In college, as I studied in my Business Management classes, we often talked about prioritizing. And honestly, I didn’t ever get it. Until this past month.
I have started studying successful people in the past 4 months. I’m talking, millionaires— billionaires, top chefs, top TV hosts, top leadership speakers and authors, inventors, people making an impact in the world. Reading books they’ve written, watching a few videos they’ve done, and reading and watching publications they put out. Don’t wig out on me here— only about 20 mins a day, 5 days a week do I dedicate to this.
It would appear through reading books about successful people (success in relationships, health, finances, and mental drive) that a constant habit of theirs is to re-evaluate, and keep doing little checks and balances to be sure they are still heading toward the end result they started out to receive. Goal setting, prioritizing, and lining up their values. NOTE- they do this OFTEN. Its not “one size fits all”. They don’t sit down when they are 8, make a dream list and then stop there. They have done it OFTEN throughout their lives, and will continue to do so, as the results they are looking for come to fruition.
How do we set goals?
#1: Define your core values. What are the things that you look to when making most of your decisions daily. Those things you believe deep down will NEVER change (they might… but for right now, they are almost unshakable!). Some people’s include their religious beliefs, some people have values such as marriage between a man and woman is what marriage is. Some it is that the man should be the main bread winner. For some they have a core value that you should show up to work on time, no matter the job. Some have a core value that they must look their best before leaving the house each day. For some it is good physical health. You see what I mean? This is your belief system. Why you do what you do. So define your core values FIRST. And this might take some time. You don’t have to define them all, but jot down at least 5. Mine look like this:
1. My FAITH. I believe in a GOD and that He created me and loves me, and all other people and he wants us to be happy and learn to love others as He does by living faith filled, Christ-like lives.
2. I believe in MARRIAGE between a man and woman.
3. I believe children to be an asset to my life and that we should have FUN each and every day, and that mothers and fathers need to be actively involved in educating them and caring for them daily.
4. I know that physical health increases my mental, spiritual and temporal abilities to live, and therefor needs daily attention.
5. I believe that GOd has a purpose for my life, and that I have a mission to fulfill through health coaching, by extending myself to others in this field.
If you can align this next section, #2, with #1—— you WILL reduce bad stress.
LIST at least 10. 10 things you recognize, right now, that you give your time to.
And are these things you listed, helping you to live your core values?
THAT is the kicker. Are your daily ACTIONS, leading you to strengthening your core values? or are you doing things that do not match up?
Example of not MATCHING UP: You value your health, and have seen the detriment that poor health brings to others, and do not desire that for your life. (Matches a CORE value, that you want to live long, and be with your family and not be on pills or in a rest home or have open heart surgery as long as possible.) HOWEVER—- you continue to walk past that treadmill that is folded up next to the wall as you sit down to enjoy your favorite episode for the night. Heck, you might even set your coke on it as a cup holder. Consequence? You feel stress. Stress about your health. That you are not doing something about it.
EXAMPLE OF MATCHING UP: You value your marriage, and marriage in general as a fundamental unit of society. Each day you have built a habit to have a kiss and say “I love you” before he leaves, and have dinner ready before he comes home if possible. You sometimes rub his back at night, and even might hide love notes in his car or lunch box. And you make sure to schedule a babysitter or get tickets to an event that you will go to each Friday night. Consequence? You have a great marriage, and are at peace with that in your life.
90% of the bad stress you may feel in your life, stems from taking TIME on things that go against your core values, and you know it deep down! So again, small example: Spending on a credit card, when you believe deep inside that debt is NOT a place you want to go. So every time you spend on that card, a little part of your soul feel stress. Add several choices that go against your core values, and you feel “stressed-out.” Sure sometimes stress happens that is out of our control— but I’m here to tell you, that MOST of the time— we ARE in control.
So as you start to realize what you are giving your time to, start listing the priorities that you may need to change, to align with your values better.
#3. Set goals. This is where goal setting comes in. There will be, invariably, some priorities that need some re-alignment. In fact, you might have to let some things go, that just don’t line up! These are the goals you need to be setting. Don’t just say, “I want to lose weight” trying to align some action with a value of physical health. Nope. That is not a goal, that is a want. Weight loss can be made into an end result by setting a goal to exercise 6 days a week, and eating clean and drinking only water, and not eating after 8pm. So the goals—– of you desire a result to weigh less, are:
A. Exercise 6 days a week, for 30-45 mins.
B. Eat clean meals, and plan out my meals on Sunday.
C. Drink only water, and no eating after 8pm.
Challenge groups, we learn the kinds of actions to do to reach health and physical fitness results, and try to help you have a mental shift— a priority shift, so that you adopt these priorities for LIFE. Work for a few minutes today on seeing what your VALUES are, and then listing out what you are giving priority to, and see if they match up! And if not—— the set some ACTION goals that will give you the end results of matching your priorities with your values.