Have you heard the famous story about the Jar of Life? This story is used in Stephen Covey’s book First Things First. Full disclosure, this story has CHANGED my life! Specifically, it changed how I set goals.
Here’s the basic gist of the story:
A philosophy professor walks into the lecture hall with a huge glass jar. Then, he fills the jar with large rocks and asks the class if the jar is full? They agree that it is. Then, he pours some pebbles into the jar, which fit in around the rocks. Again, he asks if the jar is full. The students agree that it’s full. Next, the professor pours in some sand and asks if the jar is full. The students agree that it is full.
Finally, the professor explains that the jar represents life. The big rocks represent the most important things in life: family, friends, your passions, and your health. If there’s nothing else in your life, as long as these big rocks are there, it’s still full. The pebbles represent other things in life such as your job, car, house, etc. Finally, the sand represents the small things in life.
The professor goes on to explain that if you fill your life with sand and pebbles first, you won’t have room for the rocks!
Ever since I heard this story, I’ve tried to focus my goal-setting around my “rocks.”
I know life can get so chaotic and crazy that it can be hard to keep focused on what’s most important. School is starting soon (can you believe I’ll have a kindergartner?), and that just makes it even harder to keep everything organized. Here are the three steps I take every Sunday to prioritize, plan, and prep:
- Calendar Review: I start by reviewing my calendar to see what’s coming in the next week. I use Google Calendar, but you can use any sort of calendar you like. I like to walk into my week with intention, knowing what is happening and where my energy is needed the most.
- Family Conversation: My girls are still young, so at this point I only need to have a conversation with my husband to get to know his schedule and also to share my schedule so that we can work together as a team. As my girls grow, I may need to include them in this conversation to consider their activities and how they might need support.
- Goal Setting and Weekly Check-In: My approach on how to set goals is to do a weekly goal-setting session. In this session, I prioritize my goals and additional goals as they relate to each of my roles. Let’s be real, we all wear more than one hat. For myself, I wear a businesswoman hat, a mom hat, a wife hat, and more! So, I try to think of my main goals as they relate to each of the roles that I have in my life (including personal growth/health).
This weekly ritual helps me put my health before the hustle! If I forget to set goals, the week comes at me and I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off with no direction, just trying to keep up. But, if I DO take the time to sit down and prioritize, plan and prep, I am better prepared and make sure I put all my rocks into my jar, filling it up with what’s important.
How to Set (and Achieve) Healthy Living Goals
As you know, one of my main focuses is living a healthy life. So, how do I set goals in this area and actually achieve them?
It all starts with meal planning and prepping (Pssst! Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? I give away FREE meal plans!). Plus, I make sure that my refrigerator is stocked and ready to help me succeed!
For me, it’s all about forming weekly habits and rituals that work to help me meet my goals. From my weekly grocery shopping trip to meal planning, storing my vegetables, and thinking ahead. These are just a few of my strategies. Then, at the end of each week, I evaluate what worked well and what I can improve on to keep making progress! Remember, it doesn’t matter how slow you go, the goal is always progress (not perfection!).
Are you ready to set your priorities and goals for a successful start to the fall?
Plus, I’ve put together a FREE template for goal setting, which is actually what I use on a regular basis.
Click here to get your copy and let’s knock this fall out of the park!