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Group Size: 1 to 25
Time Needed: 15 to 20 minutes
Goal: To encourage participants to think about what is really important in their lives and set priorities accordingly
Audience: Couples, Parents, Teens, Singles
Special Considerations: This activity may force participants to become noticeably uncomfortable prioritizing elements in their life which they may have never regarded in this manner. Encourage participants to consider those things which they may take for granted i.e. the ability to communicate, freedoms, the opportunity to learn, their senses, etc.
Resources Needed:

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Distribute 10 small pieces of paper to each participant.
  2. Instruct participants to think about the most important things in their lives. These should be things they couldn’t live without, but not things they need to physically survive (such as water and food). Explain to participants that these things are about the quality of their lives.
  3. Ask participants to write one of these things on each sheet of paper. If participants are going to write down their children, instruct them to put all the children on one piece of paper.
  4. After all ten pieces of paper are filled, ask participants to arrange all ten sheets so they can easily see them.
  5. Instruct participants that they must give up one of them and should lay it face up on the table. Expect many complaints as you pose this first challenge. Remind them this is pretend, but to really think about if they really had to give things up.
  6. Continue to ask participants to give up “things.” As they give them up they should lay them on top of each other, face up. Have them continue until they have only one thing left.
  7. This should be their “most important thing.” Ask them to ponder: would they give up everything else for this one thing?
  8. Have them place their most important thing on top and explain to them that they now have a priority list.

Tips for Discussion and Processing

Discuss with participants the order in which they have listed their priorities. Ask if we were to follow them for a week, would we know their priorities by the way they live their lives? In other words, are they living in accordance to what they say are their most important things? This can become a discussion on life balance.

Note: These activities can be modified to reflect a variety of skills.