Put Your Mind Where Your Heart Is

Guess what, you have a limited supply of time and energy. That’s right, it’s a shocker but true. Life can be so intrusive and disruptive that it demands your focus when you’d rather have your focus on other areas. If this is true, how do you prioritize where you want to spend those limited resources? Here is a process to get a handle on your life and priorities.

  1. First, determine the areas of your life that you don’t want to neglect. Here’s a list to start with: Health, Career, Money, Physical Environment, Fun and Recreation, Friends, Family, Significant Other, Romance, and Personal Growth. You can change and/or add any category to better fit those categories of your life.
  2. Once you have the categories identified determine how you feel, the level of satisfaction you have about each one. Ask yourself the question: “From 0 (least) to 100 (most) percent what is my level of satisfaction in this area just at this moment in time?” Ask this question for each category and record your responses.
  3. Now you know what categories comprise your life and how satisfied you are with them. Next, determine in which categories you want to improve your level of satisfaction.
  4. With the categories identified that you want to work on, determine the action items you are willing to do within each to improve your level of satisfaction. These action items need to be very specific with completion dates so you know exactly what you’re doing and by when.
  5. The last step is to complete your action items.

For example, here’s how it might look the first four steps and if the three categories identified to work on are Health, Physical Environment, and Romance:

  • Health – 30% – Exercise three times a week; Eat dessert only once a week
  • Career – 85%
  • Money – 60%
  • Physical Environment – 15% – Spend 1 hour a week cleaning out the garage to finish by June 30, 2013; Discard any clothing item that hasn’t been worn in the past year and give to Salvation Army by May 15, 2013.
  • Fun and Recreation – 80%
  • Friends – 75%
  • Family – 50%
  • Significant Other – 85%
  • Romance – 90% – Talk with spouse by April 14, 2013 to set up a once a week date night.
  • Personal Growth – 65%

From this list, you’re ready to do the work to improve your level of satisfaction in your identified area(s).

Without help in prioritizing what you want to do, you could end up in one of two scenarios. The first, you notice that you’re dissatisfied and there are things you want to do in every area to improve you level of satisfaction and you attempt to do all of them. With this scenario you could end up over extending yourself and not accomplishing all you want to end up discouraged. On the other hand, just seeing all that you need to do could paralyze you. With this process you can pinpoint where you want to put your limited time and energy resources know that with each step you are improving your overall level of satisfaction with your life. Since this process identifies your level of satisfaction at a moment in time, redo it often and make sure you’re putting your mind where your heart is.