Put First Things First

What does it really mean when we say “no” to our children? Most of the time, it means “YES” to something more important. Putting first things first in life means that we are choosing to put lesser things later or maybe never. One of my favorite lessons in the Middle School Pathways program is the rocks and sand exercise (the Pickle Jar video). It is a clear metaphor for getting our priorities straight and finding ways to be more intentional about our life and likely, being able to achieve more than we may have thought possible. Happy and successful people are great at spending their time and talent on what is most important to them, heart, mind, body, and soul.
Help your children to examine their “firsts” by asking them about each of the AACA colors:
  • Heart – Who are the most important people in your life?
  • Mind  – What topics do you enjoy learning about most?
  • Body – How do you like to spend time physically? (favorite sports, hobbies… )
  • Soul  – Why are you so special?
The other important message tied to this week’s habit is knowing what is important and urgent and what is important but not urgent. Sorting the tasks and activities in our lives between these two ideas helps to keep our plates from feeling to heavy and full. I encourage you to identify priorities in your life and your children’s by writing them down and deciding as a family how you can best use the precious asset of your time.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey
“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Goethe
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