Ditch the Hamster Wheel & Live Out Your Legacy
If you feel like you’re moving at lightning speed on a hamster wheel, not getting anywhere, it can be helpful to take a look at what you are doing with your time. Too often, our priorities are not in line with where we are actually spending our time.
When you get your priorities in order and focus your time and energy on them, it will create more stability in your life and increase the likelihood of reaching your goals. Then you can make real progress by living out your legacy.
Below is an excerpt of a RedRock Training session titled “Create Actionable Goals.” I want you to follow this simple three-step process that can change the trajectory of your life.
1. Get Your Priorities in Order
We can categorize life into seven main areas:
I want you to rearrange and rank these seven areas in terms of how high they are on your priority list. For example, if family is your top priority, then put “family” in the #1 spot. Then, give yourself a letter grade for each of the seven areas. Just like in school, an “A” means you excel in that area and are devoting a lot of time and attention to it, while an “F” means you are failing in that area:
Area of Life /Grade
Now, compare your letter grade to the priority you assigned to each of the seven areas. How well do they match? For example, if you consider family your biggest priority in life, but you have given yourself a letter grade of “D” in that area, that means your actions don’t match your priorities. You need to make an intentional effort to spend more time, energy and focus on your family.
Often, the areas of life we say are top priorities are not the areas we are focusing on. When we have that type of disconnect, we are not going to feel like we are making progress. We will stay on that hamster wheel, spending all our time and energy on things that aren’t our priorities. When we can minimize this loss of energy, we are in an optimal position to accomplish our goals.
2. Create a 3-Year Goal Plan
Next, I want you to imagine yourself three years from today. What’s happening in your life that makes you feel like you are successful? What can you do now to achieve that success three years from today?
Write down 50 goals you want to accomplish in the next three years. Make sure all your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Once you have them written down, tell people you trust what those goals are so they can hold you accountable by asking you about your progress on those goals periodically.
These goals should challenge you. Our brains can stretch like a rubber band. But they contract when we don’t challenge ourselves. When we get into routines, or ruts, it’s easy to lose the focus on challenging ourselves.
3. Live Out Your Legacy
None of us is guaranteed to live to a certain age. Our “number” can come up at any moment. That doesn’t give us license to be irresponsible, though. The point is that we need to focus on building our legacy. If you were to die today, what do you think people would say at your funeral? What would people remember about you? The things that define you might not be the things that you want to define you. Again, this disconnect comes when we spend our time and focus on things that are not in line with our priorities.
Let’s say you were supposed to die today. That would be a bummer, right? Now, what if God gave you 25 bonus years instead? That would be a relief, right?
Write down five things you would do with 25 bonus years:
Think about it. Since we are not guaranteed any additional time, each of us is actually living with 25 bonus years right now! Therefore, whatever you would do with your 25 bonus years is what you should be doing right now!
Consider this blog post a wake-up call. Figure out what you want to do, plan it out and make it happen. Set your priorities, and spend your time fulfilling them. Stop spending your time and energy on the things that don’t help you progress toward your legacy.
RedRock Offers Sales, Management, Customer Service and Leadership Training
Setting goals and priorities is just one of the many topics we cover in our RedRock Leadership’s sales, management, customer service and leadership training and coaching programs. We also offer incredibly informative behavioral assessments that can help you learn more about yourself and what you value most in life.
Download goal setting tools in the RedRock Leadership Toolbox™ at https://www.redrockleadership.com/leadership-tools/.
Founder of RedRock Leadership