In my weekly podcast The EmpowHERment Hour I talk a lot about crushing goals and how the small steps we take everyday towards our goals lead to big strides. However, with all that is going on around us, now more than ever it’s become more challenging to remain focused. The world is filled with distractions that when not mindful of them, are designed to sidetrack us from our goals. Between Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, work, friends, kids, hobbies, and the many other activities that fill our day, it’s easy to lose focus. This is as true for me as it is for anybody. It is really easy to get distracted if you are not mindful of your time and how you’re spending it.
For many, it is way too easy to make excuses. Whether you tell yourself “I’ll do it later” or “I really don’t have time right now”, the longer you procrastinate on doing something the higher the likelihood it won’t ever get done. There have been times when I’ve given myself those same excuses, but eventually we have to get passed the excuses and get back to work if we truly want to accomplish our goals. Here are a few tips to help get you refocused and back on track.
Remember your WHY. Take time to re-evaluate your WHY. Everyone has a Why. Your Why is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do. Thought leader Simon Sinek has dedicated his entire career to helping businesses get clear on their WHY and why their business exists. Sinek argues that customers/clients don't buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it. He believes that people connect most with brands and businesses who are passionate about what they do. When you're passionate about your work not only does it give you the push to keep going when difficulties arise, when you think, act and communicate starting with Why, you can inspire others.
Taking a second to revisit why you decided to do something in the first place re-energizes you. It helps you to remember your purpose and why that goal is important to you. When you are crystal clear on what you want and why you want it, it’s knowing this WHY that will pull you through those distractions. It’s knowing this why that will get you going again. Like the great philosopher Nietzsche said, “When you know your why, you can endure any how.”
Take Action. The only way to move forward is by moving. Even if you start by simply doing one goal oriented task a day the only way to get past the slump is to DO. Saying you’re going to do something is not enough. You MUST take action. Therefore, if you are addicted to social media and social media is what’s distracting you from pursuing your goals either temporarily deactivate your social media accounts or delete the apps completely from your mobile device. When you reduce the probability of being distracted you can then refocus that time and energy spent on Facebook and Instagram to working on goal related activities.
Reward Yourself. Give yourself an incentive for completing goal related activities or tasks. As a child whenever I brought home a good report card I’d get rewarded by my parents. It was an incentive to help keep me focused on school. Studies have shown that when goals are tied to an incentive one tends to work harder. So, set a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly goal and if you accomplish them reward yourself with something nice. These goals don’t complete themselves and your hard work should be rewarded.
Remember, no matter how much we plan life happens. And although we may get distracted at times the important thing is how we bounce back from those distractions. If you can recognize that you’ve veered off the path and make a conscious decision to get back on it that’s what matters. Don’t beat yourself over it. Just re-calibrate the way your GPS does when it makes a wrong turn and create a plan to get yourself back on track. When you go in with a plan and a mind determined to execute all you have set out to do, success is inevitable.