Annette Nay, PhD

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Better Yourself – Better Your Marital Relationship
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2006

Where are Your Priorities?

With the fast pace of our lives, it is important that we make time work for us and not allow it to get away from us. We all have beaten ourselves up over all the should-haves and could-haves that we have slip through our hands. Many times this happens because we fail to plan and we do not have a good perspective to guide our daily lives. We allow the needs of the day and the wants of others direct our lives.

Our lives must keep a perspective of those things that should come first in our lives. To keep your life in perspective, use the five finger priority method.

  1. God comes first. Talking with God about what needs to be changed in your life, is a must. Being spiritually fed is important to keeping you spiritually and emotionally well.
  2. You come next. When you take care of you, you will have the emotional and physical energy to take care of the remaining priorities. This means taking the time for good nutritious meals, exercising at least three times a week, and getting enough rest at night and during the day!
  3. Family is third in the list of priorities. Time with your spouse and each of the children, separately, is important. This may be as little as five minutes per day. This is a must! A date night once a week with your spouse is also a must if you want to keep your marriage alive.
  4. Church comes fourth. Church responsibilities are important, but they should never overpower the importance of your relationship with God, taking care of yourself. It should never come before your families needs.
  5. Community - It is important, but comes in last.

Many times we fill our lives with too many things from the last three items on the priority list and seldom take care of the first two. We must take time to replenish our spirituality by communing with God, reading the scriptures, and surrounding ourselves with uplifting music and other good literature and activities. There must also be time to exercise and have a good diet.

You should never put off taking care of yourself. It never happens! Instead, make it a priority. You need time to replenish yourself through relaxation or play time. This may be relaxing while watching the sunrise or set, painting a picture, taking a class, or reading a favorite book for just a few minutes per day.

When we replenish ourselves we are ready to tackle the day, help others, and do our best. We are unwise to think we can do well at anything, if we have not taken care of the first two priorities on our list.

When you're the best you can be, with all that life throws at you, no one, not even yourself can expect more. That is a hard lesson to learn. Many people, no matter how hard they try, feel that they should have done better. They should have foreseen the future and stopped unwanted events from happening. This is not possible. It is possible, however, to manage our day to eliminate many failures from happening.

When we fail to plan, we plan to fail.

Since your time is valuable, you cannot afford to fumble around wondering what you should do next. Make three lists:

  1. Things that must be done and by when.
  2. Things that need to be done.
  3. Things you'd like to do.

Before you go to bed, make a tentative list of what needs to be accomplish tomorrow. The list should include time with God. This means exercise, good diet, and free time to breathe for you. Time for family is a must. Then add in the “must-dos” of the day and some of the “need-to-dos” to fill in the rest of the time.

Remember that you do not have to wait until the last minute to accomplish the “must-dos” in your life. Procrastination will kill you. With a little planning, you can do a little over-time on projects and get them done on time, without all the stress of the last minute. No one performs their best under stress.

By small things great things may be accomplished!

By marking all the must-dos on a calendar, you can see at a glance, the days in your life that will be too full. By planning ahead, you can move items back or forward to less full days. If this is not possible then do ahead what can be done to elevate the stuffed days. When this is not possible, then prioritize what really needs to be done by you. Delegate the rest to other people.

When you have a calendar of events for your life, you will be less likely to take on more than you can manage. You can finally say, "No, my schedule will not allow that this week." In this way you will know that you are doing your best and have no reason to feel guilty for saying, "No!." When you are doing your best, no one, not even yourself, can expect more of you. In this way you will not be allowed to beat up yourself over the “should-have-beens” or “could-have-beens.” You will be managing your life not allowing fate or others to do it for you.

Now take the time to sit down together separately and later together to compare notes and use each other as a sounding board to figure out if your ideas are on target for what really needs to be done.

This kind of change may seem like a hard thing, but it is well worth it, because you become a better person, a better husband/wife, and the type of person you will need to be to become like God having worlds without number and enough children to people those worlds, all under your management. If you do not know how to manage yourself, you are will not be able to manage the affairs of others. So learn how to do it now and you will be far better off in this world and in the world to come.


 


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