Connecting the Compass and the Clock

Planning, goals, strategies, and making the most of your time, rather than letting life pass you by.

There is one secret that everyone who lives intentionally, rather than accidentally, knows and practices. They know how to connect their compass with their clock. Let me explain.


Download a worksheet you can use to build your own annual goals using my 8-F Framework.

The Compass.
Our compass is our annual plan that includes the Key Result Areas (KRA's) we have adopted and the goals we want to reach in each of those KRAs. They are our compass because they answer the question: Where do we want to go this year? It's when we pursue that plan on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis that we begin to see progress in our lives. Without a compass, we wander. With our compass, we know the direction we want to travel and have a good shot at getting there.

The Clock.
If the compass is our plan, then the clock is our calendar. What we put on our calendar represents our real priorities. You can tell a great deal about someone from looking at their calendar. Remember that time is our most precious commodity. Money will come and go. Opportunity will come and go. But time only goes. It is spent, and you can never get it back. So how we invest our time tells the story of what is most important to us. Not only that, but our time is a premium asset, so how we use, spend, or invest it is crucial.

Having a plan is a necessity to living intentionally. The key, however, is to connect our clock to our calendar. We live intentional lives when we place our priorities on the calendar. When I commit to spending time with my kids, that commitment must end up on my calendar where I have carved out the time to invest a reality.

Our Compass & Clock Permits Us to Say "No."
All of us are forced to make choices regularly on what we will spend our time doing. When we say "yes" to an invitation, we are writing a check - a time check. Just as we give attention to the financial checks we write, we also ought to pay attention to the time checks we write. We need to ask ourselves before we write a time check whether it fits our overall priorities and whether this obligation will compromise the true north represented in our Annual Plan.

Our compass allows us to graciously say "no" to obligations that don't fit our priorities. How many times have we said "yes" to things we regretted later? Our compass gives us permission and freedom to say "no" because we cannot allow our direction to be compromised by the urgent at the expense of the important.

For more tips on intentional living see Setting Annual Goals and Living Intentionally.

Vince Miller Founder of ResoluteVince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.