The moment an idea sparks, we find ourselves filled with great motivation and passion to convert that idea into reality. In no time, we define a vision, set the right goals, and begin the conquest. But over time, we lose focus, and it becomes a real challenge to keep working toward our goals.
It’s the same for almost everyone – distractions. We all face these distractions at one point, and they deviate us from our goals, kill that motivation, and the buzz is lost.
Recommended Reading: Power of setting goals
But why do these distractions perplex us, making the process so difficult?
Why do we lose focus on goals?
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”— Tony Robbins.
Let’s talk about Jane’s story to understand what goes wrong.
Jane’s entrepreneurial dream was born in the corridors of her imagination. The prospect of creating something unique fueled her ambition. The initial peak was exhilarating — the thrill of the unknown, the promise of success.
But over time, the valleys of self-doubt, changing priorities, and external pressures soon cast shadows on her path. Questions such as “Am I capable?”, “I can do it all,” “Where am I going?” “Is it worth it?” took over her dream.
- Setting unrealistic goals & expectations
- Lack of clarity
- Peaks of motivation
- Mirages of clarity
- Weights of over-commitment,
- No rewards or excitement
- Constantly changing priorities
These are a few primary reasons that can make us lose our focus on goals.
Five tips to keep working on our goals with focus
While deviations are bound to happen, what truly matters is how we bounce back. Here are a few strategies to help you navigate this maze of challenges.
#1. Aim For Instant Gratification
No or delayed rewards for our hard work challenge our commitment.
- Break down larger goals into smaller milestones with rewards.
- Use the right tools to track and visualize the continuous progress to make the journey memorable.
Example: If the goal is weight loss, celebrate every five pounds lost with a non-food reward.
#2. Avoid Procrastination Trap
It’s okay if we miss working on our goals occasionally. We do need breaks to re-think and re-evaluate everything. But things go wrong when we extend the break and fall into the procrastination trap.
Solution: Never take a break from your habit or routine for two days in a row!
Example: Keep your running gear visible on the couch to motivate yourself to go for a run.
#3. Show Resilience When Faced With Setbacks
Not all days are the same. Some days are hard, and we fail despite all our efforts. And that’s when we get surrounded by negative thoughts and mostly tend to quit. But we must return and continue our goals if we believe in them.
Solution: Analyze what went wrong and what you could do better instead of abandoning.
Example: Missing workouts? Use it to adjust your schedule, not as a failure.
#4. Keep The Motivation Alive
Losing that internal drive and intrinsic motivation is easy, especially with long-term goals. Why it happens? There can be various reasons, such as nothing challenging to do or work becoming monotonous. In such cases, relying only on external motivation can lead to burnout.
Solution: Connect your goals with your values. Create a few tasks to fuel your passion and bring you joy every now & then.
Example: If your goal is to learn a new skill, find aspects of the learning process that genuinely interest and excite you.
#5. Take Accountability
Having external accountability is a great way to keep walking the same path. Having a manager on your head constantly reminds you to make progress because you must show and prove it. When working on our own, just like in my case, it is easier to veer off course. For example, when I’m late in drafting my blog post, I get thoughts like, “It’s okay, I can publish it back-dated also.”
Solution: Share your goals with someone who can provide support. Trust your team if you have one, or make your clients (or subscribers) and deadlines your external help if you work alone. Use tools to set deadlines and reminders and track progress.
- Publishing regularly is crucial to maintaining subscribers’ trust.
- Having a workout buddy or coach can provide external accountability for fitness goals.
Additional techniques to be mindful
Here are a few additional tips to remember when working with goals and making them work in the long run:
Recommended Reading: The Ultimate FUSION method to set goals that last!
- Set SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. SMART goals provide a clear framework, enhancing focus and attainability.
- Use OKR Framework: Objectives and Key Results align individual goals with broader objectives. They ensure clarity and measurable outcomes.
- Adopt Habit Stacking: Associate your goal with an existing habit. This leverages established routines for better goal integration.
- Keep up The Fun Part: Ensure that the work you do and the routines you follow toward achieving your goals bring joy to you. The moment you find them boring, change them. It will keep your spirits high!
I am working to create an MS Excel/Google Sheets template following the FUSION method to provide an ultimate goal-setting tool.
- Set SMART goals.
- Create Milestones to reward yourself.
- Visually appealing to track Progress.
- Align goals with your values to keep your Intrinsic Motivation alive.
And much more! How exciting do you find having such a tool with you?