Wednesday Tip Jar: 6 More Questions to Stay Focused on Your Goals

focus-3Focus will vary. You may have loads of it one day, none the next, more the next–and so on. But there are things we can do to keep ourselves on track and as focused as best as we can each day.

6. How will I ensure that I get good, quality, full amounts of sleep?

Yes, this is something you hear over and over and over again. You may even be sick to death of it at this point. I bring it up so frequently because we are an extraordinarily sleep-deprived culture. It’s rampant. I’ve had people tell me that they “can’t” get enough sleep because they’re “too busy” or it “gets in the way” of achieving goals. But if you’re so exhausted you’re dragging through the day, how are you going to reach them. I have even had people say that getting more sleep is “selfish” because they can’t focus on their responsibilities (eg, family, work.)

Again, I ask: How are you going to take care of those responsibilities if you’re exhausted. It’s an enormous issue. But it’s one people refuse to pay attention to. There are more sleep deprivation issues causing health catastrophes, but people are more upset about the one in a million chance of catching ebola.

That’s stupid.

What this means is our focus is leaning towards panicking about something that’s so extraordinarily rare in our society so that we don’t focus on what is the issue. We use something like ebola to ignore true issues such as obesity, smoking issues, child and spousal abuse…or any other health concern that’ truly worth the concern.

70 million people in the united states don’t get enough sleep. That’s 22% of our population. Nearly a quarter. Insomnia is nearly always related to stress (there are biological causes, but most insomnia is a symptom of stress, and nearly all stress is self-created due to the inefficient, dysfunctional ways we try to cope with it, rather than resolve it.)

You are the most important asset in your life, to yourself, to your family, to your responsibilities. Getting good, long, quality sleep is the most important cornerstone to the foundation of a healthy life that allows you to reach goals.

5. How will I ensure that I show up each day as best as I can, and not tired, dehydrated and late?

First, see #6 for the part about not showing up tired. If you’re someone who is consistently late for work, late for appointments and so on, perhaps it’s time to sit down and examine why your focus has remained on always being late. What’s the payoff? Chronic tardiness has a domino effect on the people around you; if you’re late, they’re late. If you’re late to an appointment, it causes everyone after you to not be seen on time.

Someone once said to me, “Chronic lateness is one of the top ways people unconsciously choose to be rude.” I may not go quite that far, but I’d also say there’s something to that. I will say it lacks in etiquette.

There will be days when you are on time and you are tired, perhaps through effort. Your 100% each day will vary. Your 100% on Tuesday may be 60% of what it was on Monday. But that’s still your 100% for that day, as long as you’re making your best effort.

I throw dehydration in here because lack of hydration also leads to fatigue and the inability to show up as best as you can.

4. How will I stay focused on improving my weak areas? 

Some weak areas will always be your weak areas. And that’s okay. You can, however learn how to bolster them. But some weak areas absolutely can be improved to the point of strengths. In exercise, I’m terrible at box jumps. I cannot get my mind past tripping my toes over the edges. I’m also often battling stiff hamstrings. They’re not always as stiff as they can be from day to day, but this does hinder some things. Personality wise, I can sometimes have a short temper with what feels like stupidity and self-created ignorance. But by becoming aware of those things, I know how to work with them, and they don’t get the better of me.

Look for ways to work around these areas. Or with them. Find tools to help you improve them if you can. Sometimes this means not focusing on what someone else can do and you therefore can’t. Because I can guarantee you that there are things you can do that person cannot. Success in reaching goals rotates around how you work with your weaknesses and strengths. If you know you tend to have a short temper when you’re tired or you just wake up that way, focus on mindfulness to keep that snappishness in check. If you can’t do some kind of exercise motion or routine, find a substitute.

3. How will I get my goats that show up around my efforts, rather than letting them get me?

This is what that phrase means. Basically what happens is that we let our shortcomings or our weaknesses get the better of us. Control the choices and thoughts we have. Not how you keep things simple in reaching your goals. Letting your goats get you complicates things, because then you’re having to focus more on untangling yourself from getting hung up in them than working on your goals.

2. How often will I work on my goals?

Basically, what’s the 1% you can do each day, while also working on the self-compassion aspect that your 100% will vary?

1. How will I compete and against myself rather than everyone else?

You are you. I realize this sounds trite, but you are you. You are not Bessie Sue who achieved financial success and freedom by the time she was 23. You are not Arnold Schwarzenegger and will likely never have the abilities he had. You may be of an equal level, but you will still have abilities he never did and vice versa. It’s one thing to use someone as inspiration and an ideal, but if you focus on that person to bring out what you can’t do and to mark achievements that are yours as failures because they don’t turn you into that person, you’re getting off track.

The only person you should ever compare yourself to is you and your progress.

Questions? Comments? Email me at heather (at) smallchangelife (dot) org or drop by my Facebook page and leave me a message, leave a comment below or feel free to start up a conversation in the discussion forum.


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