How to Set Priorities


Have you set priorities in your life? We have more choices today than women did when my mother was young, for example. When I was in college young ladies generally majored in nursing, teaching, or something in the secretarial field. Now we have so many choices it can be confusing.

The definition of a priority is something that is more important than another.

Empowered women know and have set priorities, not only in their work, but in their families as well. Since you are reading this I assume that you:

  • Want to be empowered.
  • Want to take charge of your life.
  • Intend to do something about it.

As Gandhi said, “Action expresses priories.”

I found it difficult to establish my priorities as a single mom. The urgent always took precedence over the important. Laundry, team sports, dance lessons, church, and meal preparation must be done. How could I even think about priorities? I did whatever had to be done at any given moment and life went on. When I did stop I was so overwhelmed I didn’t know what to do.

Regardless of your situation I encourage you to consider your priorities. It is not complicated. In this post I will break it down to 10 action steps.

  1. You can start with a piece of paper and a pen. Write what you think is truly important to you. Don’t try to put them in the order of importance. Just pour out onto the paper your thoughts as they come to you. Put it away.
  2. In a day or so take out the paper and review it. Revise it until you are satisfied that you have targeted your most important goals. Priorities go hand-in-hand with goals. Knowing your goals will make life easier.
  3. Now add specifics. For example, if you’ve written “family” decide exactly what you want to do with family. Be sure it is clearly defined.
  4. Take several days to consider each priority. Think about them. Are they realistic? Will they fit into your lifestyle? Is the priority something worth working towards?
  5. Once you have determined your priorities, write or print them in large bold type on a paper and place it in a prominent place. You want to have it in your face daily.
  6. Determine-meaning you decide-what is important to you. Give it some serious thought. Don’t rush. Once you are certain that your priorities are in place, evaluate how you can achieve each one.
  7. Create steps in the process. If you are specific you will be more likely to follow the steps.
  8. Create a time line. Use a calendar. Write on it. Be realistic. An excellent article, by Amy Johnson, “This is What the Schedules of Successful People Look Like” is especially helpful.
  9. Set a starting date and stick with it.
  10. Focus. Focus. And reevaluate every few months.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
– Stephen Covey

Gail in purple speaking with hand gesturesGail holds a degree from Lamar University in Speech and a Master’s from the University of Texas. She was an educator in regular and special education for twenty years, finishing her professional career as a Braille teacher. She is a Certified Professional Coach with Fowler International Academy. She married Sam after raising three children as a single mother.

In 2007 She founded SMORE for Women. SMORE is a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. Her stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. Her book, Living Learning Loving, published in July 2015, is available for purchase on CreateSpace, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble online.


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