Helpful Hints

How to Establish Priorities

If you’re anything like me, your priorities are everything. Your goals and ambitions are your guiding light. So when it comes to making difficult choices, you evaluate your priorities. How does this align with the values in my life? That makes difficult decisions a little easier. As someone who is extremely indecisive, I like making choices easier. If you don’t know what your priorities are, that’s okay! Not all of us were taught how to prioritize. So let me give you a tutorial on how to establish priorities:

  • Look at Your Behavior

When we look at our behavior, we can identify what emotions or experiences led to our decision. If you prioritize family over school, you may be able to see a pattern emerge within your past behavior. If those choices benefitted you and left you happy, you may consider family a priority. If you’re having trouble looking back, start by looking at the present. Identify a difficult choice you’re going to make. Try to analyze what thought processes are happening.

  • Use Flashcards

There are places online where you can find priority flashcards. The exercise is to quickly identify whether a trait matters to you. There isn’t a right or a wrong answer. There is only what matters to you. This can be really helpful if you don’t know how to analyze your behavior or look at yourself. This is a great place to start!

  • Make a Hierarchy

Once you’ve found a handful or priorities, start to categorize them. What is your top priority, what is the least important. This can change from day to day. We are often faced with choices that make us choose between our priorities. If we know what value we hold highest, that decision becomes more clear.

  • Explain your Priorities

I don’t want you to explain your priorities to other people. I’d like you to write down what matters about these priorities to you for you. It’s easy to fold on our morals/priorities/character when we don’t know why they matter to us. When we can look at our reasoning and remind ourselves why the priority holds importance, it’s easier to stand firm.

  • Talk With Someone

I always suggest therapy for everyone. I think we could all use a tune up now and then but especially after 2020. That being said, talk to anyone about your priorities. If you’re struggling to understand priorities, ask others what they prioritize. It may be easier for you to identify what matters to you when others explain why it matters to them. It also may be easier to say, “that doesn’t matter to me.” after hearing why it matters to someone else. Don’t be afraid to add priorities.

Priorities give our decisions purpose. It takes a simple or complex decision and gives it purpose. When I say, “Do I eat out?” I remind myself that I prioritize fueling my body with nourishing foods. I prioritize this because when I eat well, I feel better both mentally and physically. That’s not to say that I don’t splurge on occasion but in general it keeps me from indulging my fatigue and desire to get an easy meal. I hope all of this makes sense and is helpful to you.

I hope you’re having a great day. I hope it’s filled with joy, positivity, and laughter. I hope you find peace, love, and happiness.

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