We often hear how vital is to have personal and professional goals, that being clear about (and sticking to) our priorities can make the difference between coasting through life and living it to the fullest. But when we’re busy with work, family, relationships and all the other responsibilities we have, it can be hard to step back and get a clear picture of what’s important.
Here are a few tips on goal-setting, and how you can clarify your personal and professional priorities.
Look at what you need to be doing (both at work and in your personal life) in order to keep your finances and your family life stable. Then, envision what you would like your future to look like. Be honest with yourself about what you really want to be doing, not what you think you should be doing or what everyone else is doing. Once you have an idea of the things in life that you want to make a priority, you can start to define some goals.
Change doesn’t usually happen overnight. Setting 2 or 3 goals is a wiser course of action than setting 20 at once. If you try to do too many things at the same time, something is going to suffer. Once you have a few clear goals, look at your life circumstances and make an action plan based on the realities of your current situation.
Clear some space in your schedule when you can remove yourself from your typical daily grind and revisit your goals. By continually assessing what is or isn’t working in our lives, we can determine whether something has changed to make our priorities shift.
You could put aside a small amount of time each week to look at your personal or professional goals. Sunday evenings or Monday mornings are a great time to check your priorities, and adjust your plans according to what your week or month looks like. Conferences or retreats are also a great way to automatically build in “check-in” times.
BlissDom Canada is one of my favourite “check-ins” each year. I love BlissDom because it gives me a chance to reflect on whether my priorities are securely in place, and whether the goals I’ve set are either realistic and/or still relevant. In the conference environment, I have a mix of alone time, time to mix and mingle with a diverse group of people, as well as exposure to new ideas, great resources, and lots of inspiration. (And have a bunch of fun to boot!)
Find an accountability partner, someone with whom you can share your goals and action plans. Check in with each other on a regular basis, either in person, by phone or Skype chat, or even email. You can help one another set deadlines, be each other's sounding board, and can encourage each other when facing challenges along the way.
It’s so easy to look at other people and think, “I should be doing that,” or “That’s such a great idea,” or “I wish I could do that but I can’t find the time.” When you’re tempted to compare yourself, go back to tips #1 and #2 — be honest with yourself, ask yourself what you really want, and determine what is realistic for you in your life right now.
When you are clear on your priorities and goals, they will be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to your calendar. If someone asks you to be involved in something, to do a project, to give a talk, to join a book club, you can ask yourself, “Does this support me in moving closer to either my personal or professional goals?” If the answer is yes, then dive right in. If the answer is no, then only you can decide whether to put your time into something that isn’t on your priority list.
One of the only constants in life is change. There will be goals that you set now that a few months down the road might seem completely ridiculous. And there will be goals that once attained are not what you thought they would be. By being flexible you can adjust and tinker with your goals. You have the ability to change your priorities and your action plans. Simply revisit steps one through six again and reset your focus.
For more articles, tips, and tricks to help you get organized and make the most of your blog and business visit our BlissDom Canada 2014: How Do You Find Your Bliss? page.
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