What do you think “success” would actually look like?

A little while back, I mentioned that I’d made a list of five simple priorities for the year ahead. It’s an idea that Peter Bregman laid out in his book 18 Minutes, and although I’m only a few weeks into the year, I think it’s given me some real focus. These are the five I chose:

  • Be committed to my family and friends
  • Develop my career strengths and talents
  • Develop my creative strengths and talents
  • Work for social change
  • Improve and take care of myself

Of course, it’s one thing to keep your goals in mind, and another to feel like you’re actually fulfilling them. To do that, you’ve got to think about what “success” means, and what it would look like to you. I took a little time to that this week for my own goals, and here’s what I came up with:

  • Being committed to my family and friends means being present in the moment when I’m with the people I care about; investing time, attention and care in those people; and doing my best to relate to other people’s points of view.
  • Developing my career strengths and talents means thriving in an environment where I can grow my skills and knowledge, and making the most of every opportunity to do so, as well as every opportunity to put those skills to good use.
  • Developing my creative strengths and talents means carving out the time each day to write, rehearse and practice; developing the discipline required to make the most of that time; and continuously challenging myself to learn new things, achieve new results, and push toward the next level.
  • Working for social change means staying informed on the news and issues of the day; making smart choices on what to invest my time, energy and money in; and successfully encouraging others to get involved in their own way.
  • Improving and taking care of myself means investing in my physical and mental well-being; achieving the discipline required to take good care of myself; consistently identifying new ways to improve myself; and taking the time to relax and disengage when I need it.

Any day that features at least a rough balance of these is bound to be a good day. Keeping these sorts of ideas in mind will hopefully help me make the most of my time. This is just one of a number of ways, in fact, to set these fives areas of focus in motion, and I’m planning to post about another way shortly.

What do you want to get done in a day? What would you like to get done in a year? What would your life look like if you did so? What next steps can you take? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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