How to Set Your Priorities

coaching goal setting goals intention setting intentions joy joy-filled life life vision priorities themes vision vision planning Jan 01, 2019

As I reflected back on 2018, I felt like I spent the year like a golden retriever! It felt like I had a favourite tennis ball, then another tennis ball was thrown and I got excited about that one and chased after it. Then, I found another tennis ball on my way to collect the one that was thrown; then another one was thrown...and another...and another. And all the tennis balls were all so exciting. I completely lost my initial tennis ball - my favourite one. I got distracted in every direction.

As I look towards 2019, I have realized the importance of setting priorities for the year. Not just goals or intentions (which are also important), but what are the top 1-3 things that will hold my focus during the year (or whatever increment I choose)?

Following is a bit of a guide of questions and reflections you can use to help you create your top priorities for the coming year, plus, a general theme if you choose. Use your intuition to flow with what makes the most sense for you. That said, take some time to look into the uncomfortable stuff. Taking the time to reflect on that stuff can really help propel you forward!

What are the points you're looking for when you reflect back?

As you take a look back at the previous year, what are those key points you're looking for - what feels like it was missing?

For me, this is a major clue to what I'd like my priorities to be going forward. What do I wish there was more of in the past year. Or, what are the areas in my life I would have liked to see more progress occur?

"What do I want more of in my life?"

When you think forward to the end of the current year, how do you want to have shown up?

Another clue is to project yourself one year into the future - this time next year. Looking back, how do you want to have shown up for your life in the year?

"This time next year, I want to look back and be able to say I ..."

What are you deciding to leave in the past?

In your reflection, what is no longer serving you? What behaviours/beliefs/patterns are you ready to let go of?

"I decide to clear and release ..."

What are you choosing to step into?

What version of you are you choosing to step into as you move forward? Not only do we need to shed the past, we also need to create a vision of the person we are stepping into.

"I am stepping into ..."

What is the filter you are running all of your decisions through?

This is another way to create a theme. What is the overarching filter for your year? This can also be seen as who are you being while you take actions in the coming year?

"The energy I am showing up with is ..."


Putting it all together

Take a look at all that you've written out. What keeps coming up - both in releasing and in creating? What are the words and themes that feel resonant within you?

Pull out the words and themes that jump forward for you - all of them. After you have a list of your key points, you might feel complete, or you might want to take one more step.

Define your key points

Sometimes the words/themes are already complete; however, sometimes they're pointing you towards a different word/description. Take a moment to sit with your key points and define each one.

As an example, my theme for 2019 is Joy. When I looked at joy, the other words that came up for me were: excitement, fun, playful, ease, sparkles, light, pleasure. Joy stuck as the word, but this exercise gave me more clarity in the word.

Another example was at one point wealth was listed as a priority for me, but when I defined wealth, what I actually desire to create is freedom.

My 2019

After both personal reflection and sitting in circle with my friends, my themes for 2019 are Joy and Freedom. My priorities are to believe in magic, take intentional action, and show up authentically and as a guide for others.