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Are your priorities in line with your values?

Many of us struggle with aligning our priorities with our actions. I recently had a conversation with one of my private coaching clients. She said her family was her priority, yet she was barely fitting them in around her business, rather than the other way around. Our priorities are really defined by how and where we spend our time, and, by that definition, family was not her number one priority.

To get clearer on your priorities, during the next month develop a list of your needs, wants and values. “What’s the difference?” you ask. A need is something you must have in order to be your best, such as time, space, money, love, information, food, etc. A want is something that you relate to by trying to acquire or experience it, such as a car, a vacation, a house, a new sewing machine, etc. Values are behaviors or preferences that you naturally gravitate to or that are prompted from within and not by needs or wants. An example might be security or adventure or creativity. The same thing can be a need, want or value for different people or for the same person at different times. Here are some guidelines:

* If there is urgency, it’s probably a need.
* If there’s a craving or desire, it’s probably a want.
* If there is a natural and uncomplicated pull, it’s probably a value.

Next, complete a “calendar audit.” Look at your calendar for the last couple of months. Take every bit of time, personal as well as business, and compare your expenditure of time with your needs, wants and values. What did you learn?

Last, create objectives and action plans to better align your words and your actions. The most fulfilling goals are those that align with your values.

Please share your thoughts below.

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