Priorities: How to Get What You Really Want

Setting priorities to get what you want

What are your priorities?

What do you want to accomplish in your career, in your relationships, for your family, for yourself? What is your plan for achieving your priorities? Are your time, money and efforts focused on getting what you really want?

Time passes too quickly. Good intentions often are marooned on “Someday Isle.” “Someday, I’ll have the opportunity to spend more time with the kids.” “Someday, I’ll finish my degree and qualify for promotion.” “Someday, I’ll get serious.” And sometimes, you look up, and Someday has come and gone, and the opportunity is lost forever.

The kids grow up, and off with their friends. They have gotten used to your not being around. They’ve learned to function quite well without you. You’ve missed their victories on the soccer field, their heartbreaks, the class field trips and parties. And those times will never come again.

Or you finally seriously consider finishing your degree. Your lack of academic credentials has become awkward. A few letters after your name could open doors. Going back to school for personal satisfaction is great, but you want the promotional impact as well. So you unveil this to your boss, and get an indifferent response. Your time has passed. The industry is focusing on younger talent.

Or you’re young, without attachments, and determined to enjoy every minute. Party hard. Work is there to give you the money to enjoy life now. And then you notice that promotions and raises aren’t quite keeping up with your lifestyle. You’re passed over for colleagues who are seen as more serious about business. You’re ready to settle down, but your reputation is against you.

You can’t have it all. Take inventory, assess, and take action to achieve the goals that are important to you.

  1. What are your priorities? List them. Consider your short and long term goals. These might include spending more time with your kids, or traveling the world, or retiring as a multi-millionaire.
  2. What do you need to achieve your priorities? What are the intermediate steps and actions required? Detail these.
  3. Set timelines. What has to be done in the next week, month, year, or several years?
  4. What is realistic? What do you need to modify? What do you need to exclude?
  5. Set your final, actionable list. What changes will you make, and what tasks will you accomplish?
  6. Make a schedule, make a commitment to yourself, and take action.
  7. Re-evaluate and assess. Is your plan too ambitious? Are your focused in the direction you truly want? Have priorities changed? Assess and modify your schedule as needed.

You might discover you are too close to the issues to see yourself clearly. Finding a trusted friend or business mastermind group can lend perspectives and insights you might not have considered.

Sometimes the biggest hurdle is to develop clarity in your true mission, vision and values. Check out this article for strategies to identify your purpose.

Each of us has our own priorities. Identify yours, and direct your life toward achieving what you really want, now and in the future.

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