I do not believe in making New Year’s resolutions. I spent many years promising myself that I would break a bad habit, eat healthier, start a new fitness routine, get more organized, and the like. And every year, after a few months I would find myself no longer resolving to do what I had told myself I was going to do.
Instead of resolutions, I now try to spend several hours during the first few weeks of January to write down my goals and objectives for the year. Some years I have met most of my goals. Other years, I have not even come close to meeting my goals. For example, last year I set out to lift weights at the gym three times each week. After a few months, I was achieving my goal, but then in the early summer months, I injured my knee and quickly got out of the habit. Now, it has been over six months since I went to the gym to lift weights.
Now I guess I could let myself off the hook with that one since I was injured, but even when it was time to rehabilitate my knee, I did not choose to make time to go to the gym to strengthen it. It seems like many of my goals fall short because of an unexpected event or turn. Have you ever struggled with this?
Then I read authors like John Maxwell and Michael Hyatt who talk a lot about goal setting and accomplishing your objectives. They always talk about priorities. As a result, I make priority lists and my list looks something like this:
I could go on, but what I have found is most of my priorities are desired, but not actual. I do not always put my faith first. I do not always make time for my wife and kids. I am not always present for my family. I make choices that negatively affect my health and wellness. I have neglected several of my friendships. You get the point. I spend too much time working to try to pay the bills and get out of debt and miss what I say is important. This does not include the time I spent lost in another activity that was not a priority.
And often, because of my lack of prioritization, the person who suffered the most was myself. I believe that we should have two lists of priorities: an external priority list and an internal priority list.
What I mean is: we should prioritize the important people and relationships in our life. We should prioritize outside activities, finances, hobbies, work, and those things. They should be on a list.
But these things are external and are dependent on our own ability to make them a priority. Our organizations, businesses, churches, families, and friends need us to be the best version of ourselves. That is why I believe that an internal priority list is absolutely essential.
What goes on this list? Our personal development, our dreams, our ambitions, our health. I used to think it was selfish to focus on myself; to put time and energy into what I needed or wanted. But as I’ve gotten older, I have realized that if I am not focused on taking care of my personal needs physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually, I fall easily into a place of resentment and depression. I have become aware that when I feed myself positively in each of these areas, I find that I have more to offer the people around me. When I am excited about what I am doing, I love to share it and bring others around.
I don’t know what your priorities are this year, but I know that mine start with working on my internal development. I want to focus on the things that matter most so that I can bring my best self to the people and places that are most important to me.
If you haven’t taken time yet this year, I would challenge you to write out a priority list. Don’t just make a wish list that looks right. Be honest with yourself and write down your priorities. Need help figuring it out? Take an inventory of how you spend your time and your money.
As an executive coach, I would love to work with you and help you discern your priorities, discover where you are stuck, and help you take action toward the place you want to be.
I am committed to your success. I believe in you. I believe in your potential. Sign up for a complimentary coaching session today!
I floated in life for over 15 years, stuck in negative thinking patterns and addictions. Now after working with coaches, training programs, and a variety of other authors and mentors, I have broken free of many of my destructive patterns by taking intentional Next Steps toward my preferred future! I can't wait to help you do the same!