Staying Focused

How many of us have vowed to get back in shape? We want to start working out on a regular basis and lose that extra few pounds. So we join a gym or start an in home exercise program. We are gangbusters for the first couple of weeks but there is that one morning when we wake up and say, “maybe I’ll skip today, I just don’t feel like I have it this morning.” Then you try to get back into your exercise routine but you start exercising only three days a week instead of four.  Then it goes to two days a week and then you get to the point you haven’t exercised in over a month. What happened? You were so focused in the beginning and somehow you lost your vision of what you wanted to achieve and simply gave up. I see this in business every day. Business owners start their business with grandiose expectations. They have dreams of what this thing is going to look like some day. After not too long they are working so hard “IN” the business they have no time to dream anymore. Consequently, they are no longer focused on why they started their business in the first place. They’ve lost their vision and have stopped working “ON” their business. 

If you study those people who are successful in business you will discover many important traits. But one that I find is probably the most important is to stay focused on what you are trying to accomplish. Don’t lose sight of the big “WHY.” Why did you start this business in the first place? Did you want financial security? Did you want to give back to the community? Did you envision your business providing you with a passive income at some point?  Did you want to eventually sell your business that would provide you a means for retirement? What is your WHY?  It is very important to be clear on what your WHY is. Write it down.

Once you have clearly defined what your WHY is here are 5 suggestions on how to stay focused so you don’t lose sight of that vision.

1. Define a plan of action — Determine what steps you need to take in order to accomplish your WHY and break it down into small tasks that can be done every day. Make it a point to work on your action plan EVERY DAY. You should wake up every morning asking yourself “what am I going to do today to get me closer to my WHY.” Be consistent.

2. Kill the negative talker — We all seem to have two inner voices. The first one is the positive talker. The cheerleader. The one that encourages you to go forward and make things happen. The second one is the negative talker. The one that says it’s too hard, too expensive, it can’t be done, there’s no way you can do it. This voice is a confidence sucker. You need to kill it and kill it dead!

3. Celebrate your success — Even the smallest of accomplishments need to be celebrated. This will keep you positive and enjoying the journey. You deserve it.

4. Don’t eat the elephant in one sitting — Pace yourself and be patient. Don’t try to accomplish your goals over night. Good things will take time. That is why you need to break down the action plan into small tasks. Eat the elephant one bite at a time.

5. Don’t fricken quit — We all get discouraged because of perceived failure. But if your WHY is strong enough you won’t quit. Stay with it and don’t stop!

And here is the 6th suggestion (ok, I know I said 5 but this is a bonus)

6. Get a coach — As a business coach I know this may sound like a shameless promotion. But if you really struggle with staying focused get someone to hold you accountable. It doesn’t have to be someone like me. It could be your spouse, a partner, another business owner. Just get someone to ask you what you did today to get you closer to your WHY.

Now, getting back to that exercise program . . .