How to Prioritize Your Goals & Balance Your Business & Life
Let’s face it, as a home or online business owner it can be very difficult to figure out how to prioritize and balance your goals for your business and life. I believe that we have to first start with defining what success means to us personally. We shouldn’t base our idea of success on what anyone else is doing or what anyone else tells us that we should be doing. I also don’t think success necessary means making or having a lot of money. Success for you is going to be different than it is for someone else and that is perfectly fine. When you know what success means to you, then you can start to work on prioritizing your goals and activities which will then give you the ability to better balance your business and personal lives.
There are five main areas we typically make goals in:
1. Family – Spending quality time with your kids or partner,
2. Financial – Saving toward your six month emergency cash or paying off debt
3. Physical – Being healthy and more active, losing weight
4. Personal – Taking better care of yourself, learning a new hobby or trade, traveling more
5. Business – Increasing your income by a certain % over the next year, launching a new product, building a team
In order to determine what should be a priority and where to focus your time, you can consider the following questions with each key goal or area.
* Which goals take up the most space in your thoughts? – What keeps you up at night that worries you (or excites you)? What do you find yourself daydreaming about? What really makes you feel alive and that you could see yourself doing for the rest of your life happily?
* Can the goal be accomplished in a timely manner but give you lasting results? – Some goals are very short term but give maximum impact without too much work. For instance, maybe you have a goal of walking 15 minutes per day. This goal may only fit in with the personal and physical areas above, but walking 15 minutes per day will not take much away from the other areas and can give you huge results and a feeling of accomplishment. Or do you wish you lives in a more organized home, free of clutter? Tackle one room a week until your home is clutter free and organized. This can help you improve the other areas of your life & business too!
* Will the goal make you feel proud of yourself? – Will you feel better if you lose 20 pounds or will you feel better if you spend 20 minutes extra with your kids? Keep in mind there is no wrong answer, although being healthy might ultimately give you more time in terms of years with your son.
* Will it still impact you in 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years? – If you start working your business more like a business, and work daily toward meeting the goals of that business, what will be different in one or five or ten years? How will that impact you now and in the future?
* Does the goal align with your core values in life? – This is a really important one because when we make decisions that do not align with our core value and mission, it not only keeps us from truly being happy but causes a lot of internal struggle because we know we are not living our best life or being true to what our priorities are.
* Are the goals for you or are they for others? – There are things we have to do for others especially if we are married or have children. Be careful to make sure your goals are still YOUR goals too and don’t work on something just because you feel like you have to do it to please someone else or achieve someone else’s definition of success for you. If you are doing it just for the sake of others and not because you have a passion, drive and desire to also reach those goals for yourself, you will often fall short of reaching that goal.
* Does the goal make you feel fear? Why? – Sometimes the very thing you fear most is what’s best for you to do. Look clearly at your goal and figure out why it frightens you. Sometimes it’s the unknown, and like ripping off a Band-Aid, just doing it might be the best cure.
* Which goals make you excited? – Some goals immediately send tingles down your body and into your mind, pushing you forward to doing it. These are goals that are easy to do and probably impact your life a lot. However, do make sure you consider if the goal aligns with your values and long term goals. Sometimes we can get excited about sparkly things (shiny object syndrome) and say yes to a goal or activity that might distract us from reaching our real goals.
* Is this goal going to me forward?– This question has been the biggest “aha” one for me in determining what to focus on. Before I make any decisions I ask myself if completing/achieving this goal, project, task or idea is going to actually move me forward in my life and business and get me closer to my bigger goals.
Consider those questions as you work to determine where to prioritize your time and energy. Once you can narrow down your goals, you’ll see how the goals begin to organize themselves. If you keep the big picture and your overall values, mission and lifelong goals in perspective in everything you do, it will help you prioritize your goals and get your life & business in balance.
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