Priorities and Goal Setting
Are your priorities in line with your goals?
I am currently going through my Opex Fitness Coaching Certification, and we have been spending a lot of time learning about goals, motivation, and priorities. This is an exercise that we went through which helped me gain a lot of insight into my own life, and its direction.
Here is some food for thought.
If someone is asked out of the blue what their priorities are, they will often recite their goals instead of their true priorities. Priorities are better indicated by our behaviour, not our wishes or dreams. If I have had a goal of getting a muscle up for the past 6 months, but still haven’t reached that goal, an evaluation of my priorities will give me a better idea if my goal (something that I am showing progress towards reaching), is not just a dream (something I want, but am taking not enough or no action towards reaching). Having a better understanding of our true priorities can give us insight into how we are spending our lives, and if we are moving in the direction we want to be moving in.
How can we determine our priorities?
There are several exercises you can do to determine whether or not your priorities are in line with your goals. I will use my personal answers to help you consider your own. But try to imagine that no one will be reading this so you can be as genuine as possible with your answers.
Where is your personal space, and what is common to all of these spaces?
Think about where you consider to be your personal space? It might be your bedroom, your gym, your car, your garage, or the kitchen. Where do you feel most comfortable? List three spaces, and then list what is common between all of these spaces.
-Common things: training gear, laptop, food.
*What do these common things represent for you? Example laptop for me means courses, programming, music, and tv.
You have 24 hours in a day, what do you spend your time doing?
Not counting sleeping, what are the three things you spend the most time doing each day?
What are you doing when you feel most energized and alive?
When do you feel the best, happy to be alive, invigorated, and just awesome?
Listening to Music
Where in your life are you the most organized?
In other words, in which aspects of your life do you have your shit together? In which areas do you make sure that you are prepared, ready, and organized?
What engages you and captures your attention and focus?
Where do you find it the easiest to focus, forget about outside stimuli, and get down to business? What activities or tasks get all of your attention while you’re doing them?
Listening to music
What goals have you set that show signs that they are coming true?
What are some goals that you want to reach, and are taking action towards reaching?
Becoming a gym/business owner
Competing at 2017 Canada West Regional
What do you love talking about the most?
When you are in conversation with friends, family, co-workers, what do you end up speaking the most about?
Now that you have your lists for each category, take some time and tally up the things that pop up most frequently. Some things can be joined together, and then grouped into a category. For example, I have music, sitcoms, social media. These are things I personally do to relax when I am finished the days work. So, one of my priorities is relaxing. Compile your priorities list.
Education/Learning (Courses, reading)
Relaxing (Music/Social Media/ Sitcoms)
Reflecting (Questioning, Setting aside time to think)
Now, it is important to note that everyones list is going to be different and that is ok. What works for one person and their life goals is not going to work for the next person and their life goals.
Now that you have your list, take a look at it, and consider your goals. Is your priorities list complementary to where/who you want to be in a month, six months, a year, 5 years? Priorities and goals will change, so it is important to do this every once in awhile and evaluate where you are at?
Using myself as an example, I have a goal of educating myself in the field of health and fitness so that I can eventually own my own gym. Generally my priorities are conducive to my goal, but not always. Sunday, I was hungover and spent zero hours educating myself, coaching, or programming, but spent 3-4 hours binge-watching an entire season of one of my favourite tv shows. However, just because something is not directly related to a goal, does not mean that it is time wasted. If relaxation is important for me, (as an introvert relaxing is done alone), that “wasted” time on Sunday may actually be a positive because it allowed me to recharge my batteries for the upcoming week.