At times, we become too consumed with excitement and overwhelmed with motivation on the goals we wish to accomplish in life. Easy goals, difficult ones, simple goals, ambitious ones, and many other kinds of goals we cannot wait to achieve. We can just think of anything that we want to accomplish, but it is the process of materializing these goals that matters more.
Prioritizing goals is very important thing to consider while establishing goals. You may have goals that are equally important to each other, and there may be some that are more urgent than the others. When you just randomly act on each of these, you will lose focus and become disorganized with your steps to completing them. Goals need to be prioritized in order to take one goal at a time with more satisfaction.
Right Timing and Level of Importance
Every single goal you have must be important to your life, or else they wouldn’t be goals at all. But when you start prioritizing your goals according to their level of importance, you might find it confusing. So a better approach would be ordering your goals in terms of right timing and needs. Rather than asking yourself what is more important, ask what needs to be focused for now.
To make it more convincing, picture it out by comparing two types of goals. For instance, one of your goals is to gain a higher and better performance appraisal while another is to become promoted for the job. Both are equally important, but what is more practical to focus on first? Definitely, you need to work on the former goal because it is your step in achieving the latter.
It’s just prioritizing each goal but working what can be done as of the moment. Most important is not to set too many goals with deadlines or timeframes that are too hectic and close to each other, as you will only end up frustrated and stressed out.
Categorizing the Goals
Even with a long list of goals waiting to be accomplished, sometimes we end up completing first those goals that are more achievable. It may not be an important goal, but the fact that it needs to be completed first pushes us to act on these goals. One strategy to follow is to mark each goal according to level of urgency.
On a notepad or journal, mark the goals A, B, or C. Goals under category A are immediate or a ‘must do’. Those under B may be defined as goals that may be done now but not necessarily. Lastly, goals under category C are examples of ultimately ambitious goals, meaning those that may or may not be possible to happen or can be delayed at a later time such as traveling Europe.
Setting Timeframe for Each Goal
Similar to marking each goal under different categories, establishing timeframe is also effective in prioritizing goals. The process is as simple as knowing what goal needs to be worked on at a specific timeline. Usually, these goals are recurring or repeatedly done over time, but it also works for higher and bigger goals. This approach is even more effective with the use of a calendar or a journal to scribble down the goals. In your journal entry, you can set your goal timescale similar to the example shown below:
Read a passage from an inspirational book. (Goal of increasing positivity and optimism)
Jog on Mondays and Wednesdays after work. (Goal of improving health)
Take the family out on a trip. (Goal of tightening family bond & relationship)
Now, you may have goals that are highly optimistic and huge such as owning a business, buying your dream car, or acquiring your dream house. These can also be established with a timeframe. The good thing about setting a timescale for your goal is that you are bound to work on them rather than just leaving it as an ambition, which is not acted upon. As you work your way on simpler goals, sometimes you do not just realize that you are also on your way to achieving the bigger goals.