We start each and every year with good intentions. “THIS YEAR”, we say, “This year I’ll get it right!” – we think, we plan, we set goals, and we believe we will meet them. More often than not, this is followed by yet another end of quarter or end of year along with the realization we may not be as far along as we’d hoped.
Let’s get real – staying on track isn’t easy, and in a world gone mad with ever increasing pressures, demands, and distractions, sometimes it can seem near impossible. This is a scenario I’ve watched unfold with clients and client companies time and time again. I don’t know that I’ve found the perfect solution, but I have found one that works well for me, which I hope is worth sharing.
Here are 4 ways to align your life with successful objectives:
Get Clear On Your Objectives
I know, you’ve heard this before, but getting it right is more easily said than done. The trick is to have one thing you want more than anything else, and be ruthless in your pursuit of it. It’s not for sissies, and it won’t make you all that popular with friends and family. It’s important to remember the key to a successful life is balance, but the second most important element is clarity. Someone once told me a very long time ago to decide what I wanted in life and the price I was willing to pay for it, because “everything comes with a price.” I have forgotten a lot of things in my life, but I have never forgotten that. What I have learned is that when you measure everything in your day and your life against this one goal, it’s amazing how focused you get, and how easy all else becomes.
Allow Yourself Time to Think
It’s easy to get stuck running from thing to thing and task to task, and get nothing done by the end of the day. You think the other items are important, and telling yourself that once you get them done that you’ll have time to devote to the big thing you really want to accomplish. However, in the end all you do is exhaust your energy on the details that don’t matter, and don’t make a significant contribution to your bottom line or to your mental health. How often do you get to the end of a busy day and wonder what did you actually accomplish that meant anything? A really smart guy once said “ship something every day.” He wasn’t talking about shipping merchandise, but accomplishing one thing that moves your goal or your agenda forward. Otherwise, days, weeks and months go by and you’re watching friends, colleagues and competition move forward while you don’t. So ship something every day!
Don’t Overbook Your Day
How often do you find yourself looking at a blank space in your calendar and stuffing a meeting or something else into it without regard for what’s surrounding it or what else you want to accomplish? I found the simplest solution is to block out time each and every day for project work, errands or anything else that is aligned with:
- My one big objective
- The things involved with the normal course of living life
This prevents me from adding unimportant things to my calendar on a whim, or juts because someone asked in a moment when I’d lost sight of my one single objective. Try it. You’ll be amazing at how much smoother your days become when measured against your main objective. In those times when you’re too busy to take a breath, stop and do just that – a mental check on whether you’re activities are still in alignment with your objectives, adding to your bottom line, or moving you towards your dream.
Establish Priorities and Commit To Them
As I once heard, “Do. Do not seek to do.” It is very yoda-like, but still effective. You love your friends and family, yet you may confuse interruptions from them as importance. A call from a family member that they’re in the emergency room is important; someone else’s poor planning that forcibly becomes your priority is not important. It’s a game-changer to know the difference, especially in those times that anything other than the next step to your main objective is a step away.
Give these recommendations a shot. You might find that as your goals become more focused, your achievements become more fulfilling. There’s no better way to start your new year than with the assurance that you have a plan to make it to your most productive year yet.
Building successful objectives will not only help to benefit your personal life, but your professional life as well. Reach out to the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce today for help growing your business!