Prioritising Your Goals in Life: When You’re the Only Who Really Cares

The great game of life is ever the puzzle to piece together. You’ve got to seek an education, you’ve got to be close to your family, you need money, you need a home and in-between it all, you need it all to mean something. How does one stage of your life lead off into others? How do you avoid running about from one activity to another without direction? Life is a complex mix of ingredients, and as cooks of life, many of us find ourselves following someone else’s recipe or random concoction with which we hope to be happy. It’s even harder to prioritise when you’re the only one who really takes your vision for the future seriously. Which is a situation that is far more common than its opposite: having everyone pour their lives into your dreams.

It is incumbent upon you to take your life seriously, and figure out how to make it all click as seamlessly as possible. After reading this article, you may want to take a moment to plan your life and clarify the larger picture. I’ve written these two articles that detail two methods to help you plan your life, How to Set a Goal and Stick to It and Mindmapping Your Life. I recommend you save them in your browser for after your read this but if you’re short on time then schedule a time when you can block out at least an hour and focus on designing your future. It’ll be well worth it. So back to the matter at hand.

When you’re not focused on your priorities, you’ll find that life becomes an endless struggle to keep up with, even more so than it needs to be. You’ve given over your control and everyone wants a piece of you. You can be certain that if your priorities are not in order that someone or something else will squeeze into your life to make use of you. But when you’re sure of the important things in your life and enforce them as non-negotiable activities, then you find that people tend to take your priorities more seriously. It all starts with you.

I feel as though I’m repeating myself, but this does not make you selfish. It does not make you arrogant or conceited. And those who care about you, will learn to accept that their needs and expectations come second to your mission. That’s not to say that you won’t respond to emergencies, if your kid is in trouble or another relative under your care needs you. However, for non-emergencies that are hindrances and leeches of your time and energy, like helping a friend move while you could spend that time working on a pending project, just to be liked. Or, lending money for someone else’s fuck ups while it sets you back months or weeks on your own financial goals. Those are the kinds of hindrances, I am talking about. Occasions when you put your priorities and goals in the back seat add up. And the more you do so, the more it becomes expected of you.

“Oh Danny is just the type that puts other people’s needs first”

Yeah, Danny sometimes wishes he could say no. But no, has become foreign to him, and Danny has his own needs. We’ve all heard that said of someone, that they’re selfless. But when you really pay attention, selflessless in that context ends up serving someone else’s selfish purposes. You offer your time like you’ve got oodles of it sitting in a bank somewhere so that another person can avoid taking responsibility for their mistakes and at times so they can avoid doing things themselves, is somewhat a dimwitted move.

Again, this does not mean that helping others is not worthwhile. But you should do it smartly, and at times refusing a person the help they’re asking for can do them more good then constantly giving in to their requests, fuck up after fuck. They’ll never learn or take responsibility the way they should.

What’s the downside of not prioritising? Well, it is quite obvious, there is only so much time in your own life. You can’t work on other people’s missions and on your own all at once, so you’ll need to make a trade yours for theirs, or theirs for yours. There are no two ways about it, unless you develop the ability to be in two places at once.

Now how do you begin the process of prioritising. You start by seizing control of your time. You have 24 hours in a day, like everyone else on earth. 1440 minutes, 86400 seconds to get shit done everyday. Those hours add up over the course of a year or a decade. And when you consider the average lifetime of our generation, then that swells into millions of hours.

So it starts with you enforcing your dominion over your days. What should you be doing to advance your objectives and when will you do so? Then once you’ve figured that out ensure you establish the habit of taking action daily and following your agenda. Make sure that it isn’t something optional, this is especially important if you’re self-employed. It has to feel like a sacred duty.

Once you reach this mindset you’ll find it easier to decline or refuse other impositions on your time and energy. People will eventually learn to respect our time and deep down they will respect that your mission comes first. If we’re all honest, we don’t tend to disturb people who are actively working towards their own goals as much as our idle or disoriented friends.

I can attest to this from personal experience. Once I began taking my time seriously and giving more consideration to my goals, the needle started moving in my life. I was often the friend who’d help pay back debts or bail out a relative when they were a trouble. But that put me in a position where it took too long to make progress on my financial goals.

However, once I began saying no and thinking more of the impact of my selfless tendencies. I started feeling freer, more in control of things. I

It won’t feel easy at first. There’s that programme at the back of your mind, that’s still running. Out of habit you’ll feel uncomfortable saying no. But you do not owe anyone your time, it’s a choice and one you should make when able, not under a sense of obligation. Or some misguided need to be liked for being the fixer in people’s lives.

Ultimately, these are just tips and sprinkles of advice that could help you. You should exercise discretion when choose when to put your priorities and plan on hold for those of another. I hope you liked this short article and that it helped you put some things into perspective. If so, leave a comment with your own take or piece of advice on the matter. While you’re at it get your free copy of my book, No One Will Save You here.

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