Take Control of Your Life – Set Your Priorities

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Take Control of Your Life

Take control of your life… that was so easy to type. Why is it so hard to do? Because you have years of practice letting other people and other situations control you. I had the same problem. My life was out of control until I created my own personal system that led me from failure to success as I tried to manage my home and my life.  In this post, I want to help you create your own personal system as well.  

If you want to read more about my journey, click on my About Me page.  Otherwise, let’s get started!

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Home Management Baby Steps

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Set Your Priorities by Defining What Brings You Peace

I’m not talking about world peace or the kind of peace where there is no noise. I’m talking about mental peace. YOUR personal mental peace.  

Life has a tenancy to rob us of the peace we so desperately need. Without peace, I get anxious and feel suffocated. I start shutting down and shutting people out. Most importantly, I don’t function well without it at all. Frankly, I don’t think anyone does.

To take control of your life, you need to know what peace looks like for you. And since we are all individuals with different lives, priorities are going to be different for everyone.  

And, be honest with yourself. Choose the areas that matter to YOU, not your mother, not your mother-in-law nor anyone else for that matter. This is about YOUR mental peace.

Don’t worry about expectations from other people or what you perceive their expectations to be. Don’t worry about comparing yourself to your neighbor or your friend. Only YOU can define what brings YOU peace.  No one else can set your priorities for you. No one else can take control of your life… unless you let them.

“Only YOU can define what brings YOU peace.”

1. Make a List of the Things That Cause You Stress

As your brain begins answering the question, “What Does Peace Look Like For Me?” Let me just stop you for a second. We are only going to define that which is in our control. Therefore, this exercise has nothing to do with your husband, your kids, your crazy family members (you know you have them), or your friends. We do not have control over other people’s actions.  So, we aren’t including them as part of our exercise.

This question has more to do with the things you are responsible for every day. The things that keep you up at night. The things that make you feel like a failure when you don’t have enough time to complete them.

This would be a good time to grab a notebook.  Write down as many things as you can think that cause you stress. Again, only list things you have the ability to take control over.  In other words, this exercise is primarily geared toward your responsibilities. 

2. Group Tasks by Category

Next, look at the list. Can you see categories? I’m guessing that some things might actually be individual tasks for one larger category. 

Grouping the tasks by category will give you fewer areas to focus on. It will help you focus and be more productive because there will be fewer areas to focus on.  

You should be able to group things into FOUR categories or less. It should be manageable. Something you can accomplish. So, don’t be unrealistic.  I’ve listed my four priority areas below as an example. 

To-do lists that are too long never get started. Consequently, the stress of the undone list will keep you up at night. And then you are too tired to start the list tomorrow. It’s a vicious cycle. One that we want to break right now. That’s why we are limiting it to only four areas.

3. Focus on Your Priority Areas Every Day

Chances are, these areas need attention.  That’s probably why you have stress in these areas to begin with.  To actually have peace, you have to make these areas REAL priorities.  And you’ll need to give them REAL time to get them in order and to keep them in order.

Give yourself a little time each day to work on each of these four areas.  Remember, this is your starting point.  Each area will need more attention in the beginning of this process. Be patient with yourself.  As you get each area under control, you’ll have more time to do other things.

Example:  My Priority Areas

Clutter Free House 

Today’s clutter on top of yesterday’s clutter and so on and so on is more than I can take. I feel peace when I go to bed after having picked up today’s messes. Subsequently, I wake up without leftover chores from yesterday. A fresh start to each day. Love it!

Wash and Fold Laundry

I don’t like spending all weekend washing clothes. I also don’t like having baskets or piles of clean laundry sitting around the house waiting for some magical fairy to come along and put it all away.  Above all, I don’t like having to add extra time to every morning because all of my clothes are wrinkled and need ironing before wearing them. So, being mindful of the state of my laundry every day helps me stay on top of it. Stress reduced.

Financial Control

Let me be a little more clear.  This is a bigger subject than I’m letting on.  One that I’ll likely go into much more depth on at some point in the future.  I need to know the state of my money.  Otherwise, I will stay awake all night wondering and worrying if I’m missing due dates or if I’m spending tomorrow’s mortgage on today’s wants. I can’t take it. Therefore, planning my cash and making sure everything gets paid on time = Peaceful sleep. 🙂

Menu for the Week

This is without question my biggest household management weakness. I don’t know why it has been such a huge mental block for me. But it has. The problem is that everyone in my house needs food.  They can’t go without it.  How annoying!  Every single day these people want to eat.  Not just once a day.  Multiple times!! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Oh and snacks!  Don’t forget the snacks. The first few days after a grocery run are by far my least stressful.  After that, I can relax.  

Not Everything Makes the Priority List

Notice that many things are NOT on my list… dusting, vacuuming, lawn care, car care, cleaning bathtubs, organizing closets, etc. Frankly, nothing about organization is on the list. Now, of course, I want my house organized. Of course, I don’t want to live with dust everywhere or dirty floors. 

But let’s remember, we are only talking about a starting place here.  A small list of areas to get done and keep done daily so you can go to sleep feeling accomplished every day.  So you can rest.

Taking Control of Your Life and Setting Your Priorities = Peace

Before I established this list, I felt like I always had to be ON.  I couldn’t just relax and enjoy life, my kids, or my family. In the same vein, I felt like I should decline social invitations because I had responsibilities waiting for me. There was always the daunting chore list.

Once I established this list, I was able to give myself permission to enjoy life. Every day / every week, I reviewed these four areas in my mind. Once they were done, I started planning and having fun. Defining what brings me peace gave me peace. It gave me my life back.  And I believe it will do the same for you.


If you are following the Home Management Baby Steps, this was Step One.  Ready for Baby Step Two? 
Successful Habits & Daily Routines Build Your Future.

Comment below and tell me what YOUR areas of peace are.

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