Mark Blasini


Goals vs. activities


What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Want to know what your real priorities in life are? No, I'm not talking about your goals in life – what you want to accomplish. I'm talking about what you actually prioritize in life.

Try this simple exercise:

On a piece of paper or digital spreadsheet, make three columns. The first column will have the heading of “Personal Goals.” Under this column, you'll put any personal goals you may have: getting fit, making income as an artist or musician or entrepreneur, attaining a management position, obtaining a job in your field, getting married, having children, etc.

On the second column, write the heading “Regular Activities.” Under this heading, you'll put all the activities you do on a regular basis. These could include: work, writing, reading, practicing an instrument or art-form, watching YouTube videos, trolling Facebook, etc. Be as honest and as expansive as possible.

Lastly, for the third column, write the heading “Supports Goals?” In this column, you're going to write “Yes” or “No,” depending on whether your regular activity supports your personal goal.

Ideally, each of your activities should support a personal goal or set of personal goals. If it doesn't, then you left out a personal goal that you didn't (want to) mention. If so, then you have to fill in that missing personal goal that that activity supports.

Again, the point of this exercise isn't to judge yourself, to make yourself feel bad (or good) about how you spend your time, but to see more clearly what your real priorities are.

If, for example, your personal goal is to be fit and healthy, and yet none of your activities involve working out or eating nutritious meals, then you can clearly see that being fit and healthy is not a priority for you.

By comparing your regular activities with your personal goals, you might decide to update or get rid of some goals, or you may decide to add or take away certain activities. That choice is up to you.

The idea is to use the sheet as a tool for gaining clarity over the choices you make in your daily life.