Prioritizing What Matters

Isn’t it amazing how we prioritize things that aren’t really that important in the grand scheme of things?  It’s the world we live in now. The vast majority of people on Facebook and Instagram aren’t posting things about the stuff in their life that isn’t stuff if that makes sense. We are consumed by consuming. I am not going to admit to be much different. One thing I can say is that I (we) have started to take the extra effort to examine our priorities. What do we spend our resources on? Time, energy and money. Those three things will show you what your priorities in your life truly are.  Think about it. Whatever you really think is important in your life, you will spend those resources there almost all of the time. These things will not lie if you take the time to evaluate them.


So here is my challenge to you.  Take 30 minutes to do this exercise.


1.     Write down your top 10 things in your life you would consider a priority. Don’t cheat either. Just write them down as you think of them right now and place them in order.

2.     Go back to your bank statement this last month and categorize your expenses by the list you wrote first. So if you spent a total of $5K in the previous month how much went towards things/toys, your family, your health, your home, your church, your work etc. We are all going to be different and there is no wrong answer. This is where you have to start.

3.     Take the same list but this time do it with time and energy as objectively as you can. This will be a little harder but just take a month or even a week of time to look at.

4.     Now take that list and give it a percentage to each one based on your answers to #2. So if your health is a #2 priority but you only spend 8% of your resources there you are not being congruent with what you are trying to accomplish and my guess is that the results aren’t stacking up either. If it was truly a #2 priority don’t you think you would have a higher percentage of resources on that?  Yes, usually. It only makes sense.

5.     Here is the tricky one. For the priorities on your list that just aren’t stacking up with regards to using your resources you need a plan to change them, or you need to change how you view your priorities. The first thing is to make a list on each priority as to what you could do to “spend” more resources there for a better outcome long term. You will have to get creative or ask others who have figured it out. Either way you need a game-plan and it has to be YOU that figures it out!

6.     Now that you have a plan you need to stick with it for at minimum of a month to really let it sink in and work itself into your life. Once you have it will start to become a habit and that’s when it will actually start to change outcomes.


This may all sound simple in theory but it will take some work and discipline. In the long run this is what will pay off.  Whether it’s your faith, your family, your health, your skill at something, it doesn’t matter. You have to devote resources to it to really make it happen. It all starts with breaking it down and I hope this helps get the ball moving!


Dr. Brett

Brett McDonough