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Focused Priorities

Clouds above trees

Do you ever “Label” your day?

At our house, when the breeze is just right, it is a “sailing day!” – even though we currently don’t have a boat….

And when we would be on vacation at a lake in northern Minnesota, and that day was not a “lake day” because it was a rainy day, that day became a “Bemidji Day.” Because in Bemidji, there are these wonderful woolen mills, and we would get to select some of our favorite wool sweaters and moccasins fro Christmas gifts, and then would go out to eat at T’Juans for some amazing Mexican food. We haven’t been there for years, but we still have “Bemidji days” wherever we are…

Don’t we do the same thing when there’s a big project to do around the house? We line up the right Saturday, or maybe even the whole weekend, and set it aside as a “project day: or “Clean out the Garage weekend,” right?

This is a method for project priority. Pick the important priority of the day, and really put it into focus. If we asked you to tell us, “What is important to you?” – everyone would say that God (if you are a person of faith), their spouse, family, and/or friends were the most important to them. And if that is true, then at the end of any given month, we would be able to open your proverbial calendar and/or your bank expense list and the facts would be laid bare to demonstrate all would be completely true. Or would it?

Let’s take a look at the choices we make. As an example, men, we have some expensive hobbies! I know I enjoy some, and I wish I had more time and money to enjoy them more of them. But, I have to make a choice sometimes. Ladies also have choices to make – perhaps shopping is a perfect example. I have shopped with the ladies in my family many times, and there is typically a decision about a certain outfit or pair of shoes, and if those items should become a part of our household. These are simple examples, but do show that we all must make our own choices. Many times we are demonstrating to our families what our priorities are, as well as showing them the order of their importance.

We set the examples for our spouse and our children. If we don’t respect our spouse or significant other, then how will our children learn to respect their future spouse/significant other? From whom did many of us learn? Who were our role models? Answer: Our parents! And how many of us had great role models? How many of us had terrible role models?

I’ll bet no matter our role models, we still wanted to do or be even better role models for our children – that would be natural. And, how many of us, have experienced something from our parents and said, “I’ll never say that to my kids,” and yet, what have we found ourselves doing? Yes! Exactly that.

Everything that is important to us can be measured and verified by either being on our calendar (time) or by the amount of money allocated to it.

Focus on the big things: Spouse Night, Family Night, Friend Date – Get these on the calendar & have some money allocated to these “events.” Also, realize that the more important that relationship is (or should be), the more time and money should be allocated to that relationship.

Back to the labels we give to a day – rather than allowing the wind to blow us around here and there, let’s be intentional about how we prioritize our days and what we do. The time together is the most important – whether we are working or playing. Celebrate those days or activities together.

I look back on my choices when our girls were young, and of course, I could have made some of those choices a bit differently. Our relationships are great! Could I have intentionally created some better opportunities to spend with my family and shown my priority for them more appropriately? Absolutely! I continue to grow in my leadership, my intentionality, and my ability to prioritize. If you are interested in those things as well, please join us for Live2Lead on October 6 – First Friday in October – Practical Leadership lessons for your personal and professional life.

You will be glad you went.

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