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Make Priorities Your Goals For 2020

Posted by Mark Winebrenner on Jan 1, 2020 8:59:00 PM
Mark Winebrenner


Author Greg McKeown warns, “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”.


It is the simple notion that others are vying for your time, talent and resources by constantly telling you what should be important to you. 


If you are a goal-setter or desire to become one, January is the annual kickoff of renewed determination to achieve goals.

I like having goals. I encourage clients to set them. However, without first establishing priorities, we can set goals that distract us or even be set by the voices of others in our ears telling us what is important.

A priority is simply something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first. I heard it said that many of life’s disappointments come from dealing with second things first.


How we spend time is how we choose our life. Our priorities can put us in either positive positions or unpleasant predicaments. Thinking first about our priorities will help us choose our goals wisely.

Without understanding the “why” behind our priorities, it is easy to slide into spending time on the wrong things. It can even be good things but done at the wrong time. The goal is to work on the best things at the right time. 


Establishing priorities takes work. John Maxwell suggests you begin with the  Three R’s: what is required of you, what gives you the greatest return and finally, what gives you the greatest reward.


The thinking process goes like this: there are many things that are required of us which are things only we can do or should do. Therefore, we must do those things first. 

While we seek to do those things with excellence, we should seek activities that give us the best return for the time we invest.

In other words, make us more effective in doing what is required. These activities are usually within our strengths and natural gifts. Once we are effective with what is required, then we should consider what in life is most rewarding, that is, gives us the most personal satisfaction.


As a father, I believe I am required to help my young son to know Jesus personally.  I love the clarity and simplicity of what Jesus said as quoted in Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”


There are many goals I can set to fulfill this requirement. I can make sure my son is in church and involved in youth group. I can teach him how to read the Bible. There are many options. Along the way I need to pay attention to what helps my son the most, giving the best return on the time spent.


My son enjoys working with the production team at church. He is surrounded with wonderful, young, godly leaders who pour into his life. Therefore, my wife and I are very intentional in creating opportunities for him to serve in those areas. This is one of our priorities.


Beach vacations bring me personal satisfaction and can reenergize me. However, if I am not effectively doing what is required of me in all areas of life first, then any renewed energy or enjoyment I received from the vacation will evaporate quickly once I return. 


I want to be satisfied with my life, don’t you? Therefore, I try to pay attention when Jesus reminds me, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6)


Welcome to 2020!


Take some time to evaluate your priorities by starting here: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8



Topics: Encouraging Words