posting included one of my favorite quotes, “When everything is a priority, then nothing is a priority.” Let’s agree that we have to set priorities to structure our use of resources, especially time. So, how do we do it?
Before addressing individual tasks or priorities, let’s start with our core beliefs, relationships and responsibilities. Our priorities or goals must be based on those three areas.
For me, my priorities begin with my personal beliefs of faith, or my “core beliefs.” My “primary objective” is to live a life that is in complete agreement with these beliefs. An example might be helpful. One of the tenants of our faith is personal integrity. We cannot have a goal to increase our personal wealth if that gain involves violating our integrity or the integrity of others. And, my priorities must reflect my faith’s central tenant of reaching and teaching others regarding the love of God and the hope in Christ. Before I set priorities, I have to consider their agreement with my core beliefs.
Second, my priorities must support the relationships that I have with others. I have taken vows and established relationships and God wants me to remain true to those commitments. My priorities should support maintaining those relationships. But I don’t want to be misunderstood here. I believe mature relationships have balance. Think about a newborn baby; your relationship with the child is one-sided. Oh, the little one brings joy, but, in reality, they are totally dependent on you. People in mature relationships depend upon and support each other. Second, relationships are secondary to my core beliefs; my actions in relationships must support my faith.
Third, I have taken on areas of responsibility; my priorities should either support me in satisfying those responsibilities or I should look to make changes.
So, before you think about your goals and priorities for 2015, think about your core beliefs, your relationships and your current responsibilities.
- Wanting to achieve a new sales record? Will that require you to compromise your beliefs?
- Planning to start a new health regime? How can that program strengthen your relationship(s)?
- Going to increase your volunteer hours? Is that going to require you to resign from another area of responsibility? Is that the right thing to do?
Too often we begin establishing “priorities” without doing the important work of assessing those new goals in light of our core values, relationships and responsibilities.
“And, my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
I feel I’ve always been pretty health conscious, but admittedly only cared about working out for superficial reasons-thus always had a problem sticking with it. In the past few months the reason to work out has changed from “I want to change the way my body looks” to “I need this body to be healthy for my baby”. Now, the only thing that keeps me from working out is hunger (because my baby is a food thief! lol!) or being excessively tired, and by that point I know it’s best to rest. So yes, I agree, priorities change when values change.