There are a multitude of priorities in our lives and many of them we rarely think about. We operate day-to-day with the intention of taking ownership of responsibilities, doing what is right and living good lives.

However, it can be difficult to find the time to consider how we are actually investing our precious time. A lack of awareness in this area may lead to frustration and lack of satisfaction. We can accomplish many things, but very few of them may align with our purpose and mission.

Our Models are Flawed

As we think about our purpose and mission in life, we must also consider how we can best live them out. Is there a prescription that we can follow that will make things better?

Unfortunately, most of our models are somewhat flawed. The people we observe and emulate are typically chasing something, but they, too, may not have clarity about what that is. Many use their time and energy to maintain the status quo.

I have heard it said that people never regret not having spent more time at the office. Their regrets are often around other things that they did not do or relationships they did not value. This is where evaluating, clarifying and understanding our true priorities may be helpful.

We are constantly forced to make decisions regarding our priorities. Some priorities may be:

  • spiritual development,
  • family relationships,
  • health and wellness,
  • earning money and
  • more.

Reflect Back on Your Purpose

It is important to gain clarity on your most meaningful priorities. One way to do so is to reflect back on your purpose in life. Carefully review and think about your priorities, then determine what areas of your life require more focus and attention.

Once this is done, determine how you are doing in those areas, and then prioritize them from most to least important. When you identify gaps, it is important to determine how you will fill them.

There are many descriptions of life priorities and types of “wheels” of life. I tend to like the “7Fs” of Dr. Ron Jensen of Future Achievement International:

  1. faith,
  2. family,
  3. fitness,
  4. finances,
  5. fun,
  6. firm and
  7. friends

These are relatively easy to remember, which makes the wheel easy to apply and share.

Future Achievement International focuses on helping individuals and organizations achieve their potential. Leadership Management International, with a similar focus, offers another model:

  1. family/home,
  2. financial/career,
  3. mental/educational,
  4. physical/health,
  5. social/cultural and
  6. spiritual/ethical

The Amazing Difference Goals Can Make

Relatively little of note is ever accomplished without goal-setting. We should clarify and consider the desired direction for our lives and develop clearly-written goals in the areas we have identified as important.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines goal-setting as “the process of deciding what you want to achieve, or what you want someone else to achieve over a particular period.” It appears to be a simple concept; however, speaking from experience, it can be quite challenging.

There were many times I lived without utilizing the process. My life changed dramatically when I began to plan, embrace and set clearly-written goals.

In the book, What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark McCormack describes a study of MBA program graduates conducted by Harvard University from 1979-1989. They were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”

  • Three percent had clearly-written goals and plans,
  • thirteen percent had goals but not in writing and
  • eighty-four percent had no specific goals at all.

Ten years later, the three percent who had clearly written goals earned ten times as much as the ninety-seven percent who did not have clear goals!

See my next blog for the steps of goal-setting.

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