With the New Year upon us, thousands of businesses pause for a few days to take inventory. Each item in the warehouse is carefully counted, assets are verified, and missing or damaged items are accounted for. Company officers use this data to evaluate the effectiveness of inventory controls and asset management. This yearly inventory process takes valuable time, but it’s essential to a business because it directly affects the company’s taxes and bottom line profits.
Each of us can take a lesson from this yearly practice in our own personal lives. Why not schedule some quiet time to take a personal inventory? Take time to evaluate how we are managing our personal assets: our time, talents, and energy. I encourage you to do just that.
Too often at this time of year, we set goals and resolutions in a haphazard way, never really taking time to evaluate our priorities and our progress. No wonder New Year’s Resolutions seldom effect real change.
Here’s my formula for a successful Personal Inventory. Sometime in the next week, set aside 2 hours, away from any interruptions or distractions, to reflect on the following questions:
- What are the highest priorities in my life? (What will make me and my family truly happy?) Write these out.
- Do my daily actions support these priorities?
- Will I choose to live life on purpose, or just let life happen?
- Do I spend time and energy on things that do not support my purpose? If so, how can I reallocate those resources to better reflect my highest priorities?
- How can I eliminate things that distract me from my priorities?
- What can I change today that will make a huge difference in my future?
- Consider the following quote:
“Are there so many fascinating, exciting things to do or so many challenges pressing down upon you that it is hard to keep focused on that which is truly essential? When [busyness and distractions] crowd in, all too often the wrong things take highest priority.” — Richard G. Scott
- What specific things do I need to change? Write out these goals and then take action.
Success Tip: Regularly schedule quiet time for a personal inventory where you can reflect on the highest priorities in your life and evaluate how well you are allocating your time and energy toward accomplishing them. Worthwhile goals will naturally flow from this type of introspection.