I’m doing a 52-week self-fulfillment challenge right now, and we’re just coming up onto the end of week one. So far, I don’t think I’m doing all that great either on the daily habits I want to cultivate, or on the work projects I want to get completed. This week my focus could definitely use some help. But it’s early days yet, and I have 51 more weeks to get really good at this.
One of the things that keeps me from achieving my own goals is “shiny object syndrome”. I will admit that I get easily distracted, and jump from project to project. Procrastination is the name of the game and even when I’m trying to procrastinate productively, I still get distracted by any number of little things.
So in order to get myself focused I did a little research, and here are 7 tips I found to help combat a lack of focus so that I can achieve my goals this year. If they help you too, so much the better!
Are you ready?
Tip #1 – Know what your big picture is
It’s a whole lot easier to stay focused on achieving a goal if you know where you going and what you want.
Distraction breeds on lack of clarity, so if you don’t have a clear picture of what you want your life to look like, it’s really hard to develop focused goals to get you there.
If you don’t know how to get clear, a good clarity coaching program can help you get there. I did this one last year, and am about to go back for a second round to really firm things up. (link)
Tip #2 – Make time for reflection
One of the first questions to ask yourself is “Why” you want to achieve the goal you set. Why is it important to lose weight? Why is it important to have an online business? You get the idea.
Knowing the reason why you want to do something really is the first step to making it happen.
Tip #3 – Work on one goal at a time
Do you prioritize your goals? Or do you decide you want to make wholesale changes and then try and do them all at once?
*Raising my hand for the “all at once” method*
I’ve always been like that… determined to change my life in 24 hours and do it all at once. But it doesn’t really work. Yes, you can be doing small things toward more than one goals at a time, but you have to really focus on achieving one at a time.
Once you’ve got one new habit built and integrated into your daily routine, then you can set a new priority to work on.
Tip #4 – Set a schedule
Having set times when you know you have to work on your goal makes it easier to focus on achieving it. Make appointments with yourself for when you are going to do certain tasks.
To do this is a good idea to know when your best work times are. For example, one of my business goals for the challenge is create several streams of passive income. And I know my best working time is in the morning, so I schedule any writing tasks for between 9 a.m. and noon. And I know that in those three hours I have certain steps that have to be accomplished so that I can move toward my goals of creating passive, recurring income.
Tip #5 – Write things down
I’m a writer, so you had to know I was going to tell you to write things down. Keep track of your priorities for the week, and don’t be afraid to journal your thoughts on the process and how you’re doing.
You can also write your focus for the week down on a piece of paper and tack it up above your desk, or create a reminder on your phone, to keep it in sight and top of mind. It’s hard to get distracted from your goal when it’s always staring you in the face.
Tip #6 – Find ways to motivate yourself
This is a tough one to write about because self-motivation is different for everyone. But you have to find some way to keep yourself moving forward.
A couple of ideas are to write your accomplishments down in a journal or on a calendar. Or, if your goal is a tangible one – weight loss, for example – then you can hang that pair of skinny jeans you want to fit into on the front of your closet door or somewhere you will see them every day.
Another idea is to use a tracker to record your progress. If you use a bullet journal there are a lot of really great ideas for tracking just about everything on this Pinterest board
Tip #7 – Don’t beat yourself up
Making changes toward living a more empowered life is hard work! So if you find yourself sliding or getting caught up in something that takes you away from your goals, don’t beat yourself up for it.
Getting down on yourself is the easiest way to lose focus, because you feel like you’ve ruined your chances at success. But making lifestyle changes – whether it be in business, health, relationships, or whatever area of your life you’re trying to improve – is not an all or nothing game. It’s more a case of two steps forward, one step back most of the time.
Make a promise to yourself to get back on track, and then take action to do it. Use the other six tips here to help you re-focus and you’ll be on back on the road to achieving your goal in no time.
Focus is all about being clear on what you want to accomplish, and developing a process to help you do just that. Set your goals, be clear on why you want to achieve them, and develop a process that helps you get to where you want to go. Above all, don’t get down on yourself if things don’t go your way immediately. You’ll get there in the end, if you just stay focused.