4 Steps for Life Success: You’ve Got a Plan, But What Are Your Priorities?

“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” -Earl Nightingale

You’ve got a plan, and that’s excellent!

Plans really are necessary for managing our progress toward our daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and decade-long goals, and they’re crucial for knowing how to get to where we want to go.

But all too often, people abandon ship at the first sign of darkening skies. Isn’t it interesting how our goals and resolutions tend to go by the wayside when we hit that first brick wall? It’s a tendency that’s hardwired into our human DNA.

Where Did I Go Wrong?

So, is it the universe is somehow telling us it just wasn’t meant to be?

No, I see a different story here: it’s that we’ve already set our course for failure, because our plans did not fall in line with what we truly wanted in the first place. Our priorities are what rule the master blueprint for our lives, and when our immediate plans don’t match that blueprint, then naturally our life begins to move in a direction we never wanted it to. To, you, the creator of that blueprint, this equates to failure.

So here are 4 steps to realign your plans to match your life’s master blueprint, and experience massive life success.

1. Survival: You’ve Got To Look After Yourself First

What does your lifestyle look like?

One of the first issues, especially with overworked individuals who are experiencing an unhealthy level of stress, anxiety, a slump or depression, is they just don’t have the energy to accomplish the tasks they set for themselves. It’s not that these tasks are out of reach; it’s that their lifestyles don’t allow them to sustain the energy required to accomplish otherwise feasible goals. Here are 4 of the most common ways you could be sabotaging your own life success:

  • Sleep (not enough or inconsistent)
  • Diet (fatty, processed foods, lack of essential nutrients)
  • Exercise (a lack thereof, sitting for too long, low metabolism)
  • Unhealthy habits (smoking, alcohol, drug addiction, etc.)

If you’re overburdened by vices and lifestyle choices that result in a lack of energy, then that’s the first reason why you’re experiencing seemingly constant failure. You want to be able to grow and, more importantly, provide for others, but that means you’ve got to care for yourself first.

2. Vision: What Are Your Priorities

Sadly, statistics show that 45% of Americans will make a New Year’s resolution this year, while only 8% will stick to it.

What does this tell us? Perhaps it’s that most people attempt to achieve these goals based on their own feeble willpower. But let’s face it, the human condition is to meet its basic needs and not to achieve above and beyond that level. Such achievements require a vision that pulls you, rather than relying on your own willingness to accomplish something greater (for the sake of feeling accomplished).

Your priorities must be powered by YOUR VISION.

You need to have a “mirror-moment,” when you look at yourself, your life, and ask a few honest, revealing and possibly difficult questions. Let’s get down to business:

What do I TRULY want?

What does “success” mean to me?

What does my blueprint actually look like?

Am I following my own blueprint? (Or appeasing someone else’s?)

How would I define my ideal life, my vision?

Now, let’s compare that to the blueprint we started with.

3. Reevaluate: Does Your Plan Fit Your Vision?

When you’ve finally figured out what YOUR vision looks like, then hold on to it, close your eyes, and see it in your mind.

It’s not until you’ve defined your vision can you envision and identify it. That’s how you can nail your priority-defined blueprint to the wall and see more than just a set of plans: You can mentally picture what those plans represent.

But now, are you noticing anything different? For example …

The slump: Perhaps your original plan was to land that promotion at the office so that you could afford a vacation to the Caribbean in order to spend time with your family and make them happy.

Mirror moment: But once you realized you simply wanted to spend more quality time with loved ones, something changed.

Envision moment: You perceived that it’s NOT about the promotion. In fact, your job kept you away from your family, and thus was counterproductive to the detriment of your true priorities. So you created a new vision, a new blueprint, and a new PLAN.

The New Plan: Be home for dinner every evening, and spend less time at the office.

Well, it looks like we’re finally getting somewhere.

4. Reward: Treat Success Like Success Should Be Treated

Don’t forget that when you finally reach one of your goals embedded in your new blueprint, then you should reward yourself!

Rewards are important because they reinforce our vision and sustain our commitment to overcoming the inevitable challenges along the way.

Your priorities define the intended destination.

Your vision pulls you toward that destination.

Your goals are markers along the way.

Your plan is the path between those markers, and when you reach them, your rewards are sweet reminders of your vision.

Life success, achieved. Happy New Year!

Question: What are your priorities? Comment below.

This is a guest post by Kayla Matthews, Kayla is a blogger with a passion for self-improvement and productivity. Follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or at ProductivityTheory.com, to read all of her latest posts.


Steve Spring

Steve is the founder of Live Your Life On Purpose, where his goal is to help others transform their health, minds, and relationships. A former management consultant and executive coach, Steve is also a Christ-follower, husband, dad, and entrepreneur who loves his family, friends and helping others live their life on purpose.