How to use your Values & Priorities to set your Best Goals

Do you ever think about a goal that you’d love to achieve but you’re not sure HOW to make it happen, or even IF you should make it happen right now?  

Our lives are multidimensional and have so many different aspects to them that it’s hard to know how much time we should be devoting to what and when.  We always hear the phrase “work life balance” but really, it’s impossible not to integrate both areas of our lives. Into our ONE life.   

There is no separating them. | Productivity Coaching with Emily Swanda | Productivity Coaching with Emily Swanda

Rethinking the "work-life Balance"

Some areas of life will get more attention at certain times in your life than others and as times change, your focus on priorities will also change.  Understanding what your current values and priorities are will keep you heading in the right direction…the direction that leads you to the success you want.  

When you know how to understand your values and priorities, they can help you reach your goals faster and easier.

I like to sit down in a quiet space at least a couple times a year. Preferably quarterly, to check in with myself to see if the goals I’m working towards are matching up with my current priorities and values.  

As we evolve and change throughout our lives we go through different seasons and our goals will therefore shift as well. For example, a first-time mom will have a very different set of values and priorities than a mom who just sent her youngest child off to college.  Your goals will therefor reflect these different stages of life.


Start Saying "No"

It can be so easy to say yes to a variety of opportunities because we want to help others but that can lead us to spending our time and energy on something that doesn’t line up with our own priorities and values.  

Don’t veer off course!  

Stay focused on what is best for you.  When you are at your best, that’s when you can give others around you the most value.  It’s so important to live your life on purpose and with intention.  


Schedule Your Priorities

Set a time in your calendar every 3 months to reflect on your values and priorities.  I pick December, March, June and September.  

These times match up nicely with my kids’ school calendars so I can make the necessary adjustments to my goals according to the changes in the kids’ schedule or spring and Christmas breaks.  

My business becomes less of a priority during the summer months than during the school year when my kids are in school all day.  I value the early morning sunshine and the long summer evenings and choose to prioritize that in my summer time as well. I prioritize family time more during the holiday season than during the rest of the year.  I’m sure if you look at your life you will see an ebb and flow throughout the year.  

When you think about the areas of your life where you spend the most time OR money, that gives you a pretty good idea of where you hold your current priorities.  If you are not satisfied with the priorities you’ve been living with, it’s okay to make the changes now.  Better late than never!  


Creating Harmony in your Life

If you want to spend more time with your kids because you say that they are your key priority, then it’s time to think about how you will readjust your schedule to make that happen.  If you value your health, but you’ve been neglecting it, then now may be the perfect time to make exercise and healthy eating a big part of your life.  

I like to use the life balance wheel to guide me through this, rating each priority on a scale of 0-10 (10 being most important).  

Keep in mind that you are not required to score high in ALL areas ALL the time.  Life is not about balance, but instead about harmony.  Some things will take more of a backseat for awhile and then it will change again.  

I look at my overall life to see how well I’m keeping it in harmony,  If at the end of my life I can recognize that I made it a point to focus on each area of the wheel for period of time, then I will feel confident that I led a full and “balanced” life.  

I encourage you to sit down and write out your top values and priorities in your current stage of life and make sure the goals you are working towards match those.  There’s nothing more frustrating than working towards a goal and still not feeling satisfied once you achieve it. These tips will help you change that, starting today.