The difference between people who smash their goals and those who don’t is quite simple: the ones who do get to where they want to be have an action plan. But how are you supposed to come up with a plan if you don’t feel like you have the focus or the motivation needed to move forward?
You can write your goals down on paper, break them up into baby steps, and know exactly what you have to do and still feel too paralysed to do anything about them. Below, you’ll find 15 ways that you can find the focus needed to smash your goals. Read on!
1) Educate Yourself
Start by learning as much as possible about whatever it is you want to do. If you want to get in the best shape of your life, read up on things like progressive overload, HIIT, macronutrients, why protein is important, and other relevant topics. You can never be too educated on a subject, and the more you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing, the more likely you’ll be to actually do the thing.
There are so many podcasts and amazing resources out there that you can access for free, you will almost definitely be able to find something suited to what you want to do.
2) Take The Smallest Step Imaginable
Breaking everything down into baby steps can help to propel you forward when you see that you don’t actually need to take the huge step you thought you did. Many people think they need to jump all the way from A to B, but all you really need to do is jump from A to A.1.
Write down your goals as you see them now. Now, pick one goal and start breaking it down. Let’s say you want to start a business. That’s a huge goal. You would then need to break it down into steps such as: start a website, build an Instagram following, design a product. You then find ways to break those goals down further, like: find a web design company, create the Instagram page, choose your username, etc. Choosing a username doesn’t sound too hard, so maybe you’d start with that. You can continue taking tiny steps and soon, you will have completed your goal!
3) Get Into The Meditation Habit
Meditation is a great habit to get into for numerous reasons. Not only can it help you to improve clarity of thought and creativity, when you do it often enough, it’ll enable you to focus. With meditation, you are not encouraged to clear your mind and do nothing. You are encouraged to breathe, and to focus on one mantra or affirmation. Sometimes, you are encouraged to focus only on your breath. Thoughts will naturally want to pop up, but you simply bring yourself back to what you’re doing as many times as it takes. This is a great exercise for developing focus and discipline, but you’ll notice so many more benefits, too. ￼
4) Compound Your Good Habits
The thing about good habits is that they usually compound. By adding them to other good habits, you can make them easier to remember and complete. This is explained more clearly and in more detail in James Clear’s book Atomic Habits. For example, you could pair taking your vitamins with drinking a pint of water and do it first thing in the morning every day. This won’t take long and you will have already accomplished two healthy things to start your day off the right way. Like the book says, if you get just 1% better every day, you’ll be over 300% better by the end of the year!
5) Spend Time With People Who Inspire You
We become most like the people we spend the most time with, so ensure you’re spending time with people who inspire you. If you want to become fit and healthy but you spend time with people who only want to drink alcohol and eat junk food, you probably won’t get very far. See if you can spend more time with those you want to be like and learn from them. Find a mentor!
6) Try Different Supplements And See How You Feel
There are many supplements out there that could be used in conjunction with a healthy diet to enhance your focus. Drinks like coffee can be used in moderation to give you extra energy, but that isn’t your only option. Yerba Mate is a great drink because it gives you lasting energy without a dip, and you can also buy Kratom to see if that works for you. Nootropics can also help, but shouldn’t be used all the time. They can help when you need to focus and get some deep work done!
7) Make Sure You’re Getting At Least 8 Hours A Night
The amount you sleep will play a huge part in whether you are in the mindset to get stuff done or not. You can’t burn the candle at both ends and expect to feel great when you have a lot to do.
Going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning will help your body to get into a good rhythm. Around 8 hours a night is a good amount of sleep to aim for, but it’ll all depend on how active you are and what makes you feel your best. Some people may feel great and well rested after 7, but in general, you shouldn’t have any less than 6 hours. Just because you can function on little sleep doesn’t mean you’re functioning optimally. When you begin getting consistent, high quality sleep, you’ll see just how great it can be for your focus and productivity.
8) Pick No More Than Three Things To Focus On At Once
Having a to-do list as long as your arm might make you feel productive, but you can quickly become disheartened if you don’t manage to tick everything off. Make sure you get to grips with prioritizing and instead of having 10 things or more pick just 3 things to focus on.
This will force you to do things that matter, and anything you do on top of those things will be a bonus.
9) Make Sure Your Goals Are SMART
Setting goals is great, but it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll reach them – especially if they are vague and not measurable. Saying ‘I want to get fit’ isn’t really a goal. You haven’t determined what ‘fit’ means to you, you haven’t given yourself a time frame, and you haven’t made it super clear. Instead of saying ‘I want to get fit’ you could say ‘I want to run a mile in 9 minutes’. You could say ‘I want to master 3 proper push ups’. You can then make the goal timely by saying, ‘I want to master 3 proper push ups by the end of this month’. You then have a clear way of assessing whether you have met your goal, know when you need to review your goal, and can come up with an action plan to make sure you meet it.
You can learn more about setting better goals here.
10) Keep A Journal
A journal can help you to understand your attitude and mindset, as well as identify patterns and triggers that could be stopping you from reaching your goals. You should also feel happier and less stressed, as many people who journal do.
11) Celebrate Yourself When You Do Well
Make sure you have a way of celebrating yourself when you do well. You don’t need to face plant a chocolate cake, but you could treat yourself to a spa day, or even a spa day at home. Buy yourself that dress you’ve been eyeing up. This should motivate you!
12) Transform Your Vocabulary
The way you talk about yourself and to yourself is everything, so look at your vocabulary and your beliefs. Changing your vocabulary can give you an instant lift and a new way of thinking that makes a huge difference to your focus.
13) Make Sure You Learn From Failures
You can start off the day with the best of intentions only to realise those intentions didn’t mean anything. Maybe you got your gym kit ready for the morning and you slept in. Don’t beat yourself up for these mistakes or you will quickly give up on your goals – instead, assess why this happened. Maybe you got your gym kit ready but you didn’t go to sleep until 12am, which seriously impacted your sleep quality.
14) Revisit Your Goals Regularly
No goal will stay the same forever. You need to revisit them regularly so that you can revise them. It’s ok not to reach a goal if you realize it wasn’t the right goal for you in the first place.
15) Visualize The Outcome
Visualizing the outcome for just 5 minutes each day can help you to get in the mindset of somebody that does the things you want to do. Let’s say you want to run faster. Picture yourself warming up, starting your run, and then slowing getting ready to pound the pavement at lightning speed. Picture it in every detail. Feel your feet on the floor, the sweat on your brow, everything. Doing this each day will help – many athletes swear by it!