Goal Setting: An Introduction – Part 3

Prioritization of Goals

Have you put together your lists? Now comes the fun part…

Perhaps you are familiar with the bracket system in sports playoffs. In continuation of this exercise, you are going to take your lists and have a number of playoffs. Take the first two items in your list. Between these two items, if could have only one… which would you choose? The one that you choose gets to remain on your list… the other one you can revisit at a later time. Repeat this process until you are down to no more than two items for those areas that are not important to you and no more than four items for those areas that matter the most to you. Now, there is a strong chance that you will have had trouble deciding between two items… Take a look at what you feel would be ranked number one on your new list… Did anything that it eliminated give you some trouble? If so, now it is time for our “wild card” standing. Take your new wild card contender and rerun it against the top items of your list. If it is more important to you than some of your short list items, feel free to bump these other items with your “wild card”.

Now that you have your top two or four in each respective category, it is time to do some soul searching. Why is this item so important to you? What do you imagine your life would be like if you attained this dream/goal? How would your current relationships change? Correspondingly, how would you feel about yourself if you did not? Could this goal be characterized as “SMART”? If not, how would you change it so that it would be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound? Is there any way you could capture an image to visualize what it would be like to attain this goal?

By this point, you probably have done a fair amount of soul searching and it is time to take a break and distancing yourself from these goals that you have for just a little bit… perhaps it would make sense to sleep before looking at these again.