I heard a quote from the CEO of E-Women's Network, Sandra Yancey, recently that really jumped out at me. She said: "Until you know what's important to you, you'll never be able to tell what's necessary and what's a distraction."

This made me think of two crucial tools I've seen help people get clarity needed to get unstuck...The Big 3 & Top 10. These foundational tools have proven to quickly help my clients move forward on the way to a more balanced life with less stress. They're so simple, yet so powerful!

The BIG 3
I developed (and use) a system I call “The Big 3” to help keep me living intentionally and deliberately in the direction of my ideal life. “The Big 3” are your top three priorities and or values. You get to choose what they are. If that seems too broad, get clarity by asking yourself, "What would be my top 3 priorities if I found out I had a year to live?"

For example, my Big 3 are:

1. Relationships (Me, kids, husband, friends, clients, extended family, kindness to strangers)

2. Learning/Growth/Knowledge

3. Authentic Financial Abundance/Money

You customize and tailor your “Big 3” according to your values and personality. If that seems too broad, get clarity by asking yourself, "What would be my top 3 priorities if I found out I had a year to live?"

Your Top 10
The other tool you must have at your disposal is Your Top 10. Your Top 10 is a list of the ten people in your life whose opinion and needs really matter to you. Ten can seem like a really small number to some, but I really want to force you to trim the fat here. Don’t just list the people you’re socially or biologically required to prioritize. REALLY make your list reflect your true sense of connection and affection. People who've earned your respect.

Determining your Top 10 ahead of time makes it easier to determine what's a necessity versus a distraction and makes your decisions smoother in the future. Rather than seeking the good opinion and approval of a large random group of people, focus your behavior intentionally in favor of those who really matter most to you.

Take 10 minutes and craft you Big 3 & TOP 10 list. Then pause and look them over. How do you feel? If you feel satisfied, excited and joyful, you've hit a homerun! If you feel depleted, obligated and trapped it means you've written the list you think you "should" want, but don't actually want it. In that case, massage it a bit until you're energized by what you read on your Big 3 & Top 10.

Next - Evaluate: Do your actions match these priorties?
For example, I know tons of people who would list their children’s happiness and well-being as their #1 priority. However, their actions demonstrate a clean house, their career or perfect image is a higher priority. This isn’t judgment, but rather an accountability check to honestly assess the congruence of your words and actions. (You know what they say, speaks louder…) Either change your “Big 3” to match your actual behaviors, or change your actions.

What we put our attention on and keep track of grows! (That’s why you shouldn’t track the size of your thighs!) “The Big 3” helps maintain balance and deliberate living so your results are in line with your passions and priorities. That’s lots more satisfying and enjoyable!

Author's Bio: 

Stephanie Owens, founder Pleaseaholics.com and creator of the Better Boundaries, Better Life System is dedicated to bringing products and services to busy, purpose-driven women attempting to juggle work, family and their own (usually ridiculously) high expectations. She provides step-by-step guidance to help her clients on their journey to create the life they were born to live. She developed the “Better Boundaries, Better Life” system to show busy women the keys to unlocking a life that honors their talents, passions and purpose by ridding themselves of the disease to please.

Stephanie offers private coaching programs and products that teach clients how to rid themselves of the disease to please, and create Better Boundaries & a Better Life. Her free CD, Stop Being So Hard On Yourself!: 10 Simple Steps to Become Happier & More Productive concepts and actions steps they need to get started toward their ideal life right away.

A small business owner for over a decade, Stephanie, blends her experience in the business world with her expertise in mindset secrets in her work with other entrepreneurs. She privately coaches small business owners, helping them adopt the mindset needed to take their businesses to the next level.