You can do anything you set your mind to but you can’t do everything. Really. The clue is right there in the sentence. If you are trying to accomplish everything than you really haven’t set your mind to something. You can have more than one goal but it definitely helps to be able to pick out a few top priority goals to work on. The tricky part is how to determine what to set your mind to. That is, what are your goals.
I’ve come across a great little game to help people prioritize their goals. Take a pile of index cards and write out possible goals, one to a card. Try to be very specific with each card. Instead of writing, “make a lot more money” write “make $10,000” a year. Adjust to your own income level. You can put goals that cumulate on multiple cards, so you could have five “make $10,000” index cards or “lose 10 pounds” for example. It helps to put a time limit on your goals. For example, you might want to focus on goals you could achieve in the next year.
The goal on your goal cards, is to have, at least, twenty cards. Feel free to overachieve. Here are some prompts to help you fill out as many cards as you can:
Financial goals: making more money, saving for specific goals, increasing retirement, paying down debt
Health/fitness goals: losing weight, increasing ability (jogging more miles), lowering cholesterol, playing with the kids
Romantic: number of dates with spouse, getting a spouse, divorcing a spouse
Spiritual: attending church, praying, going on a retreat, taking a trip, meditating
Stress reduction: having flexibility at work, finishing nagging tasks
Growth: taking a class, reading a number of books a month
Joy: spending time with friends and family, getting a pet
There really isn’t a limit to the types of goals you put on your cards.
Once you have your cards all filled out, shuffle them face down and deal yourself five cards. (If you really overachieved on the number of cards you wrote, you may want to start with eight cards in your hand.) Look at that hand. Is this the hand that equals goals for your next year? Take a card from the deck and add it to your hand. Now choose one card to discard. Repeat with every card in the deck. Your final hand is your hand of goals for the next year.
To really make it challenging, after you try it with five cards, reshuffle the entire deck (including the cards in your hand) and try doing it again but with only three cards in your hand.
What is your final hand? Post it in the comments. Sharing your goals can be a great motivator.