It’s almost here . . . the start of a New Year.
It always feels like a fresh start. A do-over for… Resolutions. Goals. Hopes. And Dreams.
But that can be easier said than done.
We live in a world filled with demands and distractions making it easy for us to spend our time frantically moving through each day just trying to keep up . . . striving to please the least satisfied and whiniest people around us and ending up exhausted and frustrated.
That’s why we need to know our goals and priorities and plan well.
The truth is, it’s almost impossible to make wise decisions when we don’t know…
Where to go? What to do? Who to include? What’s important?
So, in preparation for the new year, let’s take a look at…
7 Steps to Know Your Priorities
and Apply Them to Your Life
1. List possible priority categories in no particular order.
2. Then list your specific priorities for each category.
- Relationships – Spouse, children, extended family, friends, co-workers, neighbors.
- Health – Diet, exercise, regular health screenings, add supplements, stop an unhealthy habit, start a healthy habit.
- Faith – Read the Bible, pray more, join a church, join a small group Bible Study.
- Career – Promotion, keep current position, become a better team member, increase sales, mentor a new co-worker.
- Finances – Plan a budget, give to charity, pay off debt, invest, or save for a purchase.
- Education – Get a degree, home-school your children, read the classics, take a class, teach a class.
- Stuff – Simplify, organize, share, clean and keep up.
- Hobbies – Daydream about what you’d do if only you had the time to do it.
3. This is important! Give your priorities an eternal perspective.
What if we evaluated our life choices based on whether they would make an eternal difference? Whether they’re part of God’s plans and purposes for us? Whether they show our love for Him and others?
So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective. Colossians 3:1–2 (MSG)
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
Pray for an eternal perspective as you think about your list of priorities.
4. Now, list your priorities in order of importance.
Grab a new piece of paper and list your priorities based on what you have determined is most important. Begin with those people and activities you want to give a greater amount of time, and end with those things you might consider giving up.
5. Make a list of short-term and long-term goals based on your priorities.
Think about where you would like to be in five or ten years.
Pray for wisdom and guidance as you look toward the future God has planned and is preparing for you.
If you had to limit “extra” activities for yourself and your children which ones could go? Where do you need to adjust your finances? Would you like to finish your degree or get an advanced degree? This is the blueprint of your plan of action.
6. Examine your calendar, to-do list, and credit card statement/checkbook to make adjustments.
I’m looking at my planner from a new point of view. I want my relationships, activities, and finances to represent those things that are important based on God’s will for me this year.
Be honest. Be bold. Be mindful and prayerful.
7. And finally . . . practice saying “no!”
Expect push-back from the people in your life. There will be those who won’t like or agree with your changes. You may even live with some of them.
So, patiently talk with them. Listen to them. Pray with them. And ask God to give you the wisdom and courage you need to say “no” to the things that need to go.
Before we get started, let’s pray…
A Prayer to Know Your Priorities and
Make Plans for the Future
Father, thank you for the blessing of a new year. May I use it well for Your glory by knowing my priorities and planning my days according to Your will maintaining an eternal perspective . . . a perspective that is focused on Jesus.
Jesus said, ” I am going to prepare a place for you[.] When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:2b–3) “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33) And, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
I believe those are the priorities You want for me. Please help me take those words of Jesus to my heart as I prepare my list of priorities and restructure my schedule over the coming days.
Please guide me by the power of Your Spirit and help me live for Your glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I wear a bracelet each day that says “SEEK FIRST.”
It’s my reminder that above all else in my life I want to KNOW, TRUST, and LOVE the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Those are my priorities. Why?
Because when you and I KNOW Jesus we want to have a relationship with Him . . . a relationship that is personal and intimate, that SEEKS to KNOW and TRUST His will and follow it because we LOVE Him.
Oh, I know I’m going to fall short of doing that perfectly but I don’t want to give up. I want to make knowing, trusting, and loving Jesus my greatest priority.
I’m praying for you this weekend. May the Lord be with you, guide you, and bless you throughout the New Year.
We would love to pray for you.
You can leave your prayer requests here…
and even take a few minutes to pray over the list left by our friends.
Never Miss an Update
Leave your email address and I’ll send you a short email every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to alert you to each new devotion. Plus you’ll receive a copy of 30 Ways to Bless Your Marriage and Keep the Spark Burning
I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi” and share your thoughts in the comments below.
And if this article blessed or helped you today — would you share it with someone? Maybe a friend, family member, coworker, or through the links below…