When Wants Conflict – Setting Priorities

If you want to change more than one aspect of your life, chances are there will come a time when those wants will conflict. In other words, moving forward in one of your goals will create a problem with another one of your goals.

A Decision To Make
For me, the time came when I was about 4 months pregnant. Obviously having this child was very important to me. My husband and I were very anxious to be parents, and we had been trying for a while. At the same time, I was trying to change my career. I was working on establishing myself as a writer, including writing and marketing my novels, working on a website and writing articles for another site. One would think that the two would have little to no effect on each other. My body was taking care of the baby making, and any free time I had was being filled with writing endeavors. No problem.

Well, no problem — until the baby making took its toll on my body. I was exhausted, unmotivated and lazy. I wanted nothing more than to sit and watch movies all day. Not exactly a great idea when I have a career to get off the ground! My plans were thrown into upheaval, and I found myself getting more and more behind in my goals. So what did I do?

I had to make a choice.

When your wants conflict, you simply have to decide what’s more important. Which want is more pressing, more vital to your happiness? For me, I could push myself harder, get my work done, but continue to add strain to my body. I would likely move forward in my career goals, but there was the chance I would have a negative impact on my baby. Or, I could take it easy, let my body do what it had to do, and cut myself some slack on the writing goals. I chose to put my baby first. Yes, I got behind in my career goals, and I’m still trying to play catch-up. But I didn’t want to do anything to harm my baby. That was more important to me than advancing in my career.

Only you can make the decision as to what’s right for you. Perhaps your choice would have been different than mine. Perhaps you will find yourself more conflicted, unsure which path to choose. It may not be easy. But ultimately you have to do what will make you the happiest. If something had happened to my baby because I had pushed myself too hard, I never would have been able to live with myself. Will you be able to live with your decision?

Setting Priorities
Chances are your choices will not be a matter of life and death. Few choices are. But knowing your priorities, and which goals mean more to you, can help make your decisions easier. It can also help you figure out what to focus on so you don’t get overwhelmed trying to change everything at once. Which want do you want to change the most?

It may help you as you go if you sit down and list everything you’re looking to change — no matter how big or small. Then, place them in order of importance. What are you looking to change first? What can wait a while? What will have the biggest impact on your life? Does one thing have to be done before another?

Setting your priorities can not only settle your mind, it can also make it a little easier when what you want to change conflicts. And checking items off that list is a great feeling!

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