22nd November 2015

How To Get Clear on Your Priorities Before (and During!) the Holidays

This holiday season, I want you to get clear on your priorities.

When that voice in your head tells you that you should complete this task, lead another project, or make pumpkin pie or holiday cookies from scratch, evaluate the priority of that message. How does it align to your priorities, your company’s priorities, and your family’s priorities?

I’ve talked about the R.E.A.D.Y., Aim, Fire methodology before. But, in this context, I know it will not only assist you in getting very clear on your priorities this holiday season, but also ensure that you achieve those goals in the most efficient and effective way possible.

R.E.A.D.Y.: Set Your Priorities

To get ready, you have to become very clear on your goals and priorities for the next several weeks. I write my goals or intentions in the following four areas of my life:

· Professional

· Personal

· Health

· Spiritual

I try to be very specific about what I want to create, using the following questions as a guide.


· At the end of this year, I will be able to say that I used all the gifts given to me if…

· Where do I want to be at the end of this year?

· What are my team’s or division’s goals for the end of this year?

· What are my personal goals for the end of this year?


· What do I want more of from the personal relationships in my life at the end of the year?

· What do I want less of from the personal relationships in my life at the end of the year?

· What do I want to give to the personal relationships in my life at the end of the year?

· How do I want to be present for the people in my life at the end of the year?


· How do I want to feel physically through the holidays?

· How will I ensure my optimum physical and mental health this season?

· What changes do I need to make to my diet, exercise, and rest routines to support me in achieving my professional and personal goals through the end of the year?

· Do I have any specific physical goals—for example, to run a 5K Turkey Trot or take a weekly yoga class until New Year’s Day?

· Do I have any specific rest and rejuvenation goals–for example, to take one day a week to think and reflect?


· What is the quality of my spiritual life?

· What changes, if any, do I want to make to strengthen it?

· How will I nurture my spiritual life during the holiday season?

As you answer each of the questions above, use R.E.A.D.Y. as your goal-drafting guide. Make sure that your goals and priorities are:

R – Realistic,
E – Exciting,
A – Action-oriented,
D – Directive (meaning they will point you in the direction you want to go), and
Y – Yours (not simply someone else’s goals for you).

5 Things to Keep in Mind as You Set R.E.A.D.Y. Priorities:

1. Many people find the R.E.A.D.Y. stage daunting. I used to be one of them. That question, “Where do I want to be in ten years?” used to make my toes curl, because I could not see where I wanted to be next month! So, be gentle on yourself; there will be time to set the big goals and priorities. Right now, focus on what will fuel you to make good choices for YOU this holiday.

2. Make sure that your goals do not represent the “shoulds” in your life. Eliminate the idea that you should make all of the holiday meals from scratch if you know if your heart that isn’t a game changer to enjoying this time of year.

3. Don’t force this, but make sure what you do write down is YOURS. The first place to start is to get very clear on the true goals and priorities of YOUR personal and professional life right now.

4. This will be powerful learning you can use in 2016. Having personal and professional priorities this holiday will be powerful. They will help you avoid the all-too-common danger of spinning your wheels during this special time of year and into 2016.

5. Remind yourself: it’s been a good year. Remind yourself how far you’ve come this year; how much you’ve grown, learned, created. This is the time to celebrate all you’ve accomplished this year!