Here is a simple exercise to get you started on the path to running your business and living your life focused on your top priorities.
Do you feel you have clarity about what's most important to you? Most people don't - often because they just don't spend time thinking about what matters most. Here is a simple exercise to get you started on the path to running your business and living your life focused on your top priorities.

On a blank piece of paper, write down everything you most want for yourself from your life - the things you say are most important to you. Some examples would be close family relationships, health and well-being, meaningful work, long term friendships, supportive community, a successful business, creative pursuits, travel and adventure, financial freedom, spiritual life, beautiful home environment, recreation and fun, community service, or personal growth. Add your own examples to this list.

Choose five of the most significant of these items, and list them in order of what's most important to you. Then, next to each item on the right hand side, put a number on a scale of zero to five that represents the priority you have given this item in the past three months, with zero being no attention at all, and five being full attention.

Your list might look like this:

1. Family 2
2. Meaningful Work 4
3. Health and Well-Being 5
4. Financial Freedom 0
5. Travel and Adventure 0

Note: Your list might have no #5's and some 0's on the right if you have not been giving attention to what truly matters to you.

Does your list indicate you're not spending you time doing what you say is most important to you? Are you spending time accomplishing other people's priorities, but not your own? Memorize your list of priorities, and use it as a guideline for every demand that is made on your time. Take a long term view of your life to make sure that how you are spending your days now is in line with your overall vision and a true reflection of what you really want. Make the choice to pay yourself first. It will pay dividends both in the present, and in the future.

Don't let anything come between you and what truly matters most to you! Here are some suggested books if you want to read more about getting clear on your priorities and life purpose:

- The Path by Laurie Beth Jones
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Callings by Gregg Levoy

Author's Bio: 

Jan Marie Dore teaches women entrepreneurs and professionals marketing and sales strategies to attract more clients, grow their business, and create profitable new income streams so they can make more money in less time. You can access her free marketing and sales tips and resources at visit www.femalepreneurs.com