Whenever you embark on something new, the motivation, excitement and hope keeps you going. However, just like lust in a new relationship, these often fizzle out. Getting super clear with your goal will help stop you from struggling to stay focussed. This sounds easier than it is so along with some common reasons why you might be struggling to stay focussed, I have also added some tips.
Firstly, you need to understand that you have to enjoy the task you are trying to achieve. If it feels like a chore or does not make you happy, you have already failed. When you carve out an extremely clear goal, you are able to get more focussed. The reason people tend to struggle to stay focussed is because they are working towards the wrong goal.
Goal: I want to be a success.
Critique: This is a vague statement. What does it pertain to? How do you measure success? What will your life look like when you have achieved it?
Focussed Goal: I want to achieve success in my business by increasing my profits by 50% year on year for the next 3 years. When I have achieved this, I will be able to hire 20 more members of staff. This will allow me to spend more time doing the projects that I enjoy. In the meantime, I will work on one project a month that I enjoy.
What the revised focussed goal does is that it explains what the goals are and why. The outcomes that you will achieve must be included in this statement. Those are what will help stop you struggling to stay focussed. In this example, it will take 3 years to achieve the goal which is realistic for the person. The addition of the last line will keep the person motivated. By doing one project they enjoy a month, they will not only enjoy the process but will also stay motivated.
When you have too many ideas in your head, you will struggle to stay focussed because you want to do so many things. There is nothing wrong with this however, if you actually want to achieve any of those goals, you have to get clear in your goals.
Start by mapping out everything you want on a vision board. You can use Pinterest to create one. Our brains are visual so it is helpful to literally see the goals you are working towards. When you reflect on your vision board, you can start seeing which order you may be able to achieve the goals. For instance, if you want to buy a £1m house but you do not earn enough money, the house is not the goal. The goal is actually to be paid more so you will need to make that the first goal.
As adults, we have so much to deal with on a day to day basis, it is easy to give up when things get difficult. Pushing through the difficulties by believing in yourself will help you stay focussed.
When something you’re working on gets difficult, reflect on what is happening and see if you can work past them. Do you need more training? Would it be better to hire an expert to help you? What is contributing to self-doubt?
Steeped in limiting belief templates that we often struggle to break through, internal chatter can be a deal-breaker for so many.
To help keep your internal voice or inner-critic in check, look back at your goal all the time. If you believe you can do it, you can. Learn to silence your inner-critic especially if the chatter does not align with you as an adult. Use a simple check-in question like: Is this relevant to me today?
“Comparison is the thief of all joy.” It is so easy to get side-tracked in your journey to achieving your goals by comparing yourself. Technology today makes it even harder because at every swipe, someone or an advert is telling you that you are not good enough. They do this by using cookies which record your internet behaviour.
Remember that when you see where someone is in their journey on social media, most times, you are seeing the end result. You are not seeing the blood sweat and tears. In addition, there are a lot of people who are just ‘faking it until they make it.’ Instead of following people that feed external chatter, follow people that inspire you to be better. Here are some quotes you can use as affirmations to stop comparing yourself.
Having purpose is a key driver to success. How often do you define the purpose of your activity? It can be as simple as “I want to do more exercise so that I can manage my weight more easily.” The purpose here is to “manage my weight more easily.”
Using the focussed goal example above, rewrite the goal you are currently working on. Create a compelling sentence that you believe and that is realistic. Put that somewhere significant to you so that it serves as a reminder when you are struggling to stay focussed.
Puja McClymont is a certified Life Coach supporting ambitious women in senior-level roles, entrepreneurs and high profile individuals to be empowered by who they are and what they want from love, life & work.