There stands my 5 year old son. Sad, dejected, and alone. He has a baseball and glove in one hand and another glove on the ground. He's standing in our front yard, looking for someone to play catch with him. Hoping someone will notice.
I barely looked at him.
I was too busy working on my goals for the day: cleaning the garage, working in the yard, and accomplishing the tasks on my list.
My laser focus on my goals made me miss out on this time with my son. Instead of remembering the priorities in life, I focused on the next task to complete. Get the next thing done. Tackle that next project. Complete the next goal.
I missed an opportunity to impact my son's life. I missed out on showing him how much I love him.
Sometimes I get so focused on accomplishing my goals, I forget to focus on the priorities around me. This is when I find my goals and priorities are not aligned.
Remember Your Priorities
Do you find your goals overtaking your priorities?
We all do this from time to time. We want something accomplished so much that we lose sight of what the most important things are in our life.
Our priorities are the most important people and areas of life from which we derive meaning, belonging, and peace. They are the values we live by.
If you have a goal that is taking you away from your priorities, something isn't aligned. Something is out of balance. It could be missing your kid's game, skipping a date with a friend, or not making time for that phone call.
We want our goals balanced with our priorities. We don't want to sacrifice the foundational priorities in life to meet a goal.
The answer is not to throw out our goals. The answer is to balance goals and priorities.
Take a step back and ask yourself:
- What are my priorities in life?
- Where are my goals misaligned with my priorities?
- How can I modify my goal to align with my priorities?
- How can I balance the pursuit of my goals with my priorities?
Taking time to reflect on these questions is key to ensuring life is in balance.
Make Your Priorities Your Goals
Later that day as I was wrapping up my tasks, I recognized my mistake with my son. I realized where my goals were not aligned with my priorities.
I didn't beat myself up or adopt the identity of a failure. I recognized my mistake and decided to correct it. I went to talk with my son.
By now, he was brushing his teeth and getting ready for bed. I got down on his level and said, "Buddy, I'm sorry we didn't play catch today. Do you want to play catch with me tomorrow?" A big smile came across his face.
I had my answer. I bet you can guess what my goal was for the next day.
Here is a question for you:
Where do you need to balance your goals and priorities?
Balance is not a one-time destination. Its a pursuit we strive for. Work towards finding balance with your goals and priorities.
And don't forget to play catch with your son.