You have goals. You have wants, needs and aspirations but you don’t know how to keep yourself on target. You get swayed by everyday life’s surprises that keep putting your ultimate life goal on pause. Whether it be to become a virtuoso guitar player or finish that book you’ve been writing there is always something that seems to get in your way. Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Have you ever wondered how people around you, even with their busy lifestyle, still somehow manager to accomplish whatever it is they pursue? We all have the same amount of time everyday, week, month and year. How is this possible? “I need more time”, you may be saying to yourself. Well the truth is, there’s nothing you can about acquiring more time. We cannot stop it, slow it down or speed it up, it is what it is, constant. What you can do is, choose what matters.
“What do you mean choose what matters?”, you may be thinking to yourself, “I already do!”. In reality, we all think we are choosing what really matters but tend to get distracted by things that don’t matter, or at least don’t matter right now. Choosing what matters is an important task. It’s the idea of focusing your efforts on what is important and not wasting your time away on things that are not. You have to schedule your priorities, not prioritize your schedule.
Let’s say you have a fair amount of things you want to accomplish within the next month but don’t know where to begin. What you will need to do is write down all of the things that you want to work on this month. From that list, write in numbers from one to ten next to each item on the list. One being the most important and ten being the least important. After you have done that begin sorting through your list and place each item numerically in order so things of highest priority are at the top of your list. Now you can begin to schedule your priorities accordingly.
Now that you know which of the tasks are most important, you must commit yourself to actually doing the ones on the top of your list first. Don’t waste time doing things on the bottom of the list because the most important ones seem to be the hardest. Doing so will only keep your ultimate goals on pause and will take much longer to achieve. This is called putting first things first.
1. Write down everything that you want to accomplish in the next month.
2. Prioritize each item on the list in order of most important (1) to least important (10).
3. Plan your schedule keeping first things first in mind.
Now you should have a general idea on where to begin. The next challenge is actually following through with what you have planned and to be consistently moving forward towards those goals. This part of the process is usually the hardest and most people eventually give up. Thankfully, there is a trick to this.
The best way to get yourself to continuously stay motivated is to focus on the reasons why you committed yourself in the first place. Your reasons for completing what you set out to do have to be powerful enough so you maintain focus from start to finish. If the reason isn’t strong enough, chances are you won’t stay focused long enough to actually get to the end and may end up quitting right before the end, in the middle, or even worse, not start at all. Ask yourself these questions.
1. What is the best thing that can happen if I follow through with my goal?
2. What is the worst thing that can happen if I don’t follow through with my goal?
Then take the answers to these questions and use them as a motivating force to power every action you take towards reaching those goals. Let’s say your goal is to start going to the gym four days a week because you are way out of shape and its affecting your lifestyle. You have answered the questions above and your results look like this.
1. I will look better, feel good and be stronger. I will avoid possible health related problems in the future and being stronger will make doing anything labour related much easier. I will have more energy.
2. I will remain out of shape and be putting myself in risk of health related issues. I will continue to have no energy and struggle with anything physical.
Then anytime you start to feel lazy or unmotivated you have to actively remind yourself of your reasons on why you will and must follow through. At first it is going to be a challenge to get yourself to do this, and to do it all the time. As long as you can continue to do this it will eventually become automatic and you won’t even have to think about it, you will just do it.
Now that you have learned very effective ways of determining what is the most important goal to you, how to keep yourself motivated and accomplish what you set out to do, I encourage you to actually do this on a daily basis. Keep these things in mind when you decide to take any action to better your life and yourself. The results that you will get from these two concepts alone will greatly improve your quality of life, and after all, that is what we all strive for in this world right? A better life?