“What is the #1 most important goal in your life?”
In other words, if you had to boil down everything that you’ve got on your plate to one overarching meta-goal, the one that would have the most impact on your long-term happiness and success, do you know what that would be?
Knowing the answer to that question and reminding yourself each day can have huge implications for how you prioritize and organize your day. It will help you be very clear on what to say “yes” to in your life and what to say “no” to. Taking that one simple, yet critically important step will accelerate your progress toward your most important goals.
Your #1 Most Important Task
Answering that question is essential to being able to answer the next critical question:
“What is the #1 most important action I can take today that will move me closer to my #1 most important goal?”
Make sure you ask and answer that question every day (or at the very least every week), and schedule time to get that task done.
Breaking your task down into smaller steps that you can easily accomplish without committing too much time or energy will also make a big difference. That will help remove the resistance and inertia that can leave you stuck for months (or longer).
For example, I had recently been procrastinating recording a video spot. I broke the logjam by just committing to setting up the equipment and making sure I was ready to record – a quick, easy task. That effectively broke the task down into smaller bites that were easier to swallow, made the actual job of recording smaller, and made it much easier to overcome procrastination and get the job done.
Your #1 Most Important Skill
Answering the “#1 Goal” question also leads to another illuminating question: If you had to pick one skill – the one that would have the most impact over all others to help you reach your goal, what would it be?
If you are in sales, perhaps it would be listening or presenting. If you are an engineer, it might be problem solving or design. Whatever that critical skill is for you, what are you doing to sharpen it? Do you have a plan for becoming better at what you do – better at the skills that will make the most difference?
When you are developing a plan to reach your goals, don’t forget to include a plan to “sharpen the saw.” Having a plan to improve your key skills will help you accelerate progress toward your goals.
These three important questions point to one key principle: Focus. Focus on the things that will make the most difference. Know what they are! Keeping your #1 most important goal top of mind will help you to be clear about the actions you can take today and the critical skills you will need to accomplish your goal.
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