A Step-By-Step Plan For Creating Clarity In Your Life + Defining What Matters Most
Imagine this… what if, instead of living your life to meet other people’s goals, standards, and realities, you worked to meet your own? You defined what matters most to you, and then create a plan to see those heartfelt objectives through?
Well, today is your lucky day. I’m going to walk you through a simple process to help you define what matters most (especially during this season of uncertainty).
In my own life, I felt the weight of this the most when I was in the corporate world. My “normal” was working towards marketing objectives and sales goals for a company I didn’t really see a future at. I showed up every day to tackle someone else’s “list”, goals and strategies. So much so, that I rarely considered what *I* wanted for my future. I pushed my life and my personal growth aside because I thought that was the only way to “be successful”, to “move up” or “get ahead”.
After a long-standing battle with anxiety, and some newfound health complications due to stress – I left that corporate job. It was then that I started the very uncomfortable journey to discovering what I *really* wanted from my own life. Along the way, I developed a system that helped me bring forth a life that truly supported me, which helped me thrive, not just survive.
It’s important to note, this system + practice I’m about to share should be done quarterly vs yearly. Why? No matter if you’re a small business owner, new mom, or fresh out of college, remember…. seasons change.
Consider where you were in January (#newyeargoals?!). Fast forward to today, we’re dealing with varying levels of hardship during a global pandemic. Having grace for the season you’re in is so important. We can create plan after plan but sometimes plans change. Therefore, planning in smaller increments of time not only helps us to achieve our goals with more intention but allows us to pivot more easily.
Below is a step-by-step process to not only taking valuable inventory of your life + career but also in defining what matters most for the season ahead. Grab a piece of paper, pen, and your favorite beverage + let’s get to work!
First, draw one horizontal line down the middle of your page, then a vertical line across the center. In the top left corner write: “Values”, in the top right corner write: “Objectives”, bottom left write: “Rituals”, bottom right write: “My plan”.
Think about practices and people that matter most in your life. The things that keep your ‘cup full’ – and the people that light your heart up. Maybe it’s your children, your alone time, reading, writing, running, hiking, movie dates, a weekly face mask, etc. Whatever those things and people are, write them down in the top left corner of your page. These are your values, or as I like to call them, your “guiding lights”.
If you are working on personal objectives, get specific. Maybe you’re training for a half marathon? Kicking caffeine? Expanding your family? Switching careers? Whatever it is, write down the 3-6 overarching goals you want to achieve in the next 90 days.
If you are a business owner (or thinking of becoming one), what are the 3-6 action items you need to take in the next 90 days to move the needle forward in your business? It’s important to not write down things you “should” do, instead write the non-negotiable items that will aid in taking you to the next step of your journey.
Now, it’s time to enforce those values (or guiding lights). How are you going to take those extremely important practices + people and turn them into consistent daily, weekly, monthly rituals? Here’s an example.
- My Value: Call my parents more often. My Ritual: Call Mom + Dad on my way to work every Friday morning.
- My Value: Spend quality time with kids + partner. My Ritual: Homemade pizza + movie night with family 1x a month.
When you create rituals in your life, you give yourself permission to honor that sacred time. Your values play such an important role in guiding your decision making (hence why they’re called guiding lights). When you receive an inquiry for your time, run through your values. Is the time you’re being asked to contribute honor your values? Keep in mind, you’re planning for the season you’re in, not forever.
It’s time to create a plan of action. After all, clarity comes from getting into motion. Look at the objectives you listed in the top righthand box. Think about which objective needs to happen first, then second, and so on.
For example, if I am launching a new product, I need to have the product made, labels designed, etc, before I move onto website design. This step is important because I want you to focus on moving away from multi-tasking (the only multi-tasking I believe in is multi-masking – and for that, I suggest this Clarifying Mask!).
Once you’ve listed out all of your objectives, it’s time to get specific. Under each, write the specific actions you’ll need to complete to successfully reach your goal. For the next 90 days, it’s these items that will guide what and where you’re spending your time + energy on.
How do you feel?
My hope is you feel clarity, a sense of direction and more at ease.
When defining what matters most in the season ahead, consider your time. As your most valuable asset, it’s a non-renewable resource that we always wish we had more of. I hope these tips help guide your everyday decisions while also moving you closer to living your fullest expression of life.