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Identifying Your Priorities
by Corrine Bucher

A pang of panic shot through me as I read the email from a friend saying she couldn't come for a play date because her son has his first AYSO soccer practice. It wasn't about the fact that I wouldn't get to spend time with a friend; my anxiety sprang from the fear that my son was missing out on something. AYSO soccer? That wasn't even on my radar. How could I have missed that while I was signing up for swimming, dance and Spanish tutoring?

As a mother of a kindergartener for the first time, I discovered how complicated the start of a school year can be. One of my friends refers to their intricate family schedule as the 'activity matrix'. As a Coach I do a lot of work around defining priorities and thinking about what one deeply wants for his or her family. But in my moment of panic, I forgot that and the pressure to be "the perfect mom" hit me.

Just a few days earlier, my husband and I had decided what our priorities are for our family and ourselves this Fall, and one was, as a family, to have time to just BE and play. So, when I brought up AYSO soccer he burst out laughing, lovingly reminding me of our decision. For identifying priorities is only half of the equation - following through with them is equally important. I've found that when my priorities reflect my core values, it becomes a lot easier to stay true to them. It also helps to have an accountability partner!

I have included an exercise below to help you identify and keep tabs on your priorities. Notice that I only ask you to think about the next three months: Motherhood is an ever-changing adventure, which means frequently re-evaluating what's most important. AYSO, for a four-year old, just isn't for us. This week, anyway.

About the Author

Corrine Bucher is a veteran coach and mother devoted to transforming the lives of both working and stay-at-home mothers. Her Workshops for Working Mothers, originally developed for a Fortune 500 Company, challenge and inspire women to define their work/life balance vision so they may begin to feel a sense of control again. Learn more and sign up for her online newsletter, Embracing Motherhood, at http://corrinebucher.com.

Please note: You may reprint this article; however, it must be used in its entirety and not be edited or changed in any way. It must also include the author's byline and "About the Author" section at the bottom, with an active link back to this web site. Failure to comply with these instructions is considered an infringement of copyright law. © 2008 Corrine Bucher. All rights reserved.

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