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!
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!