I recently read an article about a successful entrepreneur. She is a busy, hands-on mother of three young children, who also runs a prosperous business. Several employees work for her, and she is constantly involved with launching new projects. To top it off, she is also writing a book about her business ideas.

How does she manage to balance it all?

She explained one key tool to avoid becoming sidetracked. At all times, she keeps with her a small black notebook. Throughout her many meetings, she jots down notes or important reminders. This way, she clears her mind to focus on her goals, rather than on what tasks she needs to remember.

More importantly, at the beginning of her day, she writes down three or four goals she wants to complete that day. She needs to be flexible to accommodate the many diversions that will require her attention. But, if at the end of the day, she can see that she accomplished those three or four goals, she knows she is on track.

The portion of Ki Teitze, begins with the words: “When you go out to war on your enemies, the L‑rd your G‑d shall deliver them into your hands.”

Every day, we face a battlefield trying to realize our hopes, goals, and dreams, while various forces within our lives work to defeat us. Every day, we struggle to prioritize our commitments, deciding which things can be put aside and which cannot.

In every battle, the way to achieve victory is to gain the higher ground, to go “on (or over) our enemies.” We cannot become mired down in the minutia of daily life; we need to rise above it, while keeping an eye on our ultimate goals. Most importantly, we need to remember that it is G‑d who will lead us to victory and help us access our talents to succeed.

Later in the parshah, we are commanded: “When You build a new house, you shall make a guard rail for your roof.”

Building a house can mean working on any endeavor, goal, or mission that we set out to achieve. In order to succeed and avoid being dragged into life’s many distractions, we must remain sufficiently removed from them. We accomplish this by building a guard rail to keep us on track. By setting appropriate boundaries, we can focus on what’s important so that we don’t fall away from our agendas.

Not all of us are suited to build large and successful businesses. But, more importantly, all of us can—and should—make it our business to build our spiritual selves into the people we wish to become.

The New Year is around the corner. Perhaps now would be a good time to make a list of our three or four spiritual goals for this coming year.

And with G‑d’s help, we will succeed.