You have reviewed your year, decided on a few hard things that you can do for 2022 and settled on your goals and intentions. You are full of excitement and fervor. But what do you do when the pressures of life begin really pressing on you? Or you feel tired, sick and discouraged. What do you do when you begin to get distracted and lose your focus? Here are a few suggestions that I hope you will find helpful.
Use Your Weekly Planner
Keeping a weekly planner contributes to maintaining focus and provides direction. Breaking your larger goals up into a series of smaller steps is useful. Therefore, having a planner to help you keep track of these steps can be helpful Planners also help you stay organized as well as manage your time.
Use the reminder feature on your smart device to help you keep up with the items on your planner. I believe in the putting pen to paper, because brain processes the information better that way; also the information becomes more concrete. But if you are not a pen and paper type of person use a digital planner or a goal tracking app instead.
Reexamine Your Goals
Trying to do too much at once can leave you feeling overwhelmed and demotivated. Make sure that you are not trying to tackle too many goals at once or stretching yourself too thin. It may also help just to reorganize your list of goals and plan of action or make adjustments as needed.
Revisit Your Why
There is no better way to motivate yourself than to remember why you wanted to accomplish this goal in the first place. Hopefully the goal also fits into your raison d’etre (reason for being) or the similar Japanese term which I have recently fallen in love with, ikigai.
According to Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles in their book The Ikigai Journey, your ikigai is “the thing that makes you get out of bed each day in eager anticipation.” Iki means life or being alive and gai means what is worthwhile and has value. The literal translation therefore is “that which makes life worth living.” If you cannot articulate your why, your why no longer seems important, or the goal does not align with your ikigai, then that may be a sign that you need to rethink this goal.
Self-discipline is hard for many of us, myself included. We want to do what we want to do whenever we feel like doing it. I am a spontaneous person by nature. It is one of the best things about me. A lot of times the experiences I enjoy the most are the ones that happen spontaneously. I love taking road trips and going to the beach (since they are a very important part of maintaining my mental health) and would often do so at the spur of the moment.
However, there are times when I have to keep my spontaneity in check. I must remind myself that a particular thing, is not on my planner for the day and that I need to stick to my schedule. There are times that I have to choose writing over going to the beach or going on a road trip. I admit that I am not always successful at sticking to my schedule, but I continue to work at it.
I am reminded of what Zig Ziglar says, “When you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, the day will come when you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.” This is one of the easiest ways to keep on track. Just do what you have to do when you should be doing it.
Spend Your Time Currency Well
Your time is valuable. When you waste it or give it to people who disregard it or do not understand its worth, you can be left feeling depleted. Eventually you become frustrated and demotivated since you consistently seem to not have enough time to do that which needs to be done.
Three ways for spending your time currency well
- Do not be afraid to say no. It is not possible to give your time to everyone and everything that demands it. Saying no is okay, even necessary at times.
- Delete apps from your devices which you find particularly distracting. Apps which you allow to gobble up valuable time that could be spent working on your goals.
- It is no secret that engaging in social media consumes huge chunks of our time. Consider a social media fast or cut back on how much time you spend engaging. .
Review Past Accomplishments and Celebrate Your Wins
Remembering how you pushed through and stayed committed to other goals in the past and the way you felt once you accomplished them can help up get fired up again. It is also helpful to have a toolbox of sorts – a list of methods that worked well for you in the past – that you can choose from when you need it.
Take time to celebrate your wins. Your celebration need not be elaborate. Its purpose is to acknowledge and reward yourself for that particular win. Celebrations spark joy and increases motivation.
Rest and Recharge
If you are running on empty then it is only natural that you would eventually break down. It is never helpful to work yourself to the point of burnout. You will also more easily succumb to distractions and end up feeling demotivated. Therefore, it is important to schedule adequate time for rest, relaxation and recreation. This will help you recharge and perform at your optimum with increased enthusiasm
Get Motivated and Inspired Daily
Just as you feed your physical body, feed your mind and your spirit daily. Pray, read your Bible or spiritual book, listen to motivational tapes and videos, read inspirational stories, as well as other books and materials, engage in uplifting conversation and practice gratitude. All of these things have the potential to keep you motivated and spark new thoughts and ideas, urging you to stretch and expand yourself. This quote from Zig Ziglar says it well. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Life places so many demands on us and is rife with disappointment and challenges. It is not unusual therefore for us to lose focus or motivation when it comes to our goals and aspirations. If this has happened to you, know that you are not alone, nor are you a failure.
I encourage you to dust yourself off, regroup and go again. Explore the ideas presented here to help you avoid distractions and stay motivated. Each of us find motivation in different ways, so I also encourage some self-exploration to find out what truly keeps you motivated.
I would love to hear in the comments what strategies you have been using and have found successful in avoiding distraction and staying motivated.
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Until next time…
Namate ~ 🙏