Giving Your Life Priorities a Reality Check

Women can’t have it all. Women can have it all. So which is it? Well, it depends on what all means to you.  Over the past few months I’ve often felt pressure to have it all.  But I’ve realized that it’s okay to level set my expectations and have it all in a few key areas of my life.

I recently attended my annual kick-off of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and the meeting focused around prioritizing and rating your life priorities (relationships with spouse/friends, work, kids, maintaining the home, exercise/healthy habits, personal finances, volunteerism, faith/religion, etc.)  The meeting discussed creating your current life priorities, ranking yourself on a scale of 1-10 on each of those priorities, and reviewing your assessments to see if you need to make any adjustments.  In the meeting, we also talked about not striving for a false sense of perfection or setting yourself up for potential failure by thinking you have to be a 10 at everything, all the time.  We talked about how being a 5 or 6 at certain things, at certain times in your life, is perfectly fine.  It got me thinking that maybe I just need to reassess my rating parameters.  For example, I’m a mom to two boys ages 4 and 2 and I was beating myself up over not being that Pinterest mom who can keep a Michaels Stores in business with never-ending craft projects (shout out to JDA customer Michaels!) Rather than beating myself up, I realized I might need to reshape my expectations.  The life priority for me wasn’t the Pinterest-worthy mom craft, but quality time spent with my kids.  So, after this re-shift in focus, I find myself planning fun afternoons of bike riding or swimming, rather than try to be someone I’m not and beat myself up over false expectations.

Another life priority that I determined needed some more focus was my home organizational skills (self-ranked 4, if I’m being generous.)  Lucky for me, I was able to ask for help and outsource some of my kid/toy organization to my mother-in-law.  But I quickly realized I needed a new, more permanent solution for my overall organization strategy at home.  At my MOPS meeting, we talked about a home organizational system called the Family Command Center. A place for all of that “stuff” that is constantly coming in and out of your home like keys, sunglasses, bills, papers to sign for school, etc.  You know… all that stuff that is usually piled up in a corner of your kitchen? IKEA (shout out to another JDA customer!) to the rescue and my Family Command Center is shaping up quite nicely with shelves for those random things like keys, basket and hook for each of my boy’s school bag and stuff, corkboard for important notes/reminders, and a family whiteboard for family meal planning.

So, what are your life priorities and how would you rank yourself on a scale from 1 to 10? Are there some areas you may need to re-evaluate or re-think? What are some of your tips for staying organized at home?

My favorite part of the recent book suggested by our CEO Girish Rishi, Measure What Matters, is the part about owning up to any shortfalls but also taking a moment to savor your OKR (Objectives and Key Results) progress. The very nature of OKRs are that they aren’t frozen, rather constantly adapting and innovating. My life priorities are a work in progress. I’m constantly working on bettering myself and reminding myself that I don’t need to have it all. I just need to have all of my life prioritized. And apparently, organized.

  3 Comments   Comment

  1. Mary Ketter

    Thanks for sharing Arlyn, it really got me to thinking! My daughter is grown and out of the house, but you never stop re-thinking and re-prioritizing! Love this!

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  2. Jill Clark

    Arlyn – thanks for sharing your new system and for reminding us we can make choices that fit us at this point in life and not some unrealistic expectation from someone else. Great post!

    Reply

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