Today’s high-paced society doesn’t allow much room for reflection or a time-out leaving many of us overwhelmed, stressed, and sleep-deprived. We rush from one event to the next without even considering what the ultimate benefits of doing such things are. We all set out to achieve specific goals in life but in the process, we become caught up in busyness. Taking time to slow down is the first step in evaluating one’s priorities and goals in life.
The below five tips will help you regain focus and perspective in goal-setting:
1.) Slow down! Do you really need to meet up with the same group of friends for the fourth or fifth time this week? Is going to the movies more important than staying in and resting? Your mind might be telling you that you can keep loading in more and more activities, but your body might be telling you otherwise. Some of the best CEOs keep blocks of time open on their schedules in order to reflect on company priorities and to take advantage of new and unexpected opportunities. Schedule time alone to recharge your battery and reflect on what’s going on in your life.
2.) Evaluate what’s keeping you busy. Are you just going from one place to the next without any true direction just to be out of the house? Are you over-committing yourself to projects that aren’t on your priority list? Do you have a hard time saying no to others? Only you can take care of yourself best. Make yourself your best manager! If you can’t do a certain project for a family member or friend, just say so! You don’t even need to explain yourself to them. You are your own best manager.
3.) Focus on what’s important. Sift through what’s important versus what’s urgent. Every day, make a list of the things you need to get done and rank them in order of importance. Then, do the most important one first. Urgent items rarely make a lasting impact for the long run but sure do keep you busy! Focus on the important ones first.
4.) Write down the top three goals you have. Now that you have an idea of what’s taking your time away, go ahead and write down three of your top goals: one short term (1-6 months), one medium term (6-12 months), one long term (over one year) along with a basic list of how you intend on achieving them. Attach flexible deadlines to them and make a note of what current activities need to be put on the side to focus on your goals. Putting your goals first takes discipline and time. No one gets it right the first time. If you don’t meet your initial deadlines, don’t give up! You can still achieve them. Set new dates and break up the steps even further so that you can reach them one bite at a time.
5.) Keep copies of your top three goals in your wallet, on your phone’s screen saver, on your fridge, in your car. You get the idea! If it’s on the top of your mind, you’re more likely to resolve to making these goals happen. Even if you don’t get to them within the same week, you’re one step closer to moving towards your goals by putting them at the forefront of your mind.
When a new project, date, or activity comes up, ask yourself, “Is doing this activity more important than using this time to focus on achieving my goal?” In time, by applying these five simple steps, your goals will once again be at the top of your mind and become a priority.