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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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