Do you ever feel like you have so many things you want to accomplish that you don’t know where to start? Get so overwhelmed with the number of projects you’ve taken on that it’s easier to do nothing at all? Then feel guilty because you want to do the things you were so excited about before?
Well, this week, I have something just for you. In today’s post, I’ll show you seven steps for prioritizing your goals. Throughout the week, we’ll be examining some of these steps more closely, so follow the blog for more!
1. Figure out your life priorities first.
A lot of times, we set goals because they sound good, someone else is doing the same thing, or it feels like something we’re “supposed” to do. If you want to set goals that you know you can accomplish, start by deciding what’s truly important to you. That way, you’ll know exactly why each goal matters to you.
2. Understand the Difference Between Goal Setting and Goal Planning.
Goal setting is creating a list of things you want to accomplish and giving yourself a timeframe in which to work. Goal Planning is the next step: figuring out what it will take to accomplish your goals and what supports you will need along the way.
3. Categorize and List your goals.
We all have so many things we want to accomplish that it can feel like we’re being pulled in a million directions at once! The best way to handle that feeling is to break things up into smaller chunks. Start with some basic categories: Work, Life, School, Family, Hobbies–whatever is important to you. Then, within each category, list things you want to accomplish.
4. Do a pre-assessment for each list item.
This is where you start asking yourself some hard questions. For each list item, think about why you want to accomplish that goal. How much time and effort are involved? What do you hope to get out of it? Do those things match up with your priorities? Write down a sentence or 2 for each goal. You don’t have to go into a lot of detail. Just go with your gut. Writing this out will help you form a framework for choosing realistic goals that you really want.
5. Rank your goals and objectives.
We all have things we have to do. Pay the rent, make the doctor’s appointment, finish our degree or feed our kids. Then we have things we want to do. Rewrite your list of goals so that “have to” and “want to” are grouped together, then rank them by urgency. For anything left over, rank by preference. Make sure that everything lines up with your priorities. If it doesn’t, table it or cross it off the list.
6. Decide on a timeframe.
This is where I always used to get tripped up. I would set totally unrealistic deadlines for myself, then procrastinate because I felt overwhelmed. Or, I would get so stressed out by my self-imposed deadline that I couldn’t get the work finished anyway. For a while, I stopped using time frames and deadlines at all. I got very little done because I didn’t have anything to measure my progress against. Now, I ask myself some questions. Is this something I can get done in a day? A week? A month? A year? If I’m not sure, I give myself the longer period of time.
7. Use your planner to help you strategize and manage your time.
Write everything out so that you can see how many thiings you want to accomplish in the same week or month. If there are too many, see which ones you can push out further or combine. For day to day planning, you can use a planner to figure out how to group tasks together. For example, if you know you’re going to be tired or only have a few minutes, then schedule some tasks that don’t take as much time or energy and cross them off as you finish them. Then you can still get a boost from the sense of accomplishment without exhausting yourself.
Don’t forget! There will be more on prioritizing and planning your goals all week. Click the follow button in my sidebar!