Do you have a goal you’ve set for yourself? Is there something you really want to achieve? Is something keeping you from making it happen? It could be getting a promotion, paying down debt, buying a house, losing weight—or anything that’s important to you.
We’ve all experienced a “bright, shiny object” that draws our attention away when we know we should be focusing on our goal.
How do you know what’s a real opportunity—large or small—and what’s just going to keep your goal out of reach?
By knowing yourself and your priorities. Once you’re solid on those, you can ask yourself if this new opportunity aligns to your goal. If it does, go for it. If it doesn’t, walk away.
At some point, you’ll be faced with a decision about an opportunity; it may come in the form of a quick way to make some easy money, a new car you think you can get a good deal on, friends asking you to hang out when you know you don’t have time, the once-a-year holiday dessert spread, a chance to volunteer in your community, or anything else.
When this happens, go back and take a look at your goal. Be honest with yourself—is this bright, shiny thing a distraction? Is it taking you closer to where you want to be, or is it going to delay your progress?
Once you know how this new opportunity will really affect your ability to reach your goal, you’ll know the right decision to make. Always take the time you need to think things through; don’t let others rush you. If a decision has to be made right now, be wary—something’s fishy. It’s probably best to walk away.
Here are some simple ways to stay focused on your success:
- Just be yourself—you don’t need random people to like you; stop worrying about them, and focus on what you want, not what they want.
- Every day write down the three things that have to get done that day—then do those first.
- Schedule times to check email or surf the web—tasks take two or three times as long if they’re filled with these little interruptions.
- Tell the truth—if you do, you don’t have to keep up with your lies or feel bad about your actions; both of these are mental distractions.
- Only watch one hour of TV a day—you’ll have tons more time to work toward your goals.
- Make it a priority to get the sleep you need—it keeps every day from being that much harder, and you’ll accomplish more faster.
- Examine what activities are stressing you out the most—you’ll find most of them you don’t actually have to do—so don’t.
- Learn to say no—saying yes because you think you’re supposed to or you feel guilty is actually much worse than just the thirty seconds of anxiety you might feel over saying no.
- Stop feeling guilty over things that are really other people’s issues—they aren’t yours to own, and the guilt drains your energy.
- Let go of what you can’t control—release the worry haunting your mind so you’re freed up to be creative and resourceful.
- Eat healthfully and move your body—then put it out of your mind and don’t obsess about your weight.
- Stop overspending by using a budgeted amount of cash for your food, entertainment, and any other guilty pleasures—when you run out, you’re done, and you’ll know you have enough money left at the end of the month.
What other distractions are in your life? Are they excuses? If other people manage to do it, so can you.
If you decide not to do your best and achieve your goals, how will you feel? You’ll have to face yourself at some point.
We all have a tremendous amount of distraction in our lives—some of it wonderful, some of it heartbreaking. Just don’t ever lose yourself and your goals in it, because staying focused is where we find happiness, shed regret, and ultimately have an incredible impact on the people around us.
I’ll be talking more about time management techniques for achieving your goals on my FREE TELESEMINAR, Tips for Managing Holiday Frenzy. Join me on Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Central. Click here to learn more.