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How to Stay Focused on Your Goals
Are you suffering from LOF (lack of focus) on your goals?
There are so many things grabbing our attention every day that many of us are suffering from a lack of focus (LOF) on our own dreams, wishes and goals.
How can you stay focused on the things you want to accomplish – today, next month, or in the years to come? More specifically, how do you get motivated to stay focused? That’s definitely a key part of the challenge – what actually motivates you about your goals in life?
I’m going to assume you’re already familiar with what many consider the basics of goal setting – a common framework used is the SMART system. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. O.k., so your goals meet the basic test. That’s all fine and good, but if the goals you are working toward don’t really connect with your emotional needs right now, you may want to take another look at what the source of that goal was in the first place. Is it really coming from your own needs and desires or was it to satisfy the wishes of someone else like a well-meaning spouse or parent? Unless it comes from your own inner desires, it’s going to be difficult to stay motivated and focused. Sounds good, but how do you determine if your goals are yours and not someone else’s?
This is where it gets fun. Your subconscious holds the key to your true desires. And there is more than one way to unlock it. The subconscious is a part of you that you are not fully aware of that influences your self-concept and the way you feel and act. The subconscious reveals itself when your critical conscious mind is out of the way, like in dreams or when you distract it (this is a useful distraction!) You may be interested in knowing more about accessing your subconscious, but for this purpose, all you need to do is get yourself into a relaxed state free of distractions.
Take a few deep, slow breaths.
Think about your goal and then ask your subconscious to let you know, in a way you can understand, what desire of yours this goal is serving.
You can ask yourself other questions such as “Is this something I really want to do?”
The answer may come to you immediately or it may take a while. It may come in the form of a thought, dream, or symbol. If you like to journal, write down your thoughts and feelings.
Take the information you receive and use it to make any adjustments to your goal that make it more exciting and motivational for you or even eliminate it entirely.
What if you discover that your goal is right for you and what you really want, but you’re still unable to focus on it? Ask yourself what barriers are you coming up against? You can even use the technique I explained above of asking your subconscious to show you your truth in a way you can understand – in this case, what are your true barriers? You might be surprised at what comes up. Some barriers may be easier than others to dissolve. If you need more quiet time to finish writing that book, maybe developing a daily schedule without interruptions is simple enough. If your barrier is your beliefs about yourself, what a wonderful opportunity for transforming your approach and even making positive, life-changing discoveries about yourself!
List all of your barriers to focusing on your goal in a column on one side of a sheet of paper and then across from each barrier, put down if you have a negative belief about yourself relative to this barrier. Ask your subconscious for help if you’re struggling with your negative beliefs. Let’s use the example of not being able to focus on writing your book.
|Lack of Ideas||I’m not creative enough|
|Not enough time||My needs and desires come last|
|Fatigue||I don’t have endurance|
|Lack of support||I don’t deserve others’ time|
Did you get any “aha’s” doing this? Finding out the source of your barriers to focus is going to help you make the changes you really desire. Then you can choose the most appropriate methods for making those changes, including:
- Positive affirmations. For example, “I have all of the endurance I need to accomplish my task.” Your subconscious needs repetition to know you are serious, so make sure to repeat your affirmations at least a few times each day. Writing your affirmations and intentions down helps to cement them into your subconscious. Post them in places you will see them regularly.
- Visualize yourself doing the thing you want to be doing. The brain responds to the imagination as if it were the real thing. Repeat this every day until you no longer need to visualize because you are now doing it!
- Meditate on the changes you want to make. Meditation helps in learning and retaining new information. It also reduces the fear, anxiety and stress which negatively impact learning.
- Explore self-hypnosis or experience hypnosis with a hypnotherapist. Hypnosis is a very powerful and proven modality for behavior change.
- Make other changes in your routine to complement your efforts. For example, scheduling time for specific tasks, ensuring you get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily or allowing yourself a reward for completing an individual task.
Most of all, have more fun! Having fun doing something is naturally motivating. I’ve had fun writing this, and now I’m rewarding myself with a refreshing walk on the beach because I deserve it!
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