I find that in my own life and in the lives of those that I coach there is one principal that stands true. If it is truly important to me then I will do it. Conversely, if I find people lamenting that they never seem to achieve their goals or get done the things they say they really want to get done, I sometimes suggest that it must not be important enough. Often this tough statement is met with frustration and rejection, which is exactly the response I want, because now we can talk about the things in the way of achieving our goals and explore ways to overcome those obstacles. I want to suggest to you two specific obstacles that must be overcome if we are going to do what we say is truly most important.
First, we often have conflicting priorities. There truly are things in our lives that compete for that status of most important, and we need to decide whether it truly is more important. If it is, then admit it and go after it, but if it truly doesn’t warrant that top spot in our priorities then we must put it in its place. Some things need to be cut out of our lives all together. Others need to be prioritized in the appropriate order. It is important to understand that the priority of an objective can change. That’s alright as long as we intentionally change that priority and acknowledge that the other objective or goal is moving lower on the ladder of priority. It may come back, but it is not there now. If we do this with intentionality, then there is no victim’s lament. We are in control (to the degree that we control anything) and have thoughtfully and intentionally decided what is important and what is not.
Second, once we have selected the top priority we must make plans to achieve it, complete it, or realize it. The most creative goal in life will remain unrealized if no plan is made to achieve it. This is so simple yet so crucial and so often missed. It is missed because planning the steps to achieve the dream is so much harder than dreaming the dream. This isn’t profound, it just is. If it is important, then a plan to do it will be established and then it will be done. If you don’t plan the doing of it, the likelihood is that you won’t do it, and then we are back at the start…it must not be that important to you.
We have to stop making excuses to ourselves explaining away why we fail to achieve our goals and start planning to achieve them with specific steps that we ultimately execute. What are some tips you find useful in prioritizing and then planning the achievement of your goals?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net