"Action expresses priorities". Mahatma Gandhi
I started this course in 2012 as an introduction to Intentional Living and how to be more mindful in living ones life. The holidays have been a period of review and today, we move forward as we continue building our Life Priorities' plan.
Now that the Christmas decorations are back in the attic and the champagne glasses are washed and put away, the time has come to embrace the opportunities of 2013. January is the perfect time to build and implement your Life Priority plan. Several of you have reached out, asking specific questions about writing your plan for your #1 Life Priority. Questions range from "Do I really need to write it all down?" to "What does your plan look like?" This Wednesday and next I will share with you how I build a Life Priority plan.
First, I need to be specific when I create my plan. I have so many interests that I can get off course or over extend my time if I am not careful. An example of getting off course would be in relationship to my #1 LP-Maintain Good Health. The mornings are my high activity time and sometimes I want to jump right into whatever my current project is at the time instead of exercising. Exercise and eating properly are the stuff that keeps me going so I can work on all my other interests. Writing down my #1 LP and those actions that support my LP helps me keep my commitment. Just this morning I was in a hurry to get to my office and started to drive away without my lunch. My first response was I will get something out. Then I said, "No, (in a mopey inner voice) go back and get the lunch you made". Writing down and being specific about the actions I will take to accomplish my goals helps me stay on plan.
Second, seeing your plan on paper, virtual or physical, may help you see patterns or complimentary priorities. If one of your priorities is to have a better relationship with your friends then as you write down the actions you are willing to take to live that priority, you may find that you haven't been a good friend. You may learn you haven't remembered birthdays or anniversaries, been unwilling to join in activities that your friends finds enjoyable or generally been unavailable to your friends. Or conversely, you may find that you really don't have anything in common with your current "friends" and will question why you don't reach out to people who truly align with your LPs. When push came to shoved, I learned a lot about myself when I choose to write down what I was going to do to fulfill my LPs.
Finally, I use a form I crafted over the years to capture my LPs and what I am willing to do to make them a reality. I started with a Word document but the last couple of years, I have used Excel. Candidly, I like the structure of Excel; it helps guide my thinking. But you must chose a media that you are comfortable using. A journal, a three ring binder with lined paper, an artist sketch book or notes on your iPad all would work effectively and get you to your goal of a more intentional life.
Week 11 Assignment: Write it down.
Re-read your LPs. Do you see any patterns? Are you being true to your stated LPs. What are you willing to do to accomplish your goals?
Get caught up on the entire Intentional Living series:
- Week 1: The Importance of Taking Time to Think
- Week 2: Asking the Right Questions
- Week 3: What is working in your life?
- Week 4: Do you have your priorities straight?
- Week 5: Are you moving forward?
- Week 6: Setting Lifetime Priorities
- Week 7: Decision Time
- Week 8: Planning
- Week 9: Review
- Week 10: Four Reasons Why