If it is important to you, you will find a way. If it is not, you will find an excuse.

The New Year is filled with conversations around resolutions and goals. How will you improve? How will you do more? What goals are you going to achieve? How much healthier are you going to be? No pressure!

Now is the time, according to most people, to voice what goals you are looking to accomplish in the year ahead. We want to go a step further. Goals and resolutions can be vague and lofty ideals we strive for, yet we do not take the time to identify exactly how we will prioritize what is necessary to achieve them. Too often people do their work and live their lives without consciously setting priorities and consistently referring back to them to drive results.

We want to get very specific about your 2017 priorities, both personal and professional. And we don’t just want you to share these in ad hoc conversations with people, we want you to map them out on paper and share them – with a spouse, manager, colleagues, employees, even friends.

At the center of a piece of paper is 2017 PRIORITIES. Jumping out from the center are spokes that connect to the prominent areas of your life – family, business, health, friends, money, etc.

Sprouting out from each area of focus are a maximum of 3 priorities. For example, on the business front, we have our clients identify the 3 result priorities they need to drive in the year ahead – revenue target, specific product line target, number of sales, professional development target, hiring/recruiting target, etc. The activities you engage in at work should all be able to connect back to one of those result priorities.

Do not make this complicated. Identify three result priorities you want to see happen in each of the areas you decide to focus on for 2017. And, if you have so many spokes and priorities stemming from each one that it looks overwhelming, it will likely be VERY overwhelming to realize those priorities! Do. Not. Make. This. Complicated. Ultimately, your priorities are what you live, not what you put on paper. Let’s make sure what is on paper can focus and drive your lived experience.

This can be an activity you engage your whole team around to get people sharing their priorities and getting clear about the year ahead. Don’t have a team? Engage some friends or family in the activity to help create a system of accountability for yourself.

Once you have your map, take time each morning to remind yourself of your priorities. Consistently reflect on your schedule to make sure you are engaged in activities that are driving your priorities. This way your life will actually reflect the priorities you set.

At The Covenant Group, we may focus on the business side of things, however, we all need to recognize the importance of setting priorities in our personal life as well. Meeting the priorities we set personally will help to create fulfillment in all areas of our life, including professionally.