22 November 2010

priorities: straight!

a while back, my best friend ferd and i were chatting about priorities.
you've heard of those before, i'm sure.

she is a busy bee, but one of the things that makes her stand out in a crowd is her dedication and single hearted focus on a goal. sure, she trains for triathlons and can run a sub-seven minute mile (don't be shy ferdy, you know you can!), but she was sharing with me that one of the ways she stays focused is to align her week to her top 5 priorities. as invitations come through the post and calls in the que, she checks with her priorities before hitting "accept with enthusiasm" or "decline with regret."

 weeks turn into years and years into our friendship (thanks, chris!), this is one of her many delightful trademarks.  she's a friend for all seasons, and you know when ferd has been in your midst because you beam with a certain joy that only comes from time with her.  

as we all know, "how we spend out days is, after all, how we spend our lives." [annie dilliard]  so in the spirit of ferd, i decided to decorate a piece bazzill cardstock (the BEST!) and get my priorities straight.

Ready for Priorities! {before}
i think i forgot to mention here on the blog, that i'm officially a graduate student!  

that little intention i set back in june? a spark.
Doodle from a study break. that's me in the middle. 
so this fall i started in the Master of Education, Community Health program at UofL. exciting, right? very exciting.  then i took the GRE. then i got officially accepted! hooray!! so now, along with working full time, cultivating a strong foundation with my darling fiance, tending to my creative spirit, keeping fit & strong, prepping healthy meals and heading into the holiday season (its time for christmas cards again!), you can imagine that i feel like a tornado upwards of ninety-seven percent of the time. so priorities, they come in handy during the busy season of life. they keep our eyes on the prize.

Priorities: straight! {after}

A quick glance at these puppies and you see I've pulled a "stephanie" on my priorities list.  A couple years ago, my brother Mason was climbing into the jeep (he must have been 12?!) and I started yelling at him: "Mason! Push in the button! Put on your seatbelt! Change the station! Turn it down! Get my phone! now!"  >12 commands in <12seconds.  From that day forward, I'm infamously known at "The Multitasker."  So looking at this list, you'll see that it captures my main priorities, and then extensions of that intention {sub-priorities}. Without further ado, my top five priorities are:

  1. Self
  2. Paul
  3. Career
  4. Loved Ones
  5. Growth
I think the descriptions (sub-priorities) are a pretty good capture. If I had an erasable pen, I would have written "strengthen with integrity" on the sub category of number 3, but otherwise, I was pleased at how well this practice outlined my truest priorities of late.

It's not that other things won't come up, it's just that I'll know whether those other things align to my big goals during this season of life. And you see, if we're busy focusing on our hearts desires, driving our energy towards that which energizes us, we're going to be caught in the act of doing a lot of good.  I can think of nothing more flattering than being a unstoppable force for positive change, and being a good steward of the resources and responsibilities given to me.

I'd certainly encourage you to partake in the goodness, if you have time & if the creative spirit moves you.  Be sure to link me to your blog if you do! I'd love to see what you come up with!

Don't feel any pressure to multi-task yourself---just look deeply and I think you'll be surprised what you find. I firmly believe we really do know what matters most, and if we allow ourselves the to sit in the quiet space, we'll have a deeper understanding of exactly what that is.  Then, knowing what matters most, we'll be able to align our everyday efforts to those goals.

Happy creating! xoxo Stephanie


erin said...

I love this one. So relevant for me right now, too :)

Caiti said...

I've been shifting and clarifying priorities a bit myself lately, so I enjoyed this post!

Elloa said...

Ah! I've been experiencing some confusion of late and a feeling of pulling myself in all different directions, so this is a great reminder. I wonder what I'll come up with...


Elisse said...

Thanks for sharing this! It's always good to write and reevaluate your priorities :) I just enjoy how you creatively put yours together :)