5 Ways to Prioritize in Life and Focus on What Matters

Stick to priorities and build the best life.

Balance work and life to focus on what really matters.

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Learning how to prioritize in life is a form of self-love. It means realizing what matters to you the most and choosing those goals consistently and intentionally. 

When you focus on what matters, you actualize the life that you really want. But often distractions get in the way of priorities. When you learn how to recognize your priorities, you’ll have an easier time placing them at the forefront of your life.

Recognize Your Core Values

In order to focus on your priorities, you need to first understand what matters to you, really. When you know your values, you know yourself. You have an easier time making decisions that align with your priorities. 

To understand your core values, Psychology Today suggests making a list and choosing your top six to eight values from that list. Consider values like health, financial security, generosity, fitness, freedom, commitment, travel, spirituality, or stability. Then try to better align your day-to-day choices to uphold those values. If you chose family: do you make enough time to see them? Or do you tend to prioritize other commitments, like work? Getting clear on your values helps prioritize how you spend your time and live a life according to what matters to you.

Know what you believe in.

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Daily Habits

What you do day in and day out adds up. So, pay careful attention to your daily habits, because those actions become your life. Set yourself up for success by designing daily habits that support your priorities. According to Forbes, the best leaders set themselves apart by how well they manage their time. And to do that, prioritizing is key.

A part of prioritizing means choosing what to focus on, as well as what to ignore. Make a list each day of the tasks you need to accomplish. When other distractions come up, save them for later. This will help to stay on top of priorities without bouncing from one task to another.

Start your day with good habits.

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Take Breaks

Following your dreams is a lifelong journey. It takes hard work to accomplish. But, perhaps just as importantly: don’t forget to take breaks. According to The Wellbeing Thesis, taking breaks may reduce stress, increase energy levels, and help maintain performance. Breaks can mean a long lunch, to detach from work. Or, perhaps you need a week or two off to rest and come back to your goals with a fresh perspective.

Everyone needs to relax and recharge.

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Stay Consistent

Big goals take time and effort to achieve. You may start out with a lot of motivation at first, but find it difficult to stay on top of priorities as time goes on. 

In her blog, psychologist Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli suggests making a plan, which she defines as “a scheme, program, or method worked out beforehand for the accomplishment of an objective.” 

When you aim for a big goal, create a plan. Consider the small steps it takes to realize that dream. It may help to make a checklist and work your way through until you make it happen. This can help stay organized and consistent when pursuing your priorities.

keep focused.

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Reflect and Reevaluate

Your priorities evolve over time. What mattered to you in your twenties might not mean much to you at age 40. Make sure to reflect on and reevaluate your priorities from time to time. It’s okay to realize certain things don’t mean much anymore. It’s your life! You can realign your priorities as you go. This will help stay true to yourself so you can focus on what really matters, at every stage of your life.

Reflect and re-evaluate your priorities.

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