Definition of Priority
According to the Oxford Dictionary, priority is defined as “ a thing that is regarded as more important than another”.
In my case, my priorities in descending order are ;
- My relationship with God
- My health
- My family (husband and Kids)
- My Mom, Siblings, and Friends
- My livelihood (work, businesses and other sources of income).
You can also set your priorities by categorising the different aspects of life into things like; Career and business, finances, spiritual, relationships. education,health & fitness, and personal growth. You are encouraged to download the sheet below to review your priorities and start to see them clearly.
The Difference between Priority and Goal.
The thin line between priorities and goals can sometimes be a source of confusion as we struggle to determine what is what in our own lives. This differentiation is imperative to enable us ascertain a clear understanding of what each of these extremely important words mean in our lives;
A Priority is something that is very important and must be dealt with before other things. This therefore means that not everything can be a priority. The economist calls it the “scale of preference”. “Rocio’s priority is to make her parents proud”.
A Goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. It is an idea of a desirable or future result that you envision, plan, and commit to achieving. “Imma’s achieved her goal of becoming a bakery owner”.
Your top priority could be to love yourself enough, to draw clear boundaries, to focus on your own business first and to stay away from people who may cause you harm.
Why We Must Prioritise.
As humans we only have 24 hours a day to do all the things that we set our minds to do, and because we don’t have the capacity to pause or extend time in order to do everything we would like to, its therefore important to make a list of personal and professional goals that need to be accomplished and prioritise those that are actionable now and what will be done later.
The moment you resolve to making that list, you will quickly realise that a lot of things which you have spent your precious time doing have not only been invaluable, but have been stumbling blocks towards the achievement of your goals.
For example, If Rocio’s top priority is to make her parents proud of her, this therefore means that the goals she sets will be in correlation with the things that would make her parents proud. Her list of goals could be things like; passing her exams, graduating with a first class Bachelor’s degree, securing a 6 figure salary Job, starting her own business etc.
Having established these goals, she would then quickly realise that going to night clubs would be a waste of time, keeping bad friends would be a distraction, having a baby would get in the way of finishing school and so on…Her priority to make dad and mum proud must therefore align with the goals that will enable that priority.
On the other hand, if Imma’s goal is to become a bakery owner, it is likely that her priorities will be around attending catering school, learning how to become an entrepreneur, preparing a formal business plan, checking local regulations about running a bakery from her home or from a commercial location, raising capital for her bakery, designing the outlook for her bakery, finding the right team to work with, all with the aim of becoming CEO of ” Imma’s Bakery”.
If Caleb’s goal is to keep his family unit whole and to maintain a healthy and strong family Bond, it is unlikely that he will indulge in extra-marital affairs, as this may break his home. His priorities will be such that he spends more time with his family, takes his wife out on dates, buys gifts for his wife and kids, go on play dates with his kids and so forth..
If Tracy’s goal is to have 5As in her GCE A levels in order to get into a University in London, her priorities will be to study twice as hard, attend extra classes if need be, read a variety of books, instead of seeking for relationships with boys, hanging out with friends or indulging in noneducational activities .
Therefore, it is crucial for your priorities to align with your goal in order to achieve what you set out to achieve, and by setting priorities you will be forced to become more disciplined and live a more intentional life.
Priorities beget Commitment.
A lot of times we shy away from setting priorities because we don’t want to commit to anything. When you agree with yourself that getting your medical degree is your top priority, you are forced to study long hours, and put up with the sleepless nights for over 7 years of your life. People who live without priorities often live without a sense of direction, which can be likened to an unborn baby who has nothing to look up to or worry about.
Setting good priorities sets your life in order too, because misaligned priorities can lead to sadness, blamefulness, regrets, mental health, exertion, physical burnout, poor livelihood, and so much more. If your goal is to become financially free, and all you do is prioritise new clothes and shoes, hanging out in bars, not investing, burning cash instead of saving cash, you just may never become financially independent.
How to Set Priorities in Your Life
Your priorities can be broken down into daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and whatever way you see fit. Having a clear list of what you would like to prioritise can make life much easier and guarantee a fruitful use of your time.
If it is your first time to prioritise, it is important to ;
- Start with a deep moment of reflection. Be honest with yourself about the things that you want out of life, how you are spending your time and resources, and the work you are willing and able to lodge, in order to make the necessary changes.
- List your goals and work out a way to prioritise those goals.
- Establish your list of priorities on a daily (prayer,drinking enough water, exercise eating healthy meals), weekly(reading, family time), monthly( savings, paying for water, electricity, phone, internet, cable, rent, mortgage), yearly(medical checks, fees for kids, holidays) basis.
- Make a conscious effort to eliminate distractions by focusing on Becoming What We Think About!
- Decide exactly what time you chose to accomplish what tasks you have. By purposefully accounting for every hour of your day, you will realise that you have no time to spend swiping Instagram photos, watching movies at will, or simply accommodating activities that were unplanned.
To conclude this piece, if you haven’t set your priorities yet, setting your priority should be your NUMBER ONE priority right now. You can start from this priority worksheet in order to begin the exercise that will change your life.
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