If like many these days you are feeling a renewed sense of possibility and purpose for your life work, how do you translate that inspiration into the actions that will make a lasting difference?

Having an inspiring vision statement and a brilliant strategic plan isn’t enough if your actions don’t match your priorities. Without aligning your daily focus with your deepest values, your life and business missions won’t be reached.

Have you ever found yourself avoiding a heartfelt goal? I always knew I wanted to write a book, but year after year went by without any progress until I finally let go of “I should be able to do it myself” and signed up for a class.

In order to stay on course it’s critical to bring greater awareness into the relationship between your intentions and your actions, particularly when you are feeling overwhelmed. Here is a simple way to take stock and make any tweaks that might be needed. Set aside some time when you will be uninterrupted to do the following exercise:

  1. What are the major projects and activities that are actually occupying your time? Don’t forget to include household tasks as well as work and self-renewal. It’s important to be honest with yourself in order to get the best results. For example, email is a popular time filler! If your list gets longer than 10 items, simplify it by using bigger categories.
  2. Make a second list of the various priority reasons that you do these activities, such as income, professional development, family, community, fun, etc.
  3. Make a grid that lists activities from #1 down the left side and the reasons from #2 across the top as column headers. For each activity, make a checkmark in the corresponding box in your grid that lines up with the activity and all the reasons you do it.
  4. Now add another column to the right and label it “Heart.” Go down the list of activities you are doing, and make a checkmark for those that honor your heart’s priorities.
  5. Sit back and look at your grid. What patterns do you see? Which priorities are being over used and which aren’t getting the attention they deserve? What activities can you delegate or delete? How well do your regular priorities match your heart’s priorities?
  6. Reflect on some possible ways to bring your daily actions and your heart’s priorities into closer alignment. What fears or doubts might be holding you back? What support could you receive, and what will you need to let go of in order to make room for what really matters?

If you’re like most of us, you’ll go off course from time to time. All you need to do is remember to keep coming back — come back to noticing where you are now and what will bring you closer to the expression of your heart’s desire.