How many times a day do you think about something you need to be doing for a long-term goal, or perhaps a new year’s resolution? Several times, I assume. However, acting towards it might have been – put off for another day?
“Umm—now’s not the time, maybe in a while” “I’m overworked today, maybe tomorrow”. “I could get on with this the next month when my exams are over” or worse: “I won’t be able to do this at all, because it’s a waste of my time.”
Excuses, Excuses and more Excuses!
The problem here is not “the time” or that other task on the list. The problem is simply one thing: Lack of Focus.
Here are tips on how you can stay focused on your goal and keep yourself from making excuses at neglecting, procrastinating, and eventually failing at achieving your goals.
Focus on One (Or Two Major Goals): Part of the reason why we fail at achieving one single goal is because we are trying too hard to juggle and achieve too many all at once. You don’t want to “drop the ball” just because you tried too hard to throw too many in the air and keep them up. Until you have fully achieved and completed one or two major goals, you shouldn’t move on to the next.
Log Your Progress: You can update your current progress to allow yourself to visualize how far you are getting on with it. A daily log of tasks related to your most important goal will allow you track your progress and map out your slowing or growing rate of enthusiasm.
People also create vision boards for daily inspiration. You can create a collage using pictures, articles, text, or anything useful that you can stick to, related to your goal.
Follow a plan: Have you planned out how, when, and where you will achieve your goal? Plan out what you will be doing (and how) each day, each week, or each month to move towards your goal. Set an attainable time limit to make it realistic and achievable. Put it on paper and regularly check how well you are doing according to your set plan.
Ask Yourself Why You Are Pursuing the Goal: You must have a strong reason to pursue the goal, and if you don’t give yourself one, you won’t be able to feel motivated to achieve that goal! Knowing exactly why you want to achieve that goal and constantly reminding yourself of the reason(s) is an essential part of remaining focused.
For example, if I have a goal to give my GMAT exam and obtain a great score, I need to ask myself exactly why I want this. I could take the easy way out and apply to the selection of Universities that don’t ask for it, right? However, I will keep reminding myself that I want to achieve a good score and it is really important because it will allow me to give a shot at my dream University, it will allow me to aim for top institutions, and allow top schools to approach me themselves (saving me research time).
Keep reminding yourself why you need to be moving towards the goal with solid reasons.
Learn to Say No: One of the biggest problems faced while trying to achieve a goal is not being able to say “no” to distractions. Do you keep putting off your goal for something else that just came up out of nowhere? Sometimes, a simple text message, call, notification, or knock-knock does the job of putting your goal on hold for the rest of the day. Learn to say no to any and every distraction!
Ashley Sanford is an editor and Quality assurance manager at Peak Dissertation where students can get dissertation writing assistance from expert. She’s also a passionate blogger with a core interest in leadership program and consultation. You can contact her on Facebook.