Priorities. I’m guessing the reason why time management has always been difficult for me is because I just can’t seem to figure out what my priorities should be. A lot of stuff sure seems important right now, but is it really? How do I cut through the haze of the moment and figure out what’s really important?

Trisha’s advice in chapter 1 of Balanced is to make a list after thinking about a few questions.

“Determine what your priorities as a family are. Ask yourself a few questions: What do we want to achieve as a family? What will matter five years from now—ten years from now? What will mold our children into God-serving adults? What will bring peace—not stress—to our home?”

Obviously, I want to grow in my faith, maintain a healthy marriage, and be a good parent. I didn’t put those on my list because they are a given.

  • Give my kids a solid, biblical education.
  • Encourage the kids to become people who are creative/inventive and love the outdoors.
  • Help the kids learn life skills and relationship skills.
  • Develop a healthy relationship with each of my children, and make sure that they know without a doubt how much I love them.
  • Read together before bedtime.
  • Nurture their faith and show them how to live out what they believe.

Having a clear list should make it easier for me to figure out if something should be at the top of my list, or if it doesn’t need to be on my list at all. I came across a quote by Stephen Covey that I think goes along really well with this chapter:

You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage - pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically - to say 'no' to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside.

Another thing Tricia talked about in this chapter that really hit home to me was the idea of seeking God when looking at my priorities, rather than comparing my life to someone else’s. God’s got a plan for me, and my family, that doesn’t necessarily look like His plan for anyone else. Oddly, that’s both scary and comforting at the same time!

This post is part of the Balanced challenge with Tricia Goyer—and you can join, too!