Written by Courtney lynch

Life moves fast. While we can’t stop time, we can choose to stop, reflect, and reset our intentions. Effective leaders make time to get right with themselves.

I encourage you to look at your calendar and find a time to block an hour for yourself. You could combine it with a nice meal or a walk as you take time to center, relax, and reflect.

When the time arrives for you to focus on understanding where you are and where you want to go, have pen and paper handy to write responses to these queries:

What challenges have been on your mind most often? Consider what you’ve been worrying or ruminating about most often. While worrying isn’t joyful, it is a powerful guide to where action is needed in our lives. At this point, don’t try to solve your challenges; just get them on the page.

What is my priority right now? To uncover what’s most important to you, consider your current wants and needs for yourself in life and at work. As you note those, seek to understand which would most disappoint you if it didn’t happen. It’s good to be aware of a range of priorities, yet it’s most valuable to know which one is the most important for focus.

What are my dreams right now? Direct your attention to the heart of what you value and seek. Push your thinking to your future self. You in 5 years, in 10. Imagine the dreams you want to realize between now and then. Consider what is exciting, joyful, and worthwhile for your longer-term pursuit.

Who do I want to be spending more time with? Who needs less time? People shape our intentions, our spirit, and our contentment. Identify those who bring positivity, respect, love, fun, or care to you. Also, take a look at who is draining your energy or who isn’t contributing to your relationship well. Getting intentional about who we spend our nonrenewable resource of time with is a proven path to greater satisfaction.

What needs to be stopped? We often spend more time thinking about what needs to be done but don’t balance it out by ending something that is no longer serving our vision of what matters. Determine and note what you can stop to clear the way for peace and productivity.

Once you’ve answered the questions above, you are ready to clarify your intentions and what the highest and best use of your time is. Here’s your final query:

What are the best actions for me to take going forward? Review what you’ve written and turn your thoughts into a checklist of what’s best to do. Stay focused on the essentials. Your goal isn’t a cumbersome list. The key is to discern the few steps that will move you forward in ways that matter most.

Remember, it’s important to write your responses, not just think through them. Studies show that organizing your thoughts through writing not only makes them more memorable but also makes your intentions clearer and more actionable.

Getting right with ourselves as leaders allows us to experience the energy of momentum. When we can see that we are progressing, we’re in a better place to support and encourage others.

Founded in 2004, Lead Star is the company behind New York Times best-sellers SPARKLeading from the Front, and Bet on You. Lead Star supports professionals to reach new levels of success through its innovative coaching programs.