At the start of every year, many people make New Year’s resolutions in the hope that this will make it a better year ahead. The problem is that as challenges arise, people get discouraged and optimism quickly turns sour. Perhaps a better approach is to define priorities. That way, as challenges arise, it’s merely a matter of making adaptations based on those priorities.
People typically make New Year’s resolutions that include spending more time with family, working less overtime, or making an effort to get fit. They are all admirable goals but all too often get sidelined when work pressure mounts.
If priorities are more clearly defined, it makes decision making easier. It helps you to determine what’s most important when faced with conflicting choices. It also helps when conflicts arise between two different priorities.
For example: One of your career priorities might be to expand your knowledge of a specific technology. This might translate into seeking out related courses and subscribing to online learning on the subject. Be cautious though if it’s expected you conduct this learning out of work hours.
The reason for this caution is that one of your personal priorities might be to spend more time with your family. If the courses are all in the evening it may cut into the time you have available to spend with family. In this case it’s vital to rank the two priorities.
Some would say that of course family should take preference, but it isn’t always that black and white. Perhaps the career development is part of your plan to get a promotion and be able to provide better for your family. In that case, it may steer you in a direction of finding resources through work to help you upskill. Or there might be webinars that you can watch on demand which gives you a degree of flexibility.
Defining priorities helps to prevent you from getting overwhelmed when faced with choices. It’s no longer a major dilemma because you have already decided what your priorities are and how they rank in importance.
The benefit of this approach is that it makes life less stressful. If things come up that don’t fall within your priorities, you can set them aside or dismiss them without feeling guilty. At a time where work and life stresses continue to mount, being able to make clear decisions is important. Why not try this approach? It can only serve to benefit you.