Add Your Priorities to Your List

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Written by Jennifer Harbaugh

Have you ever placed yourself on your weekly to do list? Join author Jennifer Harbaugh as she shares “Add Your Priorities to Your List.

Written by Jennifer Harbaugh

When I picked the topic for this article, I started to analyze my weekly Tasks to Do List that I tend to write. What I found was shocking but yet not surprising. I noticed that I didn’t add myself to the list. Every task is about either doing something for someone else or completing basic tasks ranging from food shopping to paying bills.

pen and inkWhen have I ever put myself on the list? I started to think about my priorities and listed them in order of importance: Education, work, people, then me.

I asked myself, “Why do I always put myself last?”

I have noticed that not putting myself at the top of any list I make, from priorities to errands, has created serious negative consequences for me. For example, I have not been able to get to know myself well by having time alone to do something I like.

I have lost myself entirely because I am too busy focusing on make everyone else happy, but what about me? I deserve to run and dance in the rain by myself and laugh. I deserve to lay down in a field of flowers and smell every single one. I deserve to be selfish in this way once in a while. So do you.

Together, right now, we’ll put ourselves at the top of the list.

First, let’s throw away any lists we have right now, whether written or in our minds, and start a new one.

Start a new list that says (in bold):


  • List things from getting a manicure to meditate to running.
  • List things that allow you to connect with yourself every week.
  • List things that you have been wanting to do or learn.

Put the list somewhere you can see everyday from the refrigerator to the bathroom mirror.

Second, tell your loved ones or the people to whom you have dedicated so much time that you are putting your foot down. Enough is enough.

Third, follow through and do what you just jotted down on your list. Do it, without remorse, without any hesitation. Remember, you deserve it as much as anyone.

If you really need a reason to put yourself at the top of list, then you need to question where you stand with your relationship with yourself.

I encourage you to put yourself on the top of your list in order to fall in love with yourself all over again every day as you learn how to reconnect with your mind and soul.

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
It took me a while to finally accept that I’m different from everyone else and I should not adapt myself to the society norms. So what if I am not thin? As long I am living a healthy lifestyle. So what if I don’t want to wear a dress and heels? As long I have clothes to wear everyday. I should be living the life I want, not the life the people want me to live.

What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate the fact I am still alive and being given a second chance to reclaim myself. Not many people are lucky like me and I am grateful for that.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
My most rewarding achievement is that I exceeded everyone’s expectations of what a Deaf person can do. I have many goals, still…but, if I have to pick one goal and that is educating the world about the most important things in life.

What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
Do I really have to tell? Okay, procrastination is my “not-so-perfect” way, probably the reason why it took me long enough to finally realize I need to start reclaiming myself at age 26. My imperfections are: biting my nails and being a worry wart.

How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my mind, I cannot believe that I came up with this article. So eternally grateful for that creativity part of my brain doing the hard work for me.

About the author

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Jennifer Harbaugh

Jennifer Harbaugh's passion of reading and writing started when she was a junior at Maryland School for the Deaf. She got her BA in English from Pennsylvania State University in 2008, and a MFA in Dramatic Writing from Goddard College in 2014. She just returned to graduate school, McDaniel College, for the second time to get a MS in Deaf Education after falling in love with teaching.


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