5 Tips For Having a Life That Reflects Your PrioritiesPlease feel free to publish the following article (in its entirety) in your publications as long as the links are made active if possible. Please do not make changes without permission. If using this article, please send a brief message to me at [email protected]
Author Name: Michelle Jansick Email Address: [email protected] Word Count: 997 Copyright Date: 2008 Description: 5 Tips For Having a Life That Reflects Your Priorities Keywords: marriage, career, priorities, parenting
5 Tips For Having a Life That Reflects Your Priorities by Michelle Jansick
If someone were to ask you what your main priorities are, what would you say? Your marriage? Your kids? Your job? Friends? Health? A big house? A fancy car? Designer clothes? The truth is that most of us say what our priorities are, but our daily choices reflect something entirely different. For example, we say our husband is a top priority, but then we show disrespect by complaining about him to our children, girlfriends, and parents. We say our health is a priority, but then we create unnecessary stress for ourselves by demanding the right to have a family, go to school, and work full-time all at once. We say our kids are a priority, but then we bury ourselves in our "career" (which is actually just a job we hate) and give them our leftover time and energy.
Eight years ago, an unexpected chain of events forced me to evaluate whether my daily life reflected my priorities. I was laid off unexpectedly from my full-time job without notice. For the first time in a long time, I was at home for several days in a row. Once my husband and I got over the initial shock of my unemployment, we sensed peacefulness around our home that resulted from me not working full-time. I was out of the rat race. I no longer felt stressed out, overwhelmed, and exhausted. I stopped giving my husband my leftover time and energy. I enjoyed having plenty of time to cook, wash the laundry, clean our home, pay bills, ship birthday gifts to relatives, call the plumber, etc. My husband loved coming home to a cheerful, loving wife and home-cooked meals. Our days off together were more fun because we didn't have to spend the time arguing about—or doing—chores. I was happy, my husband felt loved, and the quality of our marriage skyrocketed. We decided to do without some material things so I could work part-time instead of going back to full-time. Since then, my daily life has reflected the fact that my marriage is—and always will be—a priority over my career. The best day I ever had at work doesn't compare to the wonderful times I've had hiking in the mountains with my husband.
Unfortunately, many people are so wrapped up in their jobs they forget that there is life outside of work. They have forgotten how to really enjoy life. Instead, they get up, get dressed, go to a job they don't like, drive home in rush hour traffic, do some chores, and go to bed. Then they repeat that at least five days a week for 40 years. I'm sad whenever I hear about someone who retires from his job of 40 years, only to get another job. There is so much more to life, but most of us have sacrificed our dreams for monotonous routines.
Here are 5 tips for having a life that reflects your priorities:
1. Money. Evaluate whether your priorities are reflected by what you spend money on. Avoid purchases that require monthly payments. For instance, if staying home with your kids is a priority, then think twice before buying a new car that will require you to work full-time.
2. Time. Evaluate whether your priorities are reflected by what you spend your time doing. I realize most people must devote a big chunk of time to their jobs even though working isn't high on their priority lists. However, many people could work a lot less often—or not at all—if they would do without some material things. Could you work less if you didn't eat out as often, bought fewer new clothes, colored your own hair, and painted your own fingernails? Consider a work at home opportunity so you can have more control over your schedule and coordinate time off with your husband and/or kids. I've had good results with a program called Legit Online Jobs <a href="http://smrt1.legitonl.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=LEGIT" target="_top">Click Here!</a>. It is listed on the Better Business Bureau's website and is highly recommended on ProconsumerGuides.com.
3. Health. Take care of yourself! Don't go to work when you're sick; that's what sick calls are for. If you're stressed out and overwhelmed, re-evaluate your to-do list and delegate or cross off what you don't absolutely have to do. (By the way, having a clean house is overrated; most husbands would prefer a wife who saved some energy for a little fun in the bedroom.) You aren't making your health a priority if you say you can't afford to see a doctor about that suspicious mole, but then you go on a shopping spree at the mall.
4. Marriage. If your husband is a priority, tell him that. Thank him often for being a good provider, husband, and father. Brag about him to your friends, kids, and parents. Hire a babysitter and make time to go on dates with him, even if it's just a leisurely dinner at Taco Bell or a walk around the neighborhood. (Here's a link to a great book called 300 Creative Dates <a href="http://smrt1.300dates.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=300DATES" target="_top">Click Here!</a> .) Make it a priority to show your hubby you love him (hint: food and sex), and you'll probably be amazed by the way he finds ways to show he loves you right back!
5. Friends. Go out with female friends regularly. Don't expect your husband to enjoy listening to you talk for hours about nothing in particular; that's what girlfriends are for! You'll have a better marriage when you realize you shouldn't rely on your hubby to meet all of your emotional needs; he isn't wired for that. If you have fun outings with your gal pals, you won't be so resentful when your husband spends a day golfing with the guys. Friends are a great part of life, so reward yourself by making time to be with them.
If you want your life to reflect your priorities, then make changes in your life today. You are in control of your future, so make it count!
____ Michelle Jansick has been happily married for 14 years. She has a degree in Interior Design. Her hobbies include hiking, camping, and playing guitar. Email Address: [email protected]