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Monday, March 18, 2013

Speaking of Priorities

     Good Afternoon lovely readers! It has been just about insanity the past couple of weeks as the final inning begins.  My last exams are less than a month away at this point, and like the other millions of college students, I'm starting to feel the pressure. When it gets to this point in the semester, I tend to turn into a blond Hermione Granger. 
"What am I studying for? Are you crazy? You realize we need to pass these exams to get into the second year? They're very important, I should have started studying a month ago, I don't know what's gotten into me ..."

     Suffice it to say that, yes...I become a bit busy during the final weeks of the semester.  In addition to that, I've been busying myself with a few new things.  (Songs will follow soon...trust me)  I've recently decided it's high time I found myself a boyfriend.  So after a long wait of about a year and half, I finally brainwashed my best friend into dating me.  Just kidding of course, I didn't have to brainwash him.  Things are going swimmingly, and I'm sure as the weeks dwindle down and that spring air fills my head, you'll be seeing more and more posts about what this relationship is teaching me, and the songs I've written about it.  BUTTT for just a teensy preview- his name is Eric, and he is (in short) absolutely wonderful.

Today what I really want to address is Priorities.  I work at the Career and Academic Success Center at BYU, and priorities are something we cover in almost every study skill lesson we teach.  What even are priorities???  According to dictionary.com:


the state or quality of being earlier in time, occurrence, etc.
the right to precede others in order, rank, privilege, etc.; precedence.
the right to take precedence in obtaining certain supplies, services, facilities, etc., especially during a shortage.
something given special attention.
To put it in layman's terms...priorities are the things that matter most to us.  We are often asked what they are, and have we sat down and written them out?  As a college students, it's just about vital for me to recognize them, and focus my time around them.  But what about for younger students, or older parents?  Are priorities important at that age too?? YES!

In psychology there is a principle we learn about called "Relational Importance."  What that means is, where you spend your time is where your heart lies.  Are you spending the bulk of your time on things that truly matter to you, your goals, your dreams, or are you allowing time to slip away and fade into yesterday?  I'm asking you to sit down and honestly evaluate yourself.  Where do you spend the most amount of your time?  Is it work?  Class?  Boyfriend?  Shopping?  Pinterest?  

When I was asked to do this very thing, I found that I spend the most amount of my time focusing on school and work.  I asked myself...is that really where my top priorities are? No.  I sat down and made a list of my priorities.  This is my list, (Yes I'm willing to share! It's basic, but you get the idea)

Spiritual Well-being
     I am a very spiritual person.  This is my top priority because it is my Heavenly Father who has given me all that I am, and guides my footsteps every day.  I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I want to live my life in such a way that everyone knows that and never doubts it.  Regardless of my personal beliefs, I feel that the spiritual well-being of every person is important.
Family & Sweetheart
     This is one of my top priorities because my life would be empty without my family.  My family makes up a network of supporters, best friends, fans, and loving advice-givers.  I am ridiculously close to my siblings and my parents.  I believe in Eternal families, and therefore they take precedence over most other priorities of mine.  I believe in constantly nurturing those relationships I have with them.
     In addition to family, I place my sweetheart as a high priority as well.  Love is all about caring for the other person above yourself, and therefore I strive to make sure he is doing well and is taken care of.
Self-improvement & Goals
     As an individual and an intellectual, I believe in constant progression.  Yes, sometimes progression is slower than others, but there should always be growth.  I heard once that life is like a down escalator.  If you're not moving, it's moving down.  If you're working hard, and pushing yourself, you can continue to improve, even when faced with resistance.  I look for ways to educate myself about the world, and people, as well as help the lives of others.  I also work towards my talents and career goals, as I try to better myself.
People & Friends
     After my top three priorities, people and friends in general will always come next.  I LOVE people, and I LOVE helping people.  I listen, I advise, I help them burn old stuff, I'm a shoulder to cry on.  No matter what kind of homework is pressing on my time, I will always make room if a person comes to me. 
     Because I love people so much,  serving people is vitally important to my life.  It's not a self-fulfilling kind of thing, rather just that I genuinely love to serve, and feel useless if I'm not serving in some way.  I guess you could say I have a giant hero-complex.  People are my passion, and helping them is my obsession.
Finding Inspiration
     Life is difficult.  I find you can't do anything else if you have no motivation or inspiration.  So as an individual who is constantly trying to grow and help others... I look for inspiration everywhere.  I look for the random flower that makes my day brighter, and in turn it becomes a priority for me to show it to others, and find it myself.  Life is about winning the small day-to-day battles. 
     I am a student at BYU studying Therapeutic Recreation, and therefore school is important to me, but I believe that education is more than just schooling.  It's a combination of experiences, people, and how you react to them that creates a sound education for an individual.  
     I am very devoted to living a healthy life-style and re-defining for myself and other women what health and beauty is.  I work towards loving the blessing of a body I have been given every single day.  Good food, lots of exercise, and (trying really hard) getting enough sleep.  These are essential to a healthy and happy lifestyle, decreasing stress, and being prepared to enjoy everything else in life.
     Working is in my top ten priorities because if there is something to do, it is worth doing well.  I work almost every week day, and I thoroughly enjoy what I do. 
     Leisure is not something I really get to enjoy as much during the week, and since serving and people and educating myself are more important to me- when I have spare time, it's usually full of those.  (especially the people) However, it is really nice every now and then to read a book or watch an episode of my favorite shows. :) Relaxation is essential a happy life, and so it's definitely A priority, just no the top one.

So now that you know my priorities, I can attest that those are the areas 
 I devote my life to.  I wish I could say I devoted as much time to my number one priority as I do to school or work, but it is what is in my heart.  I challenge you to sit down and make a list of where you spend the bulk of your time, and then make a list of where you WANT to, and WHY, and then determine how those two can meet in the middle.  This will help lead to a happier and more productive lifestyle, at EVERY AGE!  

Have a wonderful day, and happy prioritizing!