Brainstorming Top Priorities in Our Life
What is a Priority?
A priority is something we choose to be most important in our lives. Establishing priorities is important in family life because it gives us a track to run on. It allows us to set goals that are most important to them. Priorities are the first order of business for a family member and individual. Setting priorities is the first thing one must do when financial planning, going shopping, setting one's schedule, sharing one's time with others.
Without priorities, one lives life in the "putting out fires" mode. You know, what ever emergency catches your attention is where you put your resources of time, money and energy. It can be a wasteful way to spend a life. With priorities, we try to do preventive maintenance on our lives, so the "putting out fires" mode won't happen quite so often.
Here are some ideas about setting priorities.
Brainstorming is Essential to Establishing Priorities
Remember Brainstorming? It is a problem solving technique that starts off every good decision making session. Take 5-10 minutes and write down everything that comes into you mind on the topic you are working on. Don't judge it, just get it down. Just write My Priorities at the top of the page and go. You can make categories later. This will give you a great priorities list to start with.
For example: My Priorities
Keeping the daily routine going, husband's health, work, nutrition, relax time, commute safety, relationship with his kids and grand kids, travel for this year, camping, fishing, setting dates early for camping, getting fishing licenses, checking fishing equipment to be ready, my daughter's trip to visit me this summer, making sure the guests rooms are ready, go to garage sales to pick up inexpensive stuff for guest rooms, planning crafts for her visit, making sure relatives have the dates of her visit, calling daily to keep in contact, get photos she wants ready, get the rest of her Christmas stuff out of storage, walking daily to get in shape for camping, keeping in touch with friends and family, grow plants for landscaping in late spring, read material on Glacier National Park to plan '12 summer vacation, eat healthy, sleep 8 hours a night, visit mom's grave, start vacation savings account...
This took less than 3 minutes. Then I will leave this list for a while and come back and start categorizing this list. I suggest you do this several times before you choose the top 10 priorities. And then the magic begins.
Creating A Checklist of Priorities
Now the fun begins. Pick the top 10 Priorities and rank them from one to 10. Look through the rest of the lists and see what brainstorming items actually fit within the top 10 you have chose.
Start with #1 and again brainstorm everything that is involved in making this priority happen.
From the #1 priority brainstorm, rank all the items in the order that makes them achievable.
Let's go with the example of eating healthy.
Making a shopping list and meal plan is the first thing. Finding new recipes and food that you and/or your family will like is part of this process. Perhaps you wish to limit the amount of saturated fats (found in large quantities mainly in animal fats) so you begin cutting out butter and using olive oil and canola oil instead.
Perhaps your goal is to get vitamins and minerals through food, so you want to incorporate large quantities of fruit and vegetables in your meals. Fruit smoothies in the morning can give you lots of fruit and if there are leftovers, just freeze the rest in closed containers and they become something close to a sorbet. Whole grains are amazingly nutritional food and can become a part of each meal with toast, pancakes, sandwiches and more. Brown rice, oatmeal, barley all contain the minerals, vitamins and fiber that most people need in their diets.
So when you look at the financial issues to make the goal happen you must include all costs. To continue with the priority of healthy eating, it does not cost a lot more to eat nutritionally, especially if you cut out all the high calorie, low nutrient foods like soft drinks, snack foods, fast foods, etc. There are literally millions of recipes at our fingertips on the Internet to learn how to cook a bit more nutritiously.
Next, you would continue to complete priority #1 and keep going until all 10 are mapped out.
Priority Action Plan
Once you have your priorities numbered, brain stormed and outlined, you develop an action plan. Some Priorities will include both short and long term goals actions. But by setting priorities, then creating a list of short and long term goals to reach that priority...it may not take too much time and effort to get your priorities straight.
Did I mention it takes a little time to set priorities?
Did I mention that it is worth every second to feel in control of your life?
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Good Luck.