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Prioritize for success What are your priorities? Actually, what is a priority? According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, a priority is “something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first,” and priorities are “the things that someone cares about and thinks are important.” How often do you say to yourself, “I need to make this a priority”? If you are success-driven like the majority of my readers, then you say it often. “Our life is the sum total of all the decisions we make every day, and those decisions are determined by our priorities.” - Myles Munroe If you have a goal or a set of goals for the day, the week, the month, or the year, you obviously will not meet those goals unless you prioritize what needs to be done to accomplish them. Let me give you an example. If you are in sales or a business career, you usually have two types of goals: money goals and transaction goals. I have always had both types of goals. In my real estate career I always had a goal of getting 10 listings a month, which is 120 per year, which is 2.3 a week… you get the picture. Of course, to accomplish that goal I had to prioritize my schedule to make sure I was doing the right things to get there. If you have yearly money goals and your number is 100K, this is how it breaks down: $8,333.33 monthly, $1,923.08 per week, and $284.09 per day. For the purpose of today’s message, let’s focus on the daily goal of earning $284.09. Here is how I would prioritize this goal. I know that if I want to accomplish my yearly goal I need to make sure my daily goal is met, so when I make my daily schedule I ask myself whether each activity on my schedule will contribute to my mission or take away from it. Am I making enough client calls, am I seeing enough decision makers today, am I writing at least five handwritten notes asking people to do business with me or at the very least refer me to their friends? And I need to ask myself one more question: Am I planning to be involved in any activities that would waste my time? The same type of approach works for my speaking career. If I have a goal of lining up five speaking gigs per month, I have to make sure I prioritize my daily activities to make that happen. The concept is exactly the same. Paying attention to your daily schedule will make your annual goals a lot easier to accomplish. “The bottom line is, when people are crystal clear about the most important priorities of the organization and team they work with and prioritize their work around those top priorities, not only are they many times more productive, they discover they have the time they need to have a whole life.” - Stephen Covey You can create a plan that prioritizes your career goals and life accomplishments. Nobody else can do it for you. Here are a few reminders that will help you begin prioritizing for success. 1. Be patient. Set your priorities one at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do too many things at once. Setting priorities is not a race; it’s a journey. Allow yourself to be a work in progress. 2. Make a plan. Set up a written plan and make sure it’s in a place where you will see it every day. It can be a 30-, 60-, or 90-day plan that will hold you accountable to accomplish your priorities. 3. Avoid outside influences. You will have distractions, and maybe more than you would like. Part of prioritizing your life and career is identifying distractions and avoiding them as much as possible. 4. Make yourself a priority. Say NO more often! If doing an activity or spending time with someone is not going to help you reach your goals, find the strength to say no. People will not fault you for being driven and determined to make your success a priority. If you want to live an extraordinary, accomplished life, then you must use your time wisely. I believe it is very healthy to allow yourself to change your priorities now and then. Our thought processes, our mindset, and our goals change throughout life, so be prepared to change your priorities accordingly. You have the ability to make the important areas of your life a priority, and the cool thing is… you can start right now! If not now, then when? And if not you, then who?