Focusing on your goals in today's world can be extremely difficult. People lead busier lives than ever before; from working at their jobs, to taking care of their families, to handling day-to-day chores and responsibilities, most people have very little time to even think! In addition, trivial distractions are ever-present in today's consumer world.
Many people find themselves too busy to think about what their goals are in life, because they are so consumed with doing, doing, doing… doing the little things every day and every week to maintain their lifestyle and "make ends meet". Do you find yourself saying things like?
- "If only I had the time to…" or
- "I always wish I could have… but I never had the time," or
- "When I was younger, my plan was to… but time passes by so quickly, and I just never had the chance to…"
Do you find that you are too busy most of the time to accomplish the things that you really want to do in life? More importantly, do you even know what it is that you really want in life? Before you can find your focus, knowing what you wish to focus on the most is a crucial step. If there are many things you wish to focus on in life, then you need to prioritize that list.
Write down a list of all the things you would like to achieve in your life. Start with your ultimate goal of success - decide what type of person you wish to be and what type of lifestyle you wish to be living on a definite date in the future. To help you through this process, you can use our "Find Your Focus" Worksheet.
After you've defined your ultimate goal of success, then you can start writing down other goals that you have in your life. Your pad of paper should contain your ultimate goal at the top of the list and everything else after.
- Is there anything on your list that does not support the attainment of your ultimate goal?
- Is there anything you need to add to your list in order to achieve your ultimate goal?
For example, have a look at Jane's list below:
|Find my Focus List
December 1, 2003
My Ultimate Goal for Success:
Exactly 5 years from today (i.e. December 1, 2008), I, Jane, will be a happy and successful woman. I will be balanced and healthy in all areas of my life: mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. My business and investments will provide me with a passive income of over $10,000 per month, at which time I can retire if I wish. I will use my wealth and success to enjoy my life to the fullest and help others achieve success.
My Other Goals:
- Purchase a house for my family and myself.
- Go on a vacation every year.
- Buy a luxury car.
- Get my Masters in Business Administration.
- Work harder and longer at my job to increase my chances of getting a raise and promotion.
- Go to the gym at least 3 times a week and eat healthy.
- Donate to my favourite charity every year.
An Analysis of Jane's Goals
Have a look at the list of Jane's "Other Goals".
- Which goals on this list support her ultimate goal and which do not? In other words, which of the smaller goals will help her achieve her ultimate goal, and which things may set her back?
- In addition, is there anything she should add to the list to help her achieve her ultimate goal?
The answers to those questions depend on Jane's current circumstances, and how close she is to achieving her ultimate goal at the present time. If she is starting from nothing, then focusing on buying a luxury car may not be a priority at the present time. Buying a luxury car may be something she will do once she has reached her ultimate goal and is financially free, but perhaps it shouldn't be a priority before she reaches that goal. Perhaps it may hinder her from achieving that ultimate goal within 5 years.
Jane also has things on her list like going to the gym 3 times a week, eating healthy and donating to her favourite charity. These are things that will help her attain her ultimate goal.
Another thing that Jane has identified as a part of her ultimate goal is having businesses and investments that provide passive income (passive income is income that you don't have to work for, for example, income from a rental property).
However, Jane does not have anything on her list that has to do with the type of businesses and investments that she will acquire in order to reach this goal. This is something she may wish to add to her list.
This exercise will be quite useful in helping you determine where you wish to go in your life, how you will get there, and if the current path you are on is the right one. For most of us, change is usually required to maintain focus. We often develop habits that do not assist us in reaching the ultimate place that we wish to be in life.
Once you have determined your ultimate goal, write it down, and put it in place where it will always be visible to you. You can even attach pictures that represent your ideal of ultimate success and freedom. Then, as you go through your day-to-day routine, always ask yourself if what you're doing is taking you closer to or farther away from that ultimate goal.
Finding the answer to that question is not always easy. Most of the time, we require some type of guidance from those who have traveled the road of success. This is where your education for financial and personal success becomes very important.