How To Identify Your Priorities & Take Immediate Action So That You’re Successful Everyday


Family & friends.

The Wellness Bucket.

Finances & budgeting.



My daily priorities, what are yours?


No One Is Ever Too Busy

I’ve always found the phrase, I’m too busy, to be either an excuse to not do something or an admission of poor time management skills.

It’s all about priorities.

We all have responsibilities and commitments to tend to on a daily basis. Whether it’s parenting, a job, running a business, pets, volunteer work, meeting up with friends or family for lunch or dinner.

We’re all busy. Question is, what are you busy with?

What consumes your day? What do you dedicate time and effort to on a daily basis?

What are your priorities?


What Matters

Everyone has their own different set of priorities. My priorities may be different than yours or we may have similar priorities but approach them differently. In order to identify what your priorities are, ask yourself what’s important to you, what are your goals, what do you want?

When it comes to children, pets, your career, or your business, it’s obvious these are priorities.

What else do you prioritize?

What matters to you? What do you want to achieve or create? How do you want to feel? Where do you want to go? What’s important to you? What makes you happy?


What Matters To You = Your Priorities


Identify what matters, identify your priorities.

If losing weight matters to you, then your priorities become eating healthy and exercising.

If running a marathon matters to you, then training and running become your priorities.

If getting a new job matters to you, then applying to new jobs and networking become your priorities.

If starting a new business matters to you, then learning about starting a business and planning become your priorities.

If traveling is important to you, then reading, budgeting, and planning your trip all become your priorities.


Schedule Your Priorities

I make it a point to schedule my priorities on a daily basis. By doing so, everything that matters, that’s a priority to me, is sure to get done.

1. Identify What Matters To You

Write down all the things that matter most to you, that make you happy, that you want. Think of all different aspects of your life, such as health, money, family, friends, business, career, travel, hobbies, etc. Write them all down.


2. Assign Each One A Rank

Once you’ve written down all the things that matter to you, begin ranking each one from most important, to least important. For example, health may be number one for you while watching your favorite television show may rank last.


3. Have A Daily Plan

If health is your number one priority, have a plan for when you’ll exercise. Next up could be your career – wanting to find a new job or start a new business. Schedule time during the day to apply to new jobs or work on your business plan.


4. Plan For Upcoming Obstacles

If you know you’ll be traveling and stuck in a car or plane for a while, a full day of meetings, attending a weekend seminar, whatever it may be, plan ahead for these obstacles and work your top three priorities into your day. It may consist on getting up earlier to get in your exercise before your meeting or passing up going out with colleagues for dinner and drinks if you’re budgeting. You have your top three priorities, plan for them, stick to them, get them done.


5. The Sooner The Better

The sooner you get your top three priorities completed for the day, the sooner you can then move onto #4 priority, then #5, and #6, and so one. For me, these usually include reading, playing guitar, meeting friends for happy hour. All things I love doing and feel good about doing once my top three priorities for the day have been completed.


6. Top Three

Your top three priorities are a must. Have a plan to get these done first every day, before anything else gets done.


My Daily Priority Schedule

Here’s my list of what matters to me, how I ranked them, and what my top three priorities are that I get done daily.

1. Exercise (Must get done)

Based on my day and schedule, I will either get my workout done early in the morning (6am) or in the evening (6pm).

2. Family & Friends (Must Get done)

If there are emails or phone calls I need to make or return, I do this first thing in the morning after exercise.

3. The Wellness Bucket (Must get done)

After exercising, returning calls and emails from family and friends, I start working on current projects and my writing, whether it’s blog posts, newsletters, challenges, etc. All things Wellness Bucket. There’s no set time for completion here, only the time I choose to set. Typically, it’s anywhere between 3-4 hours per day.

4. Finances / Budgeting (Important)

After my top three priorities are completed, I’ll take a look at and review where I am at for the week from a financial and budgeting standpoint. This tells me if I have the option to go out for lunch or do happy hour later in the day, or if it’s a stay at home type of night with left overs.

5. Plan (Important)

After my top three priorities are completed, I then begin planning for the next day. What’s my schedule? When will I work out? Who’s call or email do I need to return or who do I want to actively reach out to? What did I get done today and what will I work on tomorrow for The Wellness Bucket?

6. Read (If there’s time)

It could be a book I am currently reading or newsletters and blog posts from other mentors I haven’t gotten a chance to read yet.

7. Play Guitar (If there’s time)

Nothing relaxes me more than strumming my guitar for 30 minutes or so. It’s my form of meditation. It relaxes me so much that I’ve almost fallen asleep while playing sometimes (I’m serious).

8. Watch TV (If there’s time)

I don’t watch much television, but when I do, I enjoy either watching sports, cooking or travel shows. As you can see, this is very last on my list and an option when all other priorities have been completed.


Start Now

Don’t wait until next week, or next month, or next year, to identify your priorities. What matters to you? Write it down, decide what your top three priorities are, and make a plan to complete each one of these every single day.

The perfect time or the perfect moment to do this doesn’t exist.

The time is now.

“A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow.”

~ George Patton ~

What are some of your priorities? What matters most to you? Please share with me in the comments below and let me know how you approach and schedule your priorities.

Featured Image Credit: Prague Travel Adventures

author: Mike Goncalves

Anne Omland

Another great article, Mike! I couldn’t agree more with this perspective. I, too, was always too busy for everything other than work. But if you asked me what my priorities were, I’d have said my health, my family and friends, etc. The truth is just as you say: where you spend your time = your priorities. Thanks so much for this reminder. You’re awesome!


Thanks so much for being here Anne and for your comments. Isn’t it interesting how the things we value most are also the things we tend to put aside and not make a priority (health, family, friends) in lieu or work. I don’t believe it’s done purposely. Life moves quickly, and that’s OK, so long as we don’t lose sight of what truly matters and not let urgent, take over what’s important. Cheers!


Great post! My priorities definitely line up accordingly – Health/wellness, friends/family, and then I move onto my “to-do” list.


Thanks Kristen, and thanks for being here! Health, family, friends, and then everything else. Sounds perfect to me! 🙂 Your’re awesome…. Cheers!

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I liked this article. It was helpful to see a day of your priorities as an example. I’m always excited to see an article title like this that might help me identify my priorities, but then it asks… “What are your priorities?” I don’t know! You see, I’m not too busy and I don’t have many commitments or responsibilities, no kids, very little family.

On the good side, I saved plenty of money while I was working, and have enough that I don’t have to work now. I don’t have a job. But I’m too young to be retired. And I might need more money (you never know!).

I don’t have to work, and I can do anything I want. This always strikes others as “a good problem to have”, they seem jealous. Not so fast! I’ve thought about it a lot (and done tons of Goal Setting Exercises) but I never find anything that seems worth the trouble to do. So I mostly just meander through each day, doing whatever pops up. Very few priorities.

This “not busy/do anything” situation seems like an interesting thing to explore, goal-wise. The people around me seem mostly motivated by debt. Or kids. Or The Job. What if they didn’t have those “excuses”, and could do anything they wanted? I wonder if it would bring them the happiness they believe, or the aimlessness I experience.


Thanks for your comments Pat. That’s great that you’ve put yourself in a situation where you’re not too busy with too much and don’t need to be. Priorities aren’t just about responsibilities such as kids, family, a career, or debt. Priorities are about what matters to you, doing what makes you happy and come alive, whether working a 9-5 job or having complete freedom from having to work. I’m continuously finding that it’s the ordinary that often do the extraordinary and those who have little that often do and give the most. I do hope you are able to find a cause, one that matters to you and that you can stand behind and support, and help make our world a better place. Cheers!

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