Setting Priorities – Part 2

Now that you’ve read part 1 in my series and have spent time with the Lord to gain His insight into your priorities, we come to the practical.

Warning! Metaphors (may be mixed) ahead!!

Setting priorities: making it work.

#1 – You eat the elephant one bite at a time!

You eat the elephant one bite at a time.

How many times do we think, “I need to get these 7 things going in my life” and then jump feet first into a tub of cement – immediately stuck and going nowhere fast!? Man, I can’t begin to tell you how many times my eyes were bigger than my stomach, so to speak. I love how the Fly Lady constantly reiterates to start with baby steps. Well, the same is true for working on our organization/priorities.

Once you, your husband (we really need to take his suggestions to heart since he knows us so well) and the Lord have come up with a plan, write it out in bite-sized pieces. And just ONE PART AT A TIME!

Let’s suppose one thing on your Get Organized/Prioritized list is: daily exercise (yuck I mean fun!) The tendency is to spend $350 and go join a gym with huge plans to go for 90 minutes 5 days a week. Please know I’m not saying that is a bad idea, but it may be premature. You FIRST should develop a pattern for doing some exercise faithfully before you put money in it. If the weather is not good, go to the library and get a video and work on that for 2 weeks. How many times were you able to do it in those 2 weeks? Was it not a good fit for you? Try a different kind. If you are new to exercise (as always, check with your doctor first), Step Away the Pounds is a great place to start. It’s just walking. Then when the weather gets nicer, take your walking outside. This is always a good time for me to pray.

What is YOUR one bite?

Setting priorities: we’ve chosen our one bite of the elephant.

Now let’s look at how we chew that bite. (still using exercise as our example)

#2 – Well, the more times we chew our food, the better it is for our digestion.
So, if we take that one bite and break it down into 15-20 chews, we come up with manageable and measurable practical things to work on. For example: one year I was working on faithfulness and the One Bite I chose was laundry. So from there I prayerfully came  up with these steps:

  • for week 1- do one load every day: wash, fold and put away
  • for week 2- do 2 loads every day: wash, fold and put away
  • for week 3- put 1 load of laundry in when I rise; switch loads at lunch with another in washer, switch loads after my nap, making sure I fold and put away; fold 2nd load before I start supper and put clothes into washer; fold last load before bed making sure everything is put away
  • for week 4- repeat week 3
  • for week 5- repeat week 3 and add 2 extra loads of towels on Saturday
  • for week 6- repeat week 5 and add 2 extra loads of sheets on Friday

This got me faithfully doing 3 loads a day with Friday and Saturday getting the extra work done by the end of 6 weeks. When I did it this way, I sort of crept up on the need for organization and my Laundry Monster was tamable. With 10 people in the family, it is never quite fully tamed, but now that most of the family does their own laundry we are much more in control.

Setting priorities: look at YOUR list from the Lord.

What are the things He has placed on it. What is the one bite of the elephant you need to take first? And how can you break that down into more manageable chews?

I’m looking forward to hearing your steps!

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All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
Unless otherwise indicated, photos from

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  1. Kate…you give good help here and I agree on the baby steps mentality to accomplish bigger things. I have to have a plan/list when tackling things most of the time. I can get sidetracked easily so a plan of attack works for me. I look forward to the rest of the series. Have a blessed week friend.

    • Thanks so much, Naomi, for stopping by. Boy, that sidetracked thing can be a killer!! I understand that completely! Have a wonderful day, dear!

  2. Yep, it’s all about baby steps. Thanks for the encouragement, Kate! Hope you’re having a happy day. This week’s Homemaking Linkup is live and ready for whatever you’ve got to share!

    Mrs. Sarah Coller

    • Thanks, Sarah! I’ll be over tomorrow for sure.

  3. Love your metaphors, Kate! I always remember your eating an elephant one bite at a time. Thanks for the practical help in implementing priorities!

    • Terri, I tend to think in metaphors — or images at least. Love you, darlin’!

  4. Hi Kate! I stopped in from the Blog at Home Moms group on FB. Thanks for the opportunity to link-up. So much great stuff here!

    • Nancy, how fun to see you stopping by. Hopefully you’ll be able to come back again and we can get to know one another!

  5. Great tips, Kate. I got the iPhone app, Listary, and now I type down every single thing I have to do – and when it’s a big project, I add it in the individual parts of it. It’s so grand to be able to check things off as I do them. And those things I don’t get to are sitting there to help me remember. 🙂 Have a blessed and beautiful FIRST WEEK OF SPRING – no matter WHAT the temp is outside! 🙂

    • Thank you, Kaye dear! I’m not as high tech as you! 😀 I’m certainly enjoying the beautiful sunshine!!

  6. Haha!! We’ve LOVED that saying since the children were tots! They ‘got it’ and it made life so much less overwhelming…still carries over to their much larger and important tasks and projects today. Great help to the young Mother and to the olders who have gotten out of good habits! Hugs to you today! Also, thanks for linking up at ‘EOA’ WEdnesday!

  7. Great Post!! My light bulb moment was not only include God but also your husband when setting goals and schedules. So true. Makes total sense. As wives and moms, we are responsible for managing our home. But how do we know if we are really doing well in our job without asking if we are meeting the needs. Great stuff to think about. I love this!

  8. Kate,
    Amen. I linked at both Missional Women and Christian Mommy Bloggers and found you ahead of me both times. Clearly, the Lord intended for me to hear this message. I just updated my list of 10 challenges to overcome for the year, so your message on setting priorities is so timely. What a blessing that I found you, and linked, so now I have something additional to read and receive as a blessing.
    Thank you. By the way, I use the phrase “eating the elephant a bite at a time” ALL the time.
    Peace and good to you, dear one, in Jesus’ name.

  9. A book that had a large impact on me last year regarding goals, achievemen, and organization was Eat That Frog! The point he made that has stuck with me is that we should do the most important and necessary thing on our list first everyday. I try to remind myself of this especially on the days I feel overwhelmed with tasks.


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