Shifting Priorities to Achieve Goals

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

— Stephen Covey

There are so many things that we all claim that we want to do or achieve.

Write a book. Run a marathon. Sleep 8 hours a night. Eat healthier. Travel. 

We talk about these things and we think about them, too. But oftentimes we never end up doing them.


Well I don’t know your unique situation and reasoning as to why. I do know that you could probably do a lot of those things that you want to do if they were really a priority for you.

Things like waking up at 5 a.m. everyday to get a workout in or making a healthy dish for dinner when all you want to do is eat the first thing that hits your eyes isn’t easy. All of the things that we want to do but never fully commit to are hard. It’s that simple.

If these things were easy then everyone would have written a book or hiked the Appalachian Trail by now. But things like that can be scary to take on plus they require a lot of effort and time.

Instead, we just talk about them. We think about them as some future thing that we’ll do when we’re in the ideal situation to do so.

Time goes by and we remain distracted by other things in life. Those things that we want to do are still in the back of our minds though. We’re just waiting for that “someday” to come. 

The thing is, that day will never come unless we make it happen. We need to create the time and space in our lives to do what we want. That requires removing things that no longer serve us or that will only set us back when it comes to reaching those goals.

Create space.

Recognize what it is that you want. Do you truly want to do that thing that you’ve been thinking about for all of this time? Are you willing to put in the work that will be required to make it happen? If the answer is no, then great! Move on with your life. But, if the answer is yes, then awesome! Let’s make it happen.

Make it clear what you’re trying to achieve. Write it down. Visualize and research. Plan it out. Tell yourself that you can do it, because you really can.

Step away from the late nights out with your friends if your goal is to get 8 hours of sleep or to get in an early morning workout. Save money instead of buying that new pair of shoes that you don’t need if your goal is to travel. Realize what it takes and make the commitment. Hard things require disciple, not motivation.

Motivation isn’t something that’s meant to be relied on. It comes and goes. You can’t capture it, put it in a jar, and save it for the moment you’re ready to do the thing that you’re trying to do. Discipline, on the other hand, is something that you can rely on. It comes from within. It’s something that you have control over. Rely on your self discipline more than you rely on motivational feelings and thoughts. It’s a more realistic way to accomplish something.

We have control over the way we live. Facebook and Instagram don’t need your attention multiple times a day. The 5 minutes you spend checking Facebook each morning before getting out of bed could be used for a quick meditation or stretch. Even reading this article right now could be time spent scheduling a pottery class that you’ve always wanted to try. You have the power to take these little moments and flip them into amazing big moments. Small things add up over time and create great things.

It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and what we feel like we should be doing. If we take a step back and recognize that we can accomplish the goals that seem impossible then that has the power to change everything. With a little thought, research, and planning great things can happen. It all starts by recognizing what you actually want and what is worth the work. Once that’s figured out, then you’re already on your way to brightening up your world.

A few weeks ago I decided that’s what I needed to do in my life. I’ve wanted to dedicate more time to this site and really make it something special for a while now. I was stuck; afraid that I wouldn’t know what to write or that I wouldn’t be able to create good content. My desire to try has become greater than my fears of failure. So, I took the steps. I made the plans, visions, and goals. Now I’m taking action and well on my way to achieving them. It’s not easy work. Sometimes I don’t want to sit down and write a post. But, I do it. And I’m always glad I did because my mind is clear and well aware of what I want. 

Know your priorities and identify the five powerful action steps that you intend to take to move your initiatives forward each day. If you go to a tree with an ax and take five whacks at the tree every day, it doesn’t matter if it’s an oak or a redwood; eventually, the tree has to fall down.

— Jack Canfield

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