I’ve been reading a ton of books and listening to audio programs on goal setting, personal development and priorities. It’s great stuff and I’m usually drawn to experts like Brian Tracy and Chalene Johnson.
One of the audio programs I wanted to go back to was Chalene Johnson’s Car Smart series; specifically the one dealing with priorities. I’ve never thought of myself as a person who didn’t have their priorities in check. Certainly the major ones where top priority right?
Apparently not as I allowed myself to get stuck working on Sunday afternoons at a job that takes me an hour to get to by bus. It wasn’t the job. It was being so tired at mass, then religious ed, then work, that I wasn’t even sure how I could function. So, my attendance at Sunday mass started to suffer.
I didn’t want to quit over having to work on Sundays, but I was praying for a way to resolve this. The first thing I did was to create a plan to work on bringing in enough money from my coaching business that I could work from home. If I work from home, the problem is solved. But that’s not an immediate solution.
When I arrived at work on Wednesday, I found out my kiosk was going to be taken over by another company in a few months. I realized that this was my out. You see, I could go back to teaching fitness classes while I looked for another job and then make sure I would no longer work on Sunday. That was fine for Wednesday.
Thursday was when the real work hit me. I listened to the audio on priorities again and realized that my faith must be my number one priority. When I make it my number one priority, I will have an easier time making other decisions, including which jobs to take. Chalene’s advice was to put action verbs to your top priority and write a statement about it. So, here’s what I wrote:
“My top priority is to be active and engaged in the practice of my faith. This includes attending Sunday Mass, monthly confession, mass on Holy Days, daily reading, daily recitation of the Rosary, praying the Divine Office Morning an Evening Prayers and service to the Church community. I commit to my brother’s religious education, the advancement of my religious vocation and promotion of all religious vocations. I commit to turn down any employment which regularly keeps me from fulfilling these obligations, including not working on Sundays.”
Once I wrote that, I felt relieved and ready to take on whatever comes next. I know everyone won’t understand my reasons because faith isn’t their top priority. But, you see, when I was at my lowest in life, and I needed help and love, I got it from the Church. It pains me not to be in communion with my fellow Catholics and really do love going to church. Unfortunately, finances sometimes take away from that as we work jobs that are much needed to support our families.
Am I saying that you should quit your job if you work on Sundays? Nope. Am I saying that you have to figure out your top priority in life and commit to that? Absolutely.
Think about what you won’t compromise on. What is it that, if you couldn’t do it, would give you great sorrow? What is your life purpose?
These are just a few of the questions you can use to get yourself started in figuring out your top priority. I would love to hear from you in the comment section as to what your top priorities are and feel free to share a statement like the one I wrote above! If you need more guidance on this, Chalene has a free 30-day program (which I’ve done repeatedly) that will guide you through all of this online. You can find it here: I can’t wait to hear from you!

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.