By Jennifer Cohen
1. Clarify Your Goals
As were coming into the new year take some time over the next few weeks to sit down and set your goals. Set your own personal goals, your business goals, and your health and fitness goals. Create both long and short term goals.
Not only do you need to identify your goals but you also need to make sure that they are realistic and achievable. Losing 10 pounds and finally getting those abs you’ve always wanted is a great and attainable goal but if you want it by tomorrow it is unfortunately unrealistic and unachievable. This is why you must attach a time frame to every goal you set. Make the time frame realistic but also challenging. Allow it to create a certain level of urgency. If there isn’t a clear and concise time frame the goal is often procrastinated. To avoid this, set your goals and set a timeframe in which you would like to achieve your goals. Identify and predict any setback or challenge you may face. Make your goals attainable and absolutely crush them! Let’s make 2018 YOUR year!
2. Annihilate Excuses And Distractions And Work In Laser Focus
First, identify any challenge, setback, or distraction you may encounter while reaching your goal. Identify why it has the power to set you back and defeat you. How bad do you want your goal? Is this challenge significant enough to stop you? Will you let it stop you? Are you allowing yourself to use this challenge as an excuse to not accomplish your most important goals in life? Second, create a strategy that empowers you and pushes you through the pain of the challenge into the pleasure of the achievement.
Work in laser focus. Focus on the one thing each day, week and month that will get you closer to your goal. Become a master at focusing on your most important tasks at all times. What needs to get done immediately? When you find yourself getting distracted consider asking yourself if the action you are currently doing serves you? Is it pulling you towards your goal or pushing you away from it? If you find that, like many, you struggle with this or need some extra resources in this area, check out the book The One Thing by Gary Keller.
3. Know Yourself
Know yourself and how your operate. What makes you excited about the work you’re doing? What aspects are you not so excited about? What time of day do you do your best work? Early in the morning or late at night? Do you work better before or after a workout? What environments allow you to thrive? What environments compromise your work?
Figure out all the answers to these questions and then some. Once you do this give yourself a 90 minute block of extreme focus. Extreme focus means no distractions like your phone, your coworker, your business partner, your email and everything else that has the potential to distract you. Dedicate those 90 minutes to complete whatever challenging task you are determined to get done.
4. Progress Is Power
Often times success is viewed as the direct influencer of happiness and achievement. I have a much different view. I believe that progress is our biggest driving force. Progress and becoming better than you once were creates a certain level of happiness, fulfillment and achievement. To encourage this, come up with some benchmark goals that you can hit along the way to your desired goal. Frequently review and reflect on your goals and progress. Remind yourself often of how far you have already come, of all the challenges you have already faced. Give yourself credit for the ability to overcome these difficult challenges and continue on this journey to reach your goals. Remind yourself that you are awesome and you can conquer anything! Success is great but progress is the driving force that holds the real power.
5. Become Habitual
If you take away one thing from this entire article it is to become habitual. Find what works for you and triple down on it and do that consistently. By consistently I mean every single day. Create a morning and night time routine that is designed for productivity and success. Optimize the time you have before your day starts and as your day is coming to an end. Optimize this time by creating rituals that propel you towards your goals instead of holding you back. Do something at night that will set you up for success for the next day. Watching an hour of cat videos on Facebook or binge watching an entire season of netflix before bed is not helping you. Instead, try reviewing your day. What worked well and what didn’t serve you? How can you can improve the little things you did today to have a more productive day tomorrow? Ask yourself these questions each night before going to bed and when you wake up in the morning ask yourself how do you want to attack the day? Do you want to attack it with positivity and productiveness? If so, create habits and rituals that encourage and reinforce these positive emotions, actions and overall mental state.
Start and end your days as strong as you possibly can. Do these rituals consistently every single day until this becomes effortless and natural. Become habitual in your productive patterns. Know what works for you and create a morning and night time routine that is optimized for your success. Trust me on this, watch how implementing daily rituals will influence your life in 2018…
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This content was originally published by Forbes Magazine. Original publishers retain all rights. It appears here for a limited time before automated archiving. By Forbes Magazine