As I write this article, it is the first month of the new year. For many people, the change of the calendar reminds them to check their long range goals, re-assess their strategies, and begin to move forward, taking the steps necessary to accomplish their bigger goals. The most successful people do this exercise constantly and have habitualized this into a “normal and natural” occurrence. Most of the rest of us, struggle to focus on this planning process that is so necessary for success. The only way around the planning process is the very rare state of “Good Luck” that can fall upon us but most “dreamers” never accomplish their goals through this path. Big goals take time and effort to accomplish and do “just happen.”
So, as I am sure you have been told before, it is time to “buckle down” and set an achievable course toward your most important goals. What often gets in the way is our own internal distractions which are really the “fear of failure” fairies or the “I am not sure that I really deserve success” gremlins. These are issues that need to be dealt with, but not in this article… (Get coaching or rigorous mentoring if you require.)
Also standing in your way toward ultimate success using this approach can also be due to “overwhelm” which is more easily controlled. Overwhelm suggests that it is difficult to focus when you are being distracted by basic daily survival. Get organized and let go of the unimportant expectations that clutter your mind. Easier said than done but I offer a technique that will assist you with this.
De-cluttered your mind exercise:
1. Make a list of all the things that you “have to do” (Put everyone, even the ones that are not work related on this list. WRITE THEM DOWN!)
2. Now, organize this list and eliminate any of the tasks that can wait
3. With the remaining tasks, ask yourself (honestly) which of these, if any, are so important that they will be a big concern of yours in one year… Will you still remember this item if left undone this time next year?
4. Move any of these less important items to another list of things that you can work on if you are bored or have nothing better to do.
5. Take the items that are left on your “have to do” list and create a strategy, with timeline, for accomplishing these goals.
6. Get going on this list, AND reward yourself for completion of these items.
Focusing and problem solving solutions, creatively, may also require that that you rid yourself of physical and emotional distractions. For this, I suggest that you must practice stress management and self-care regularly. The time and energy that this requires will come back to you and pay dividends. As an example, 20 minutes of deep relaxation or meditation can take the place of as much as 2 hours of sleep. (Do not believe this with out testing this for yourself. When I first heard this I did not believe this claim. For me, 20 minute a daily Autogenic training was found to reduce my requirement for sleep by 1.5 hours, so I came out 1 hour and 10 minutes ahead by doing my regular relaxation. Gentle warning, it required 3 months of using Autogenic training daily for me to get this result.)
Set your positive goals and then making a step by step guide to achieving them is critical. Reviewing your list daily or at least weekly is also essential. In fact, I recommend picturing your desired results at the end of each daily relaxation period. Setting a workable time line is also essential, but have a little flexibility and be sensible with timelines.
To be successful, you will need to learn to say “NO” to outside distractions and other people’s expectations. This not easy to do, but you must think long term on the value the successful completion of your goals will bring to you.
If you are going to be happy, healthy and “well rounded,” then you also need to consider your most important goals in the areas that are not just career and financial. You must also set and achieve goals regarding: your health, your spiritual/aesthetic growth, your intellectual growth, your relations with family and friends, and your closest relationship.
If you can not get a focused plan by yourself, get support. You may even consider working with a professional coach and find the benefit of having an accountability partner.
In any case, get going. Do the work! Take responsibility! And, reap the benefits of your own success!
If you have questions or would like an accountability partner to assist you in moving forward, consider coaching. Contact me at 360-593-3833 or through the website www.dstress.com