We are in the 10th month of the year! Unbelievable. It really feels like the beginning of the year was just last week!!! I was shocked to see that in some shops the sales assistants were busy unpacking the tinsel in preparation for the Christmas season. It is as if the year is on a downward roller-coaster! I want to shout at the ride-operator to stop, I want to get off and catch my breath.
Over the week-end I took an overview of the past year and with a shock I realized that I had better get a move on, there are many things I still have to do this year, some goals I have not gotten around to. I am sure many of you are in this same situation. At the beginning of the year we are all fired up and ready to get going. We make To-Do lists, Goals-For-The-Year lists, Wish Lists and many more lists and we are eager to make this the year of change. Yet when we get to the end of the year, or in this case, the tenth month, we wonder how it happened that the year passed without us achieving our goals. I believe the answer is probably as easy a little five-letter word: FOCUS.
At the beginning of the year, with 365(6) days stretched out in front of us like a blank canvas, it is easy to focus on what we would like to achieve, and to close in on some goals for the year. There are little or few distractions, and our mind are clear and focused, but as the year progresses with all its pressures and distractions it is easy to lose our vision and we get pulled into a dozen directions all at once.
With all the demands which daily life makes on our time and energy it is important that we keep our eyes on our goals and maintain our focus. In order to do this, keep the following in mind:
F : First
...select 3 important goals or tasks you want to accomplish for the year, and do the same for each day/ week. It is often a good idea to select these things from different areas of your life for example Work, Personal, Chores or Studies, Health and Spiritual.
O : Only You
...can set these goals. They have to be important to YOU, not somebody else. You are the only one who can keep yourself motivated. Do not set these goals to impress or please anybody else. That would be a sure way to set yourself up for failure.
C : Commit to Completing
...the tasks/ goals you have set for yourself. Write them down where they will be visible to you, and will serve as a daily reminder. Make a pact with yourself that you will not give up on these goals until you have completed them. Set yourself a time frame within which you must complete the task or goal.
U : Use your time wisely.
Chain the procrastination monkey up where he cannot interfere with your time. Stick religiously to your schedule, and get your goals for the day done at the very start of your day. Do not get side-tracked by anything else until you have completed your 3 selected tasks/ goals for the day. When they are done, reward yourself with something you like, a cup of coffee, a ten-minute chat to a friend or a quick dive in the pool.
S : Stick-to-It-Ness.
Develop a mindset of single-mindedness. Keep your attention on your goals and set clear, realistic and achievable goals with clear directions of how to achieve them. Stick to them and don't ever give up on your goals or your dreams.
It is so easy to get distracted, but maybe if we constantly remind ourselves what "focus" stands for it may help us to achieve our goals one day at a time. Now I am going to put my money where my mouth is and follow my own advice!
If you have any thoughts on the matter why not share them with us in the comment box, I would LOVE to hear from you!