A bicycle wheel that is out of balance won't run true. Neither will a life.

Just as a bicycle wheel must be adjusted periodically to run true, in life it's important to focus on the areas that require daily attention to stay in balance. Otherwise, the bumps in the road will get you.

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I've kept a record of both and I find that the gap between my stated priorities and my actual priorities can be large at times. I needed a better way to manage and track my performance so that I could see if what I did matched up with my stated priorities.

In the early 90's, I took my staff to hear Zig Ziglar and several other successful people (including George Sr. and Barbara Bush, Elisabeth Dole, and Mary Lou Retton, to name a few) speak on the topic of success, motivation, and peak performance.  Each shared their tips for successful performance and a balanced life. One of the areas that Ziglar encouraged us to look at was how we were planning and investing our time. He proposed that time and money were two excellent indicators of our priorities.

I purchased a Ziglar Performance Planner for this purpose in 1994 but I did not actually use the planner until many years later and then only as a record of how I used my time, not as a true planner. I still refer back to the Ziglar Performance Planner, however, because I like the helpful pages related to defining your goals and planning for a balanced life. While I try to do this year-round, it seems that I focus most intently on this at the start of each year.

Ziglar arrange key areas of focus like spokes on a wheel. Here are the areas that he recommends that we focus on each day:

Physical
Mental
Spiritual
Recreational
Family
Career
Social
Financial

Ziglar suggests that these need to be in balance in order for the wheel to run true. I like that metaphor.

2006 was an amazing year of accomplishment for me, but it was not a year of balance. My goal for 2007 is to achieve more balance in the above areas so that I can honor God, serve my family, and live a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.

While I like the look and feel of a paper planner, it does not integrate will into my digital lifestyle. (I use Lotus Notes and the eProductivity Template to track and manage my projects and actions according to the GTD methodology.)

I'm taking a few days off to organize and clarify my goals and objectives for 2007. As I do, I'll be referring to the Ziglar Performance Planner to help me clarify my goals for 2007.  

I'll post some thoughts here as a way of crystalizing my thinking and sharing what I learn in the process.

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