Goal Diggers: Prioritise Priorities!

Welcome to article 3 in this series on Goals and Values.

Goals are difficult on their own. Add conflicting priorities, pushy people, shiny objects, and entertaining distractions to the mix and goals can start to feel impossible. Make the process easier by consciously setting yourself up for success by learning strategies to prioritise your goals. This has been a game changer for me.

A long list of unrelated, potentially unachievable, goals will only sabotage your best efforts. Don’t put something on your list because it ‘should’ be there. Only include goals that you are passionate about and are aligned with your core values.

Discover ways to set goals you’ll want to achieve. Tailor them to your passions, personality, and unique outlook. It’s not ‘cheating’ to customise your goals and make them perfect for you. And it’s not selfish to prioritise what’s important to you.

Get Rid of Goals That Don’t Make the Cut

Eventually, you need to prioritise. Too many competing goals drain your energy. One of the biggest blocks to achieving goals can often be the other goals on your list. Your goals are competing for your time and attention.

Each goal you add to your list takes away from the ones that are already there.

If you are having trouble achieving your goals, you may need to eliminate some from your list (or at least pause them). Rethink and reorganise the things that are truly important to you. And then pick 1 or 2 goals to focus on.

When you give goals your complete attention, you’ll start to see some movement and progress.

Learn How to Say No

Learning how to prioritise your goals means learning how to say no.

Declining commitments that don’t further your goals is crucial to your success. Saying no to distractions gives you room to focus on your goals.

Saying no can be difficult if you’re not used to it. Here are some tips that can help.

  • Just Say No

Don’t provide excuses or delay your answer. If you don’t want to do it, or it doesn’t further your goals, a firm but courteous ‘no’ will suffice. Be assertive, saying something like “I’m sorry I can’t do this, but I will let you know if that changes.” You are setting ground rules but also demonstrating a willingness to review at a later date.

  • Stand Your Ground

You will probably get pushback from the people in your life when you start saying no. These can lead to feelings of doubt and guilt: Doubt about the value of your goal and guilt around letting people down.

One way to turn this around to reframe it. You’re not saying ‘no’ to other people and opportunities, you are saying YES to your goals. It is empowering to prioritise your goal and stand your ground.

  • Put a Value on Your Time

It’s easy to brush aside a couple of hours here or there. But when you divert energy from your goals and put it towards tasks that don’t help you achieve them, it’s actually costing you something.

You can even literally price it out. How much are you ‘earning’ from lesser priority tasks and how much are you gaining from saying no to them.

Eliminate Distractions

Sometimes it’s not other people who are knocking us off course – but ourselves and our environment.

Eliminate distractions in your workspace. Limit hours on your phone or install app blockers that control how much browsing you can do.

Renew your commitment to your goals by removing the competition.

Create a Vision Board (or an Action Board as I prefer to call them)

It’s not only helpful to put your goals in writing, adding images can yield powerful results and help you prioritise your goals in your day-to-day life.

A vision board contains images and short one-liners that represent your goals, keeping you focused and motivated.

Represent each one of your goals with an image and add them to your board. You can create a physical board or a digital one, but just make sure you put it somewhere visible.

Accomplishing goals isn’t easy and can take a lot of time and commitment. Customise and prioritise your goals to suit you – say no to other things – and see the difference!

I’m big on boundaries – I’m still a work in progress but I’m getting there.  Firm boundaries can really help us focus on what’s important – for us.

For information on my short course on Boundaries contact me here.

Everything Counts!

Written by Michelle McFadyen


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