We all have goals in one way or another. It might be to go to a red brick university, raise £1,000 for charity or just to eat less packets of crisps (I know which category I fall into). Whatever your aim may be, you’ll need to stay focused in order to achieve it unless you’re just one of those really lucky people! So here’s how to stay focused on your goals no matter how big or small they are!
Understand your goals
Before you can focus on a goal, you need to know what it is and it’s as simple as that. Write out your goals, objectives, ambitions and motivations so you have an idea of what you’re striving towards. It’s all well and good to say you want to lose weight but how much in what time period? If you want to start blogging more, how are you going to measure that? Remember the old SMART goals we learnt about during GCSEs? Well put them into practice! If only my old PE teacher could see me writing this now! Essentially, you cannot focus on an end result when you don’t know what your goal is so make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to do or achieve!
Break it down
I’ve always been a fan of breaking a task down into smaller, more manageable pieces ever since I was in school. It’s something I still do today and saves a lot of stress and feels more rewarding than trying to smash through something in one big chunk. So for example, say your goal is to write your English essay by the end of the week, break it down into smaller bitesize pieces. Aim to complete a plan and the introduction on the first day, then the first couple of sections, etc. You get the jist! It will help you stay focused as you won’t have a shit tonne of things to do all at the same time and it’ll feel more rewarding when you complete each section.
Learn to say no
There’s such a pressure to say yes to every single opportunity but realistically, sometimes we need to say no. If you have a goal to focus on then you don’t always have time to get distracted by other things. Obviously it depends on what has come up – is it going out for a drink at your local with the same friends you saw last night (which you could probably pass on) or is it an invite to an incredible event which would open so many doors in the future? Just play it by ear but generally my rule of thumb is that if it’s not going to benefit me then in the words of Simon Cowell, it’s a no from me.
Prioritise prioritise prioritise
The best way of staying focused on a goal is to prioritise it over everything else. I always have a to-do list, which I’ve mentioned a gazillion times before, and any important tasks will always be positioned at the top of that list. That means I have to get that shit done before anything else and it really helps me to concentrate my attention on the task at hand whether that’s writing a blog post, clearing out my wardrobe or organising a party! Obviously, sometimes things crop up and you might have to jiggle the list around a bit but the main idea is that if you truly want to reach your goal then you’ll do anything you can to succeed!
Measure how far you’ve come
You might be on a real long journey with your objective and at times, the doubt and demotivation might creep up on you but don’t forget how far you’ve come. Looking back on what you’ve achieved could just give you that kick up the arse to keep going and stay focused. When I beat myself up about how much money I’ve saved in the last couple of years for a mortgage, I remind myself of how well I’ve done and look at my savings balance!
Have time off
Even though we don’t all like to admit it, sometimes we just need a break. It can do wonders to your productivity if you just set some time aside to relax, chill out and catch your breath. I’ve also found that having some down time can make me re-evaluate my goals and confirm that I still want to achieve whatever I set out to do.
It’s fortunate that I am an extremely motivated and driven person so I don’t tend to struggle when it comes to focusing on a goal but we all have our moments don’t we? And that’s when I’ll take into consideration these six tips and pray to God that I get shit done!
Do you have any tips for staying focused on a goal?