Life is full of choices, overwhelmingly full.  Every day is full of decisions that need to be made:  what to eat, what to wear, which way to drive to work, and so on.  Some of them are easy, some are hard, some are important, and some are not.  When you group all your decisions together, you get a pretty good picture of your priorities.

Not everyone has the same priorities.  While I long to be one of those smartly-dressed women, I don’t care enough to spend the time or the money on shopping for clothes.  My sister chooses a frugal lifestyle to support her amazing travel.  Some people feel very strongly that they must have a certain car, or a certain house.  I am glad that we are all different.  Can you imagine what the world would look like if we were all the same?  Bor-ing.

Not everyone has the same priorities, and that’s OK.  I think it is much more important that you live your life in accordance with your priorities, not anyone else’s thoughts on what you should do.  What’s interesting, though, is that so many of us don’t live our lives in a way that goes along with our state priorities.  This is true when it comes to how you spend your time and also how you spend your money.

I challenge you to spend some time thinking about your priorities, and then consider whether you are spending your time and money in a way that supports your priorities.  I do this semi-regularly, and I’m often surprised at what I discover.

My priorities are rather boring:  my marriage, my children, my health, and then doing good for others.  When I look at the way I spend my time, you’d wonder:  how can someone who values their health never make the time to exercise?  Similarly, why wouldn’t I be willing to spend $7 on a Zumba class?  Hmmmm…

This is one small example of how this can play out across your life.  Just a little examination will probably uncover many such places where your thoughts and your actions don’t match.  Being aware of these inconsistencies will help you make small changes that result in significant difference in your choices, and therefore, your happiness.

Give it a try, and let me know what you discover.  It can be fascinating.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.