Whether you have three goals or 30, creating a priority list is necessary so you know how to structure your time, and get the most out of your plans. The criteria you use to prioritize is up to you, so long as at the end you have an order that feels authentic and manageable.
Some options for criteria include:
HARDEST GOAL FIRST – Choosing to put the hardest goals first when you initiate the program makes a lot of sense. Early on in any process, we have energy, focus, and drive. Putting these assets towards the goal you believe you will struggle with the most is a great strategy for success. That said, the opposite is also true.
LOWEST HANGING FRUIT – Sometimes you need a win to keep the momentum going! Dave Ramsey describes this as the snowball effect in his debt management advice. His suggestion that you pay the smallest loan off first is actually terrible financial strategy (you should pay the one with the highest interest rate to total amount ratio off first to save the most money), but it’s amazing psychological strategy. Getting the first debt taken care of quickly gives you a boost that encourages you to keep going. If you’ve given up on a lot of your goals in the past, doing the fastest and easiest one first might be exactly what you need to tackle the next ones.
MOST IN LINE WITH YOUR VALUES – If you followed our values clarification program, you have identified what sorts of things brings you joy and where you find the most meaning. Prioritizing the goals in these categories is a way to deepen your commitment to your core values.
WHERE YOU NEED THE MOST GROWTH – Maybe you have identified an area of your life that feels overlooked but important. Prioritizing the goals in this area can help you focus on developing in new and hopeful ways.
MOST FUN – Find your joy. If this isn’t any fun, what’s the point?
WHAT YOUR FUTURE SELF WOULD HAVE WANTED – If none of the above works for you, imagine yourself in 5, 10 or 20 years and ask that person what they hoped you would have done. Prioritize the goals that your future self values most.
Once your goals are in priority order, it’s time to tackle the next piece – research.