Prioritizing Goals for the New Year

What I love about the new year is that it always feels like an opportunity to prioritize goals, reclaim sources of inspiration and get a fresh start. In December I spent some time creating a vision for the coming year.

Celebratory womanIn a previous post I told you that my resolution going forward is to create more fun in my everyday life. Mostly that means spending more time with the people I care about and playing outdoors. Creating a vision means seeing the “big picture” and then getting specific about prioritizing goals and dreams. The greater the clarity about our intentions, the better positioned we are to live our lives more fully and successfully. Ordering goals requires an awareness of what we value most personally and professionally.

Goal setting is a powerful guide for orchestrating our future, rather than just leaving it up to chance. One of my goals for 2010 is to build a business that makes a difference in the lives of women.

Make sure the goals and priorities that you create are written as simple, positive statements. Writing down clearly defined goals for the coming year and posting them someplace visible is an extra reminder to stay focused on your intentions and priorities. The statements themselves are motivating and serve as a form positive reinforcement.

Here is an exercise that I like to use. It is about focusing on values and goals so that choices for the coming days, weeks, and months become more deliberate and conscious.

An exercise to better understand your priorities

  • Draw a large pie on a blank sheet of paper and divide it into slices. Each slice represents one of the important aspects of your life.
  • Place a small dot on each slice that most closely approximates your level of satisfaction in that area. The outer edge of the circle indicates the highest level of satisfaction and the center of the circle indicates the lowest.
  • Now connect the dots and notice the shape you created. Is it full and round? Is it jagged and uneven? Notice your results.

You may observe there is a lack of symmetry. The opportunity in drawing this diagram is to notice which areas of your life are getting disproportionate amounts of attention.

Balancing one’s life means focusing on life as a whole and integrated system. When you raise your awareness of which parts are strong and which parts are neglected, you are positioning yourself to make the changes that will bring you to a more balanced state. It may mean adding more time with friends or an exercise class into your schedule.

Remember, it’s impossible to attend to all of these areas on a daily basis. The aim is to raise your level of consciousness so that you can begin to incorporate some changes into your life – one baby step at a time.

What did you discover about yourself by doing this exercise?

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