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Conquering the art of distraction through goals

6 Simple Rules

It’s that time of year again when the first few days of January, we are filled with the promise of the new year, we take inventory of the aspects of our life and we are determined to change and improve. This year, I resolute to become more focussed and achieve more of what I set out to achieve last year. 

Okay … not miles off what I set out to do in 2015… I’m not unhappy with the momentum I found in fact, quite the opposite -  but to make 2016 really mine, here are 6 simple rules I will be following:

Less is more

Pick 1-3 goals that are most important to you, and concentrate on them. Don’t distract yourself with any other goals until these goals are achieved (or unless priorities shift and these goals no longer reflect what you want in life). Any more than this and you are in danger of spreading yourself too thin. Recognise that achieving 3 great things is better than achieving 5 or 6 okay things.

Set milestones

Goals define where you’re going, and milestones let you know if you’re actually getting there encouraging you to move forward and celebrate your momentum. Milestones are actions and achievements necessary to make progress toward goals.  As milestones are reached, you can see progress, assess new complications or opportunities that have emerged, and make adjustments to plans before moving forward.

Create a plan

If you have a plan worked out for your goal, it becomes much easier to stick to it. All you have to do is to follow the actions you have planned for the day. The best time to work out your plan is when you set the goal, because that’s when your motivation is the highest. 

Track your results

It’s important for me to track the results of what I do, otherwise it can feel like my actions are not making a difference. Hence, every time I work on a goal, I will identify 1-2 performance metrics, then track those metrics regularly. They are my connection to the end goal, because they let me know whether I’m on track or off track, which in turn lets me know whether to tweak my actions or not. 

Find what you do inspiring and fun

Any meaningful goal takes a large part of your focus. Before starting anything, ask yourself why you should do it. With your answer, there will be that output you so desire — and so you value the task. Then find ways for the goal to become fun, invite creativity and imagination into the process – please, don’t stick within borders of “approved” output; have your options opened for new, fun ideas. When you make something you can call your own, you’re more likely to stay focused.

Finally, learn to say no

I used to have trouble saying no to others until I realised I was just doing myself and my dreams a disfavour when I say yes to something that’s not what I want. To be productive, you need to be focussed. The plan of how you will achieve your goals along with the motivation of the milestones and the passion for doing what makes you happy in a fun and inspiring way, will make saying no easier.

All the best for 2016 – own it, make it, live it. 

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.– Albert Einstein



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