5 Ways to Know Your Life’s Priorities

Some people are so comfortable with their priorities that they carry them around on a handy reference list. But maybe that’s not you. Maybe you’re still discovering what’s most important to you.

And discovering your priorities is important—it helps establish the boundaries that protect what’s sacred to you. Here are 5 ways to learn your life’s priorities:

1. Seek to understand the meaning of life.

It’s tough to put our priorities in order when we don’t have a reference point beyond ourselves. Priorities tend to become clear when we first understand that life is not all about us.

2. Identify your commitments.

Your commitments are important because our promises define our priorities. If you’re a dad, then your children are a priority by definition. If you have a home, there’s likely a mortgage with your signature at the bottom. Your commitments are important because our promises define our priorities.

3. Know your gifts.

We were all created with a unique set of gifts. Discovering our gifts is important because that’s how we were made and using our gifts for the greater good is why we were made. It makes sense to honor the plan behind our creation.

4. Make a pie chart.

Spend a couple of weeks taking notes about where you invest your time—45 hours a week at work, three hours a week on the phone, five hours a week running errands, four hours a week at church, 10 hours a week watching sports, three hours a week playing with the kids. This is an objective measure of where your priorities currently are. Be honest. It can help you see how close reality is to your ideals.

5. Ask yourself some hard questions.

Imagine what life would be like without your kids or your church. Then imagine what life would be like without some of the things you so often devote time and energy to at the expense of family and faith. If you wonder whether your priorities are misaligned, that’s a big step toward honing in on what really counts. Here are 5 Ways to Make the Second Half of Your Life Count.

Sound off: What needs to become a priority in your life?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Do you think you are a priority to me? Why or why not?”