8 Steps to Focusing on What is Really Important to You

As the saying goes, the good really is the enemy of the best.

One of the most frustrating parts of life, for me, is the fact that there doesn’t seem to be enough time in each day to do what I want to do or feel like I need to do. No one has the time to do everything they would like to do.

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We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and we each must choose what stays and what gets sacrificed in our daily schedules.

With so many good things demanding our attention, time, and money, how do we decide what is and is not important? How do we filter out the good from the best?

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Figuring out the answers to those questions will make decision making and life in general so much easier! Here are eight steps I’ve found helping in making decisions, setting goals, and prioritizing my life towards those things that are most important to me.

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1. Find Your Mission in Life

We all have a purpose in life, and we all have things that are important to us. Figure out what your most important things are, through crafting a personal (or family) mission statement based on your roles in life. This is the single most important thing I think I’ve ever done as a mom, and as a human being. (read more on crafting a personal mission statement here). 

2. Think Long Term

Using your personal mission statement, start to think through a few long-term goals for each of your life roles. Take some time to dream a little about where you’d like to be, who you’d like to be, and what you’d love to accomplish in life … eventually. (read more about setting effective long term goals in life). 

3. Direct Your Year with Annual Goals

What would you love to accomplish this year, realistically? What could you accomplish, if you put your mind to it?

Using your long-term goals, start to focus your annual goals and new year’s resolutions towards some do-able goals. (read more about setting annual goals and new years’ resolutions). 

4. Don’t Forget Your Goals

After creating those goals, it’s important to develop strategies for keeping those goals in front of you, cheering you on, and reminding you of what you value. (read more about keeping your goals in front of you here). 

5. Filter Opportunities and Decisions Through Your Goals and Mission

Ah, here’s where the rubber meets the road. If we said yes to every good thing that came our way, we’d never have time for the best things. If we want to accomplish what we’ve decided is truly important to us, we need to filter every opportunity and idea through our goals and mission statement. This is the key to staying on task, even when other things are calling our name. (read more about filtering opportunities here). 

6. Don’t Neglect Down Time

In all of this “achieving”, don’t neglect adequate rest and down time. Many times we achieve more when we are well rested, so don’t feel guilty about resting. (read more about down time here). 

7. Plan Your Goals for Each Day and Week as it Comes

Apart from appointments, don’t plan the specifics of each day or week until it is upon you. Use your daily and weekly planning to insert steps towards long term goals that would otherwise be lost in the busy-ness of the day today. Little by little you’ll get there. (read more about daily and weekly plans. )

8. Revise Your Goals and Plans As Needed to Work for YOU

The thing about goals and plans is that we don’t know if it is doable for our lives and families unless we try. Sometimes we find that we’ve bitten off more than we can chew. Other times, our situation changes calling for a change in our goals. The point of these exercises is to keep you focused, but flexible. Don’t be afraid to revise your goals. (read more here about revising your mission statement and goals).

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