As a type A person, I love many things about the sales profession. Goals that reset every month. Always something more to accomplish. A hierarchy to ascend. Recognition for a job well done. People to help.
A Successful Life Is a Balanced Life
Don’t get me wrong: I’m very grateful for my type A personality and the obsessive way I built my business. I’ll never know whether I would’ve experienced the fast success I did had I done it differently. But, more than four years into my business, I decided a successful life meant finally learning how to live in balance.
What did that mean to me? To not live in an endless series of all-consuming sprints, but to find joy every day among the to-dos and goals and chaos and have the kind of life I really wanted. As I told my team and my blog readers then: “Because, if I don’t, all this money and all this freedom are going to be wasted.”
Do Your Goals and Priorities Support Your Dream?
My dream was to live a life in balance. That was my “One Word Process” I chose as the overarching theme for my life then.
Once I had my One Word Process, I created a roadmap to achieve it. That requires:
We overachievers may think we’re supposed to have a laundry list of priorities, but we’re not. The point is to focus on that which is more important than anything else. Our priorities are our values, lifestyle, principles, and beliefs that are so important to us right now that not serving them is nonnegotiable.
Set Goals That Align with Your Priorities
After establishing our priorities, we get to set our goals – both short- and long-term – that serve our priorities.
It’s important to understand how goals are different. While our priorities are what are most important and meaningful in our lives today, our goals are things that haven’t yet been realized – but we’re committed to making them happen.
For example, let’s say you’re not thrilled with the apartment you’re renting: The space is inadequate, the neighbors are loud, and you really want to buy a house. One of your priorities might be: “I live in a home I love.” A goal to serve that priority might be to save a certain amount of money every month this year to amass the down payment you’ll need to buy your own house.
Another goal to serve that priority could be to make double batches every time you cook – to fill your freezer with food you can bring for lunch instead of getting takeout. Or maybe one of your priorities is: “I love the work I do and who I get to do it with,” but you’re not finding that in your current job. So a goal to serve that priority would be to go on one networking lunch a week to explore other opportunities. (Or, like so many of the women I work with who want to become their own bosses, to work their side hustle every day to grow it into an exit ramp.)
Here’s what’s so important about this relationship. If our goals don’t support our priorities, we feel off, scattered, stressed, and unfulfilled. Sound familiar? That happens because we’re not living our truth. So I’m asking you to invest the time to really soul search your priorities and then align your goals with them.
Just as I curb my inner overachiever to keep the number of priorities manageable, each year I set an absolute maximum of five goals per priority, and I encourage you to do the same. (Unless you’ve found that elusive pill that gives you more than 24 hours in a day and no need for sleep.)
This is the first step and the core of a process that has made a huge difference in not only how much I’ve been able to accomplish in my personal life and professional life, but also how much I’ve enjoyed the journey. My hope is that it does the same for you.
The above was adapted from You Can Have It All, Just Not at the Same Damn Time!, by Romi Neustadt.
Romi Neustadt worked in the corporate world as a lawyer and PR executive before becoming an entrepreneur. She runs an eight-figure business while being a wife, mom of two, and a healthy human.