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It's All About Choices: What Matters Most?

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This is a tough question to answer, isn’t it? What I am learning very quickly though, is that if I want to leave mediocre behind, I’ve got to get REALLY GOOD at knowing what matters most to me!

I am sure if I asked you what mattered most to you in your life or your business, you would be able to tell me very quickly. But, if I watched you throughout your days, weeks, months, would the way you prioritize your time truly reflect what matter’s most to you?

If you are like most people, there is so much competing for our attention that it is easy to get caught up in the “tyranny of the urgent” putting out fires and rushing from thing to thing. Then we are left with a feeling of disappointment or emptiness because we haven’t truly focused on our heart’s priorities.

A few ideas for helping you find your way to What Matters Most.

1 – Make a list of all the areas of your life: Family, Personal, Spiritual, Physical Health, Career, – general categories will do just fine.

2 – Write down one single personal, heartfelt priority in that area for you. For example, under Family, your singular priority may be to be to have a happy, cheerful home. A Physical Health priority might be to exercise in some form or fashion three times a week. Yes I know there’s lots to choose from, but for the purpose of this exercise, choose the one priority that speaks to your heart.

3 – Have your list of priorities? Great! Now for the next week, every time a choice must be made about how you spend your time, I want you to consult this list. If it does not fit under one of your priorities, I want you to take a minute to evaluate it. If you feel compelled to do it, are you willing to forfeit another priority on your list in order to do it? So often we “think” something is a necessity when it really isn’t.

4 – Now that you’ve developed a more conscious attitude toward your time commitments and how they reflect your priorities, use this new found knowledge to help you get to What Matters Most and leave the Urgent But Unimportant behind.

This is not a foolproof exercise. Really it is just a way to help you make choices (one of my favorite words!) about what matters most to you. It is also a way to help you become more conscious about how you spend your time.

If you find that the way you spend your time is in conflict with what really matters to you then you have some decisions to make. You can either change what matters to you or change how you spend your time. That sounds simple I know, but those are really the only available options.

When I do this exercise – and I do it fairly regularly – I often find that what I am devoting the lion’s share of my time to has nothing at all to do with what matters to my heart. Then I face to challenging but doable task of re-aligning my time with my values. Sometimes the choices are difficult, but the reward is a happy spirit and a fulfilled heart. And that is what makes this life worth living!

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  • Sarah – 4 very useful aids towards finding what really matters and if this doesn’t work I love to remind myself of Henry Miller’s line “The cancer of time is eating us away” – I find that always kicks me in the rear and back into line with priorities. On a similar footing I now also use this great line from Bob Burg’s & John David Mann’s The Go-Giver – “You don’t have the Power to waste my time, only I can do that.”

    To me that sentence is just pure genius, wisdom of the highest order – only we have the power to waste our own time…think about that please. What are you doing to waste your own time? What appointments are you making that are not in accordance with your goals or what activity are you doing that is keeping you from accomplishing what you set out to achieve? I think that line alone has so much significance to it.

    Sarah your wisdom compliments these perfectly – THANK YOU for letting me walk with you out of mediocrity.

    Colin

  • Sarah – 4 very useful aids towards finding what really matters and if this doesn’t work I love to remind myself of Henry Miller’s line “The cancer of time is eating us away” – I find that always kicks me in the rear and back into line with priorities. On a similar footing I now also use this great line from Bob Burg’s & John David Mann’s The Go-Giver – “You don’t have the Power to waste my time, only I can do that.”

    To me that sentence is just pure genius, wisdom of the highest order – only we have the power to waste our own time…think about that please. What are you doing to waste your own time? What appointments are you making that are not in accordance with your goals or what activity are you doing that is keeping you from accomplishing what you set out to achieve? I think that line alone has so much significance to it.

    Sarah your wisdom compliments these perfectly – THANK YOU for letting me walk with you out of mediocrity.

    Colin

  • Sarah – 4 very useful aids towards finding what really matters and if this doesn’t work I love to remind myself of Henry Miller’s line “The cancer of time is eating us away” – I find that always kicks me in the rear and back into line with priorities. On a similar footing I now also use this great line from Bob Burg’s & John David Mann’s The Go-Giver – “You don’t have the Power to waste my time, only I can do that.”

    To me that sentence is just pure genius, wisdom of the highest order – only we have the power to waste our own time…think about that please. What are you doing to waste your own time? What appointments are you making that are not in accordance with your goals or what activity are you doing that is keeping you from accomplishing what you set out to achieve? I think that line alone has so much significance to it.

    Sarah your wisdom compliments these perfectly – THANK YOU for letting me walk with you out of mediocrity.

    Colin

  • Sarah – how does Global Domination fit into this??

  • Sarah – how does Global Domination fit into this??

  • Sarah – how does Global Domination fit into this??

  • admin

    Gini- If we are working on anything OTHER than global domination, we’re making the wrong choices!!
    Sarah

  • admin

    Gini- If we are working on anything OTHER than global domination, we’re making the wrong choices!!
    Sarah

  • admin

    Gini- If we are working on anything OTHER than global domination, we’re making the wrong choices!!
    Sarah

  • Wow! Thanks for this great post… I just did this today. You are after my own heart… 😀

  • Wow! Thanks for this great post… I just did this today. You are after my own heart… 😀

  • Wow! Thanks for this great post… I just did this today. You are after my own heart… 😀

  • I was going to do the exercise. But after reading the comments. I realized I should only be focusing on global domination. Either that or learn french in one week.

    Not sure which will be more useful.

  • I was going to do the exercise. But after reading the comments. I realized I should only be focusing on global domination. Either that or learn french in one week.

    Not sure which will be more useful.

  • I was going to do the exercise. But after reading the comments. I realized I should only be focusing on global domination. Either that or learn french in one week.

    Not sure which will be more useful.

  • admin

    You are hilarious Justin. We each make our own choices – some on french, others on Global Domination. Curious to see what yours will turn out to be. 🙂

    Sarah

  • admin

    You are hilarious Justin. We each make our own choices – some on french, others on Global Domination. Curious to see what yours will turn out to be. 🙂

    Sarah

  • admin

    You are hilarious Justin. We each make our own choices – some on french, others on Global Domination. Curious to see what yours will turn out to be. 🙂

    Sarah

  • All I know is that making a new twitter background definitely was NOT on my list for today. AND I JUST WROTE THEM DOWN!

    Oh Help Me Prioritize.

  • All I know is that making a new twitter background definitely was NOT on my list for today. AND I JUST WROTE THEM DOWN!

    Oh Help Me Prioritize.

  • All I know is that making a new twitter background definitely was NOT on my list for today. AND I JUST WROTE THEM DOWN!

    Oh Help Me Prioritize.

  • Anonymous

    I love this! When my 2-year old grandson is about to do something he shouldn’t, my daughter-in-law tells him to “make a good choice.” There’s something in that for all of us to learn. And your 4 ways to help us make the right choices is a fabulous tool to do it.

  • lorilatimer

    I love this! When my 2-year old grandson is about to do something he shouldn't, my daughter-in-law tells him to “make a good choice.” There's something in that for all of us to learn. And your 4 ways to help us make the right choices is a fabulous tool to do it.

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