Monday, November 23, 2009

Lists to LIVE By

If an alien landed on earth today it wouldn't take him long to figure out we are a society that lives by lists. There is the daily to do list, the grocery list, the bucket list, every day brings another top 10 list of trivial and often useless information. And the "list of lists" goes on and on. But for the most part the lists can be a source of stress, frustration, and feelings of incompetence. By the day, by the year, by the life time there is so much to do! Each time one item is marked off, three new ones are added.

So is there a list or lists that can actually bring fulfillment, enjoyment and more happiness to your life? I contend there is. In fact I think it will not only bring you those things but also will allow you to have a greater impact on your family, your customers, and those you serve. So what is this list? Your Priority List. In fact I recommend you have two: Professional Priority List and Personal Priority List. Here's an example of what those might look like

Professional Priority List
~Developing new business
~Managing existing clients
~Leading and mentoring employees
~Continuing to learn and grow my skill base

Personal Priority List
~Self-care: eating well, working out, pampering
~Spending quality time with husband
~Spending quality time with kids
~Spending quality time with friends
~Exercising my faith with involvement and service
~Managing the household
~Fun and recreation

So it's your turn. What matters most for you? What REALLY matters most to you? Make your personal and professional priority list. But the exercise doesn't end here.

Now that you have a list of what matters most to you - your professional and personal priorities take 5 minutes and look at your calendar for the last two weeks. How many events, tasks, activities did you spend time on that when evaluated really aren't on your list of priorities? It's not uncommon that more than half of things people spend their time on don't even reflect their top priorities. The potential to experience joy, satisfaction and happiness lives in your calendar. You will begin to experience more of what matters to you when you schedule less of what doesn't.

And one final question. When you created your priority list were You on it? May I ask whose list will you appear on if you don't appear on your own? When we refuse to address our own physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs our personal growth stalls. Instead of being able to care for all the important people in your life you run out of energy, get frustrated more easily, and lose the joy of living.

Now next time you need to create a to do list, project list or other list of tasks to be done first grab your priority lists. Use your Priority Lists as a foundation for what activities make your list and which ones don't. Now that is Lists to LIVE by.

For additional resources on this topic check out Remodel Your Reality: 7 Steps to Rebalance Your Life and Reclaim Your Passion by Kim Fulcher, CEO of Compass

Karen Zeigler
Life Coach