05 May A master plan for setting priorities in life
Feel like a rudderless boat drifting alone at sea? You aren’t alone, as there are many people out who are disenchanted with their lives, as they aren’t that excited by the life goals that society has laid out before them.
They would act to achieve the things that actually inspire them, but the busyness of life – work, family, TV shows, YouTube – makes it hard to build a framework that would help make them a reality.
Over time, they convince themselves that such things are impossible, resigning themselves to a life of unrequited dreams.
If you don’t want to end up this way, this post will give you a basic template that will make setting priorities in life easier, which will make realizing your dreams a realistic possibility.
What do you really want?
People think they know what they want, but in turns out they borrow many of their goals from their parents, teachers, friends, the media, and corporations.
It’s easy to adopt them because it requires next to no effort, and it avoids the stress of actually setting priorities in life.
Many of these commonly upheld goals: a college degree, marriage, home ownership – have well-defined paths that are easy to follow. At least, they are easy to follow in theory, as if your heart isn’t committed to them, your efforts will deflate in short order.
Any milestone you want to reach needs to be one you’re enthusiastic about. Apply the following test to any life goal you are considering: is it a “heck yeah”?
If you are less than jazzed about achieving something that will take months or years to realize, then it’s a no.
Push aside goals that don’t excite you, and work relentlessly towards ones that quicken your pulse merely by thinking about them.
Break them down into a series of goals
If you want to travel the world, but you are living paycheck to paycheck in a 50-hour per week job, you can’t just book a ticket right this moment.
In order to achieve big goals, you need to cross off a series of smaller ones first. This means building up your savings account, building up a side income, getting travel vaccinations, selling excess stuff or making plans to put it in storage, and so on.
Once you define what the pieces of your puzzle are, you’ll be knocking off bucket list items faster than you ever thought possible.
Be specific about your goals
It’s fun to daydream about the life of your dreams, but unless you define that future in painstaking detail, then it will just remain an amorphous dream.
The brain does best when it has a quantifiable objective in its cross hairs, complete with the hard numbers you’ll need to hit for its realization.
A round the world trip that costs $10,000 can be had in less than a year by setting aside $1,000 per month.
The partner of your dreams can be had with when you name a few deal-breaking qualities that will exclude unsuitable mates.
When you set a goal to bench your body weight, you’ll have greater motivation to hit the gym than if you just go in with the wishy-washy goal of ‘getting stronger’.
By being specific when setting priorities in life, you’ll be giving yourself waypoints that will inform decisions and stoke your inner fire.
Adopt a laser-like focus
When you are in pursuit of your dreams, there is no shortage of distractions that can derail your efforts. It is your job to deflect anything that could knock you off the straight and narrow path to a better life.
Get up early in the morning to work on your business, as this will prevent spouses, kids, managers, and other daytime diversions from interfering with high-level work.
Throw out all junk food in your house if you are trying to lose weight, and leave your running shoes by the bed to make it tougher to skip your morning run.
Excuse yourself from expensive dinners and nights out with friends if you are saving up for a trip around the world (you can invite them to a potluck at your house instead – BYOB).
Dodging activities that are anathema to your goals aren’t always easy, as things like your body clock, ingrained habits, and relationships will apply serious resistance.
Once you do, though, you’ll find the focus necessary that will make setting priorities in life easier.