It begins with your True North

Setting priorities helps you keep control over time, energy, and resources. In turn, being in control sets you up to achieve the things you want while maintaining balance in your life.  Here are some of the basics in setting your priorities.

It begins with your True North

Setting priorities starts with identifying your goals and passions and maintaining alignment, thus following your True North. Passion is important in determining your priorities—your internal compass can’t to point in two places at once. If you’re passionate about your art but you spend all your time working, you’ll feel like you’re neglecting art, and vice versa. Your priorities are what you live, not what you write down.

You are multi-dimensional

If you’re human, then you’re a multi-dimensional being with a variety of interests in myriad areas of life. Which means: all work and no play is a design for burnout. So, when considering your daily priorities, remember that there’s more to you than only your career or only your health. Here are some areas of life you may want to consider when determining your priorities:

  • Work and Career
  • Family
  • Spiritual
  • Financial
  • Mind/Intellect
  • Physical/Health
  • Personal/Social

Keep your goals SMART

SMART Goals Are:

  • Specific
    • Be ruthless in your specificity. Vague or unclear statements will only hurt your personal success in the end.
  • Measurable
    • Can you measure it in numbers? Whether it’s pounds, number of clients, analytics, or products, you need to be able to have a way of measuring success.
  • Achievable
    • Goals that you can actually achieve will make you feel in control.
  • Results-focused
    • Decide what you want success to look like and hone in on that.
  • Time-bound
    • Set a date that you can actually reach. Unreachable goals will only serve to discourage you.

Be as clear as possible about the life you want to live. Having clear goals which are in alignment with your True North will help you live your priorities. Write down each of your goals as a statement: “I will lose thirty pounds by the fall,” or “I will enroll in a Spanish class at the local Community College this spring.” The clearer and more specific you are, the easier it will be for you to reach your goals. Review your statements and make sure they’re of real value to you.

Match goals with priorities

For each goal, tie in the priority it helps you live. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, what priority does that align with? Perhaps attaining this goal will help you to be a better role model for your children (Family), or maybe it will help you to be more in control of your eating (Physical/Health). Being conscious of your priorities behind your goals helps you be more effective with your time thus enabling you to achieve your goals with less effort.

ATTENTION! I am not suggesting that attaining goals is easy. No, things are not going to fall right into your lap when you’ve reached some magical state of equilibrium. Rather, it’s easier to stick with it and to enjoy the process when you have a strong WHY behind your WHAT. So take the time to set goals that are meaningful to you, and don’t chase blindly after activities you think you “should” be doing.

What’s the magic number?

At any given time, you should only have two or three priorities to really focus on. If you have more than that, put the “lower level” ones on the back burner to address later once you’ve spent some time on your higher value priorities. Keeping things simple allows you to make a greater impact and you’ll feel less scattered.

Live your priorities

Finally, while it’s important to plan your goals and priorities, it’s even more important to actually follow the plan you make. Evaluate your time realistically and put your plan into action. If you find it hard to follow your plan, go back to the drawing board and choose a goal that’s more realistic. In the end, you’ll be most effective when your goals align seamlessly with your True North.

Follow your True North. Attend the IDEAS TO DONE ™ Workshop.

The IDEAS TO DONE™ Workshop: Design a plan to level up your business

Kick off 2018 Strong. Attend this Workshop.

You know what you need to do. Now it’s time to put that knowledge to work.

In this hands-on workshop, you’ll roll up your sleeves and get right to work with me and my colleague Kim Dawson. We’ll teach you how to create a strategic plan for your businesses and how to implement those plans efficiently and effectively.  At the conclusion of the workshop, you’ll have a road map for your strategic plan + the tools you need to reiterate the process on your own.

Author: Sarah Hawkins
Owner & Lead Consultant, True North Business Management.

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