Finding Your Top 3 Priorities

Have you heard of Matt Townsend?  I really hadn’t until he came to our town for a presentation.  I saw the posters everywhere so I looked him up to learn more about who is he and what he teaches about.  Turns out he is a motivational speaker focusing on relationships.  I watched this video where he talks about 5 things that women should learn to let go of.  His first idea that women should let go of is the idea that we can have it all.  What!? He says that we truly can’t have everything, so we should just stop trying.  Sounds the opposite of motivational, right?  However, he goes on to say that we CAN have our top 3 most important things.  This has got me thinking about what are my top 3 things and wondering is he right?

I have paid attention lately about what things I get done in a day and I’m trying to decide if those are part of my top 3 things.  I’ve decided that they usually are, but that my top 3 priorities change.  For example, some days my focus is on the house and getting it cleaned and organized.  Other times I am focused on a project around the house and I can’t do anything else until that one project is finished.  A few weeks ago I started the process of getting hired with VIP KID to become an online tutor teaching English to Chinese students and that was my priority and focus.  When I started this blog that consumed me for awhile.  My most current priority is planning a trip to Hawaii (a rather fun burden, I might say).  But as I’ve thought about these things and how they can control my focus I started feeling a little shallow.  Shouldn’t my focus be on spiritual things or family?

This is what I’ve decided:  I can clump the really, really important things into one group and call it “relationships with God, family & friends.”  If I really think about all those other things that felt like they were at the forefront of my mind, I can see that my relationships with others was always at the back of my mind. The reason I started with VIP KID is so that I can help provide for my family’s needs; projects can help develop my God-given talents; and even planning a trip is a way of strengthening my relationship with my husband.

My other two top priorities are the ones that can change day to day.  These ones depend on what our schedule looks like for the week and what trials we might be facing at that time.  Some examples for me include rotating kids clothes for seasons or growth spurts, cleaning the house really good, building a chicken coop, getting ready for a trip, surviving the endless list of activities planned for the week, service, finishing a book, working out, eating right, making extra money, how to deal with childhood anxiety, ways to limit screen time, teaching my child to read, potty training, etc.  You get the picture, right?  There are so many important things that rotate throughout our lives and it’s important to identify the top 3 priorities of today, because they might be different tomorrow.

My suggestion is to first identify that number one top priority that will always be there.  Once that is decided then daily or weekly, write down your floating 2 priorities.  I know that for me, when I focus on the “objective” of my day I feel much more focused and am more likely to get things done; at least the top 3 most important things.

A few ways to think about what your priorities should be are to ask yourself these 5 questions:

-What deadlines do I have today?

-What energizes me?

-What have I been neglecting (if you write down your top 3 priorities you will be able to see that the bathrooms have not made your list in over a month).

-Who needs my attention right now?

-What can I do for others?

I never did make it to that conference with Matt Townsend as the key note speaker, but I am grateful that I stumbled across his name and have been able to reflect on my top 3 priorities.  I always appreciate help to keep my focus and be productive… in fact, it makes me feel nice and happy!

How to Organize Winter Clothes (Plus a FREE Checklist)

It’s finally starting to feel like Spring! The weather has been so nice the last few days, which means that snow is finally melting!  Our house is on a hill so a lot of the run off is going in the gutter right in front of our house.  My kids have been outside creating different paths for the water to flow in the snow, creating pools and dams, adding bridges, and floating  boats down the “river.”  They have loved it!  They’ve also been doing it barefoot, with shorts and no jacket!  I finally had them put on snow boots thinking that might keep their feet dry, but that didn’t work either.  Now their snow boots, socks and feet are completely soaked and freezing.

Seeing those soaking wet snow boots reminded me that it is ALMOST time to put away the snow stuff!!  I always love that feeling!  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice when the kids can go out and play in the snow; but it’s even better when they can go out without having to get ready to for “extending deep-sea diving” as Ralphie put it in A Christmas Story

When you decide that you are finally safe from Spring snow storms (which in my case, living in Wyoming, is going to be June) and are ready to put away the snow clothes, here is a great way to organize and store those clothes so that you are ready for next winter:

Organize and Store your Winter Clothes for next year-

  • Begin by gathering all the current winter clothes and have kids try everything on and decide what will fit next year and what will not.
  • Anything that no longer fits either gets passed down to a younger sibling or if it is your last child that has outgrown the item then GET RID OF IT!  Either donate it, sell it, or pass it along to another family (my personal favorite option).
  • Make an inventory of the items that each child still has for next year and what items need replaced.  Click here:  winter clothes checklist for a free checklist you can print off and use for this task!
  • This is a perfect time to buy needed winter clothes for next year.  I did this last Spring, and it was seriously AMAZING to pull out the winter clothes tub and have everything the kids needed ready to go!  And I got some major deals on quality coats and snow pants when I bought them in the Spring.  I found my best deals on Walmart.com.
  • Now that you have everything needed for each person next year, it is time to store these clothes.  I use 3 Rubbermaid Storage Totes: one for parent clothes, one for kid clothes (since I have 4 kids, I had to buy an extra large tote or you might need more than one regular sized tote), and one for extra clothes.  I only put the needed items that fit each person in the parent and kid totes.  If there were extra clothes that someone had outgrown, but wouldn’t fit the younger ones quite yet, then I put it into the “extra” tote.  I also like to layer dryer sheets in with the clothes to keep them smelling fresh and if moths are a problem where you store the totes, then moth balls might be a good idea as well.
  • Label each tote and store!  Next year on that first snow (which happened for us in SEPTEMBER!), all you need to do is grab the “kid winter clothes” tote and distribute the pile of clothes that belongs to each kid and they are ready to head out to the snow! It was so simple this year that I am wondering why I used to just throw everyone’s stuff all in the tub and then have to scramble to see what fits and then get to a store and buy things at full price!  That is crazy!

I promise that if you do this NOW, you will not regret it next winter.  In fact, I think it will make you “nice and happy!”