When you have a long list of goals, it can be difficult to determine which one to prioritize. However, University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Angela Duckworth says the most effective way to discover your "ultimate concern" or "top-level" priority in life is by organizing your goals into a hierarchy.
"Picture a pyramid in your head of goals," she says in an interview with Amazon. At the very bottom are your low-level goals, which are "very concrete things on your to-do list" that include calling your mother back or responding to an email.
But your focus shouldn't be on sticking to these "to-do list" goals, says Duckworth. Instead, you must make sure that these low-level goals will serve your mid-levels goal and that your mid-level goals will serve your high-level goals.
"Ultimately, you'll have what some scientists like to call an ultimate concern," explains Duckworth. "And that goal is the one that you're tenacious about, that you are stubborn about, that you wake up in the morning and go to bed aligned to."