Whether it's in business, relationships or life in general, goals and priorities are a good way to stay focused on the things that are most important. However, the development of these goals and priorities can be difficult. When sitting down to outline what is taking precedence in your life and where you want to go, it is important to consider several factors.

Time

One of the important things to think about when setting goals and priorities is the time available to you. Everyone has varying obligations that may produce time constraints on what you would like to do. Think realistically about the amount of available time you have. Budget this time accordingly with the goals and priorities that you set. This will not only make your goals more attainable, but also the pursuit of those goals in accordance with your priorities will be more balanced.

Resources

Realistically, the resources you have at your disposal are a major determinant of the types of goals and priorities you set for yourself. Resources might include money, materials or aid from other people or organizations. It is important to take the types of resources and the amount of those resources available to you into account when setting goals and priorities. For example, you would not want to set a goal of taking a vacation to Paris in a month if your cash flow is not going to allow that to happen.

Ability

Being realistic about your abilities is critical when setting attainable goals and determining your priorities. Goals and priorities are only effective if they can be achieved or implemented. Thus, you should measure hold your goals relative to what you are actually able to accomplish. For example, setting a goal of climbing Mount Everest if you have a lung condition that impairs your ability to breathe would endanger your health because it wouldn't take into account how your abilities limit your implementation of goals.

Drive

Motivation is an integral part of goal achievement and can help to inform the priorities you set for yourself. It is important to consider what drives you when setting goals, because if you are not motivated to achieve your goals, your ability to reach them will be inhibited by the amount of dedication you have to them. For example, setting a goal of eating more spinach when you hate the taste of it might be a little bit whimsical.

Consequences

You should always consider the consequences of your goals and priorities as you set them. While things may be possible and exciting to us, the pursuit of those ideas may have ramifications. For instance, prioritizing advancement at your company may result in spending extra hours at the office, causing strain in your relationships outside work. Developing goals and priorities with tunnel vision can damage other aspects of your life.