How are your goals for 2018 going? Still super focused?
With less than a week left till March, it’s a great time to take stock. After all, it will be the last month of this quarter, and a final opportunity to make sure the first quarter of your year is a huge success.
It’s easy to set goals, but what’s important is checking in with yourself to make sure you stay on track. If you’re anything like me and just about everyone else, then the next shiny new thing is always just around the corner, waiting to distract you and steal your focus.
So, here are 5 things that will help you to regain focus and achieve your goals this March:
We might only be two months in, but it’s still important to acknowledge the successes you’ve had since the beginning of the year. That doesn’t mean to say you have to break out the champagne, but if you’ve been super busy working on your goals, you probably haven’t stopped to think about what you’ve actually accomplished. Before the March madness, take a moment to celebrate your successes so far.
Remember,success is a marathon, not a sprint, which means it’s going to be a long journey. Celebrating small successes and milestones along the way will help you stay the course. Whatever you’re goals or ambitions.
2.Review your goals and motivations
Constantly reviewing your goals doesn’t just keep them top of mind, and you on track, it also makes it easier to spot if you need to change course or amend your plan of action.
In addition to this, our motivations can change as we work towards long term goals. Being in touch with your motivations and what’s driving you to achieve a goal will help you to stay focused.
3. Get clear on your stop, starts and continues
Being busy doesn’t always mean we’re getting the important things done. According to the Pareto principal, 80% of our results come from only 20% of our actions. Make sure you focus on the 20% that matters.
Spending time on the wrong things, isn’t only ineffective, it can lead to frustration, burnout and can hold you back from achieving your goals.
Instead of blindly doing what you’ve always done without question, make sure you analyse the results and the impact of your actions. This way you can spend more time doing the things that work and stop doing things that don’t.
To get clear on where you need to focus your time, divide a sheet of paper into four parts and make four lists:
If anything hasn’t helped you in any way you need to stop doing it immediately. There are barely enough hours in the day, so spending time doing things that don’t serve you or move you towards your goals is a big waste of time and energy, that’s better spent elsewhere.
These are things that you know will have a positive impact if you do them, but you haven’t started doing them yet. Perhaps you don’t know how to, or you’ve been afraid, whatever the reason, now’s the time to commit to getting them started.
Whether it’s finally reading that book or brushing up on your presentation skills, just make a start.
You don’t always need to do more and more of everything. If something’s working for you, just continuing with it might be the best idea. For example, if you’ve started a morning routine that’s working really well, why change it.
Sometimes, it’s only when you start something in the first place, that you realise just how much you actually need to do it.
You might have started working out once or twice a week. While this might be great compared to where you were last year, maybe now’s the time to start going to the gym more frequently. Or perhaps you’ve been to one industry event and you think going to more would be really beneficial.
Either way, whatever you choose to do more of, remember that a small incremental change is all it takes.
4. Get organised
Have you ever felt scattered, overwhelmed or just not known where to start? It sucks! And not being organised is a major culprit.
There are lots of ways to stay organised and on top of things, from finally tidying your desk and finding a home for everything, to using google calendars or outlook to plan your days.
Investing a little time upfront to find out your areas of struggle and the best solutions for you will make you more productive and less stressed in the long run.
Time is money and the more organised you are the more wisely you’re spending it.
5. Create a solid plan of action
You’re clear on your goals for March, check. You know exactly what activities will make the biggest impact, check. You’ve got your organisation down and you’re ready to go.
But do you have a clear plan of action? Including dates and times?
The clearer your plan, the easier it will be.
Creating a clear roadmap means you’ll be able to keep track of where you are at any time. When it comes to working towards your goals, this is critical. It’ll also make it easy to recognise when you’ve gone off track and how.
Having a clear plan, a step by step guide, means that when things do get busy and life starts to take over, you’ll have something to help you regain focus and calm.
Like any project, things happen and you might need to make some adjustments along the way, but without a concrete plan to start with, the chances of you accomplishing the things you want are slim.
Remember, as Parkinson’s Law states, work will expand to the time allotted.
So, if you’re not allocating specific time for things, you’ll still be trying to get them done by the end of the year.