Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein's Health and Fitness Newsletter
How to Get Your Priorities Straight
June 18, 2008
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Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, USAR RET 
 
"Action expresses priorities." - - Mahatma Gandhi
 
Our true priorities are not expressed in what we think and believe they are, but what action we take on them. We may know in our hearts we want to lead a healthy and happy life. We seem to have issues wth the follow-through, the action. Whatever our priorities in life are, they must grow legs and move. They must keep moving even when there are obstacles. True priorities that have passed the test of time, remain priorities in life regardless of what challenges we face along the journey.


In this newsletter I am going to cover nine ways to prioritize and keep those priorities on  track. Whether you're looking to get in shape, lose weight, get your finances in order, improve your relationships or strengthen your character, ACTION IS THE OPERATIVE WORD WHEN IT COMES TO PRIORITIES.

See the nine tips on prioritizing below. Be courageous. Be bold. You are worth the changes and yes you can do it, one step at a time.

Nine Tips on How to Get Your Priorities Strait

 

    1. Know your priorities.
    2. Be your priorities.
    3. Live your priorities.
    4. Reassess your priorities.
    5. Measure your priorities performance.
    6. Maintain a big-picture, long-term view of your priorities.
    7. Priorities need absolute awareness of time usage.
    8. Priorities need a dose of "Vitamin D," better known as Discipline.
    9. Strong inner values will strengthen your priorities.

 

Lt. Col. Bob Weinstein, USAR Ret. Casual1. Know your priorities. Not 
Know your priorities. Not sure what your priorities are? Ask the test question. Here's an example: "If I had to choose between my health and my family, what would I choose?" I would choose to sacrifice my health for my family. That places family first. Go through all your priorities and list and rank them(examples: family, finances, health, relationships, job, education, God, personal development, community service, values, character, attitude). 
 
2. Be your priorities. It's not enough to simply know what your priorities are. They must become a part of your very inner being so that you are one with them. How can you accomplish this? Feed you mind with books and other media that support your priorities. Limit your exposure to "intellectual" junk food.  Spend time with those who support your values and dreams. Do your closest friends and acquantances you spend time with, support or detract from your priorities in life?
 
3. Live your priorities. One of my clients was sharing how he began to focus more on his health by getting his weight under control. Over the period of many months, he has had to buy new clothes. I asked him this week what he thought was key to his success. His response was, "I made realistic adjustments that fit my lifestyle. I cut back on the bread, drank less alcohol and also cut out the sugar. If I had a 12 or 14 oz. steak at a restaurant, I would cut it in half and eat half of it. I have lost over 2 inches from my waist by making these small changes. No diet can do this because it is unrealistic in the long-term."
 
Or are you having problems paying rent or your mortgage? Try planning and budgeting for two to three payments in advance. This will cause you to become acutely aware of some of the less important expenditures and will result in a greater awareness of how you manage your money.
 
4. Reassess your priorities. Priorities guided by higher values basicly do not change. We do, however, need to reassess to make sure we are still on track. We may get side tracked by interruptions or obstacles along the way. Or there just may be an unrecognized higher need to help others that may very well take priority.
 
5. Measure your priorities performance. There is a quote I have heard many times. Measure it and it will improve. Keep a journal with you and use it freely to list your priorities and how you can improve upon them. Reflect on a daily basis. This only takes a couple of minutes so we all have time to do this. This is a part of the measurement process.
 
6. Keep the big picture view of your priorities. Once you have a clear focus on your priorities, every decision you make as you pursue your lifestyle can be checked with your long-term, big picture goals. It's much easier and much more fun to deal with the short-term goals and challenges when you have the big-picture, long-term view.

7. Priorities need absolute awareness of time usage. Time can only be used, it can never be saved. Once time has passed, it's gone. Treat time as sacred. In the course of your day, think in increments of 10 or 15 minutes when it comes to accomplishing what you have to do. The big-picture of your priorities will better help you to use your time to maximize your performance in support of your life goals. Constantly ask yourself in the course of the day, if what you are doing is the best use of your time and how you can better use it.
 
8. Priorities need a dose of "Vitamin D," better known as Discipline. We don't always feel like doing what we're supposed to do. That's where you just tell yourself, "Get up and do it!" and then you do what? You get up and do it. The word discipline is a personal responsibility and personal accountability word. Our culture seems to shy away from this one. Embrace discipline and you will increase your success, be secure and happy.
 
9. Strong inner values will strengthen your priorities. Be clear about what values you stand for, the values that are not just of benefit to you but also to others. Some of these values are truthfulness, honor, selflessness, courage, dependability and caring for and about others first.
 
Call to action: This week start making a list of your priorities in all the key areas of your life. Start with the areas that concern you the most and then tackle the others.
 
If you have any questions or comments about establishing and executing your priorities, please contact me.