Focus is what keeps us on track when we are trying to reach our goals. If you think of an archer as s/he aims at a target, it is essential that the archer has focus in order to hit the bulls eye. Likewise, when a person wants to create something in their life, they must main focus in order to achieve the goal.
There are many reasons why a person loses focus while pursuing their goals. The constant distractions in today’s world mean that maintaining focus can be very difficult. Distraction of work, home, friends, socialising, events and everything else constantly compete for our attention and dedicated time. It takes time to stay focused on achieving our goals and it’s so easy to fail in our attempt to maintain enough momentum, desire, energy and persistence needed to achieve our goals. As a result we often give up and think our goal is unachievable.
Another reason why we might lose focus in pursuing our goals is that we may talk ourselves out of pursuing our dreams. When we first begin pursuing our goals, we may be motivated by the fact that we are improving our lives and achieving our wishes and dreams. Shortly after starting the process of taking action towards achieving our goals, we can often begin to question the plausibility of achieving what we want. As soon as we start questioning our ability, we start to loose focus.
So what can we do to ensure we maintain the focus we need to achieve our goals? Here are some tips that will help us stay focused.
Write our goals down. Put your goals, reasons, objectives and beliefs in writing. When they are in writing it makes them more real and they can be reviewed and used as a constant source of encouragement. Eventually, your goals will become branded in your mind.
Click here for the Goal Setting factsheet
Watch for Negative Self Talk. To find our more on noticing and changing negative thinking check out the Online Skills section
Plan your action. Build your plan for reaching your goal. Your plan becomes your road map and helps you determine the best course to follow.
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Minimise Distractions. Get rid of as much temptation as possible that deviates from your focus on your goal. If your goal is to lose weight, throw away all takeaway and delivery food menus that are delivered through your letterbox. If your goal is to save money and reduce money spent on non-necessities, unsubscribe from any online shopping, gaming, promotional newsletters, email or text alerts. If for example your goal is to exercise more and you have identified watching TV as a distraction, don’t turn on the TV until you have achieved the tasks relating to your goal. Use every method you can think of to remove distractions from your situation and it will certainly help your focus.
Use the Power of Visualisation. To have something to focus on we must have a strong visual picture of our target so we can maintain focus on the end result. The more you bring what it is you wish to obtain to the forefront of your mind, the more focus you can give to it.
Measure Your Progress. You can’t control your progress unless you can analyze your progress. Create a system and timetable to measure your progress. Record your daily progress. This can tell us if we are on track or if we need to make adjustments to either our plan or activities. You need to measure your progress on a regular basis as it gives you some control.
Prioritise your Goal. Focus on a few goals at one time. Try not to overburden yourself as it will limit your chance of achieving your goal and demotivate you. Concentrate on the important ones first, achieve them and then you can look at addressing the other goals.
Work your Goals into your Daily Plan. Do something towards achieving your goals everyday. The best way to achieve your goals and maintain your focus is to do something that will make it happen each and every day. Even if its only 15 minutes each day, it is better than not doing any goal related activity at all. Give your goal daily attention and you’ll remain more focused and at a better chance of achieving your goal.
Use the Power of Positive Affirminations. Keep telling yourself in the present tense and in a positive statement of what you want to achieve. When someone’s goal is to climb a mountain, his/her affirmation will detail being at the top of the mountain, not on getting from the bottom to the top. Positive affirmation can help you maintain focus and help you believe in yourself and your ability to obtain your goal.
Celebrate your Milestones. Mark your successes and acknowledge your progress towards your desired goal. Set milestones and as you achieve them reward yourself. This will motivate you and make you see your milestone in a very positive way.
Also remember that there is no quick fix to achieving your goals. It requires your motivation, effort, research and time. However our goals are far more attainable when you stay focused on them.