10 steps to harnessing your motivation and staying focused on your business.
Staying focused on your goal is hard! We’re all motivated in the beginning but motivation wanes over time. Perhaps you have big plans for a successful business, maybe you’ve been struggling to get new ideas off the ground or maybe you’re simply lacking the drive you once had. Either way, let’s take this time to FOCUS! here are a few steps you can take to help you harness your motivation and stay focused on reaching your ultimate business goals.
1. BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
You might have a few different visions for what you want to achieve, whether it’s to be successful in your field of work, or make a positive impact on your community, you probably even have a final destination in mind. However, it’s essential for your ultimate goal to be clear and concise so you can plan your journey to success and help keep you motivated. If you are vague or unrealistic, it will make it difficult to know what you’re aiming for and leave little room for success. If you’re unclear about your end goal, it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself exactly what it is you would like to achieve and why.
2. SET YOUR LONG TERM GOALS
Setting goals, especially long-term goals, is part and parcel of any successful and sustainable business plan – and in today’s fast paced business environment you need to define your end goal and then plan how you’re going to get there. In essence, your long-term goals will become your stepping-stones, which will lead you to your ultimate business goal! Sounds simple right? But here’s the catch – the long term goals you set for you and your business must be realistic, otherwise, they’ll leave you taking one step forward and two steps back.
3. MAKE YOUR GOALS MANAGEABLE
Long-term goals can feel overwhelming and more often than not, we don’t actually know how to reach them. With your ultimate business goal set so far into the future, you might think you have an endless amount of time to work towards it, which means precious time can slip by without accomplishing much – and leaving you feeling both de-motivated and unfulfilled. If this sounds like you, then it’s time to create even smaller sub-goals that you can tackle more easily and in a much shorter time frame! Making your long term goals more manageable by breaking them down into bite sized chunks, will feel a lot less overwhelming and you will find yourself more motivated to take action. And let’s face it, nothing feels better than ticking off an action on your to-do list!
4. CREATE A VISUAL REMINDER
Even if you aren’t an overly creative individual, you can still help yourself succeed by visualising your goals! Create a list with realistic and manageable delivery dates beside each bite-sized goal, this way, you can focus on carrying out one small action at a time – and give each part of your overall plan the time and energy it deserves! Helping you get closer to your ultimate goal every day. If you’re part of a team, creating a visual plan will help you delegate tasks, create clarity around roles and add an extra dimension of responsibility for the delivery and timely action of each small goal.
5. BE SMART ABOUT IT
It’s important to be specific about your goals but it’s even better to be SMART! Give yourself every chance of being successful; don’t allow your ambitions to be vague. When you’re creating your goals, you want to set specific targets that will help you determine whether or not each goal has been met. Otherwise how will you know how you’re doing? Or measure how successful you’ve been? SMART goals are those, which are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based allowing you to understand how much progress you’ve made towards achieving a set goal. By adding metrics to your goal such as measurable numbers and a due date, you will be making it more refined, adding clarity and ensuring there is no room for interpretation or confusion.
6. MANAGE YOUR TIME WISELY
Time is your most valuable resource and too often people waste it on tasks that aren’t helping them to accomplish their biggest business goals. Similar to your finances, it’s important to budget your time each day, week, month and year, keeping in mind the long term goals you need to accomplish. If you are not making progress toward your goals, look carefully at how you are spending your time. What could you stop doing or delegate, or what adjustments do you need to make to your schedule so you have time to focus on actively achieving your goals.
7. ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS
Distractions! The list is endless. With most of our working life involving the use of a computer, tablet or mobile phone there are many distractions that have the ability to soak up valuable time and steal our focus. From browsing through social media feeds, the urge to check the latest notification popping up on your mobile phone, the never ending email threads and fear of missing something important! In order to help eliminate distractions, it’s important to set aside some ‘distraction free time.’ Choose one of two small objectives and give yourself a specific period of time to get them done. When you’re up against a deadline, you will suddenly find yourself developing a laser-like focus. You can take it one step further and find an accountability partner by telling a colleague, family member or friend what you’re planning to achieve in a given time frame and ask them to hold you accountable to your target. Giving yourself a shorter time frame to reach a particular goal is like giving yourself an artificial deadline, but back up with something that holds you accountable and you’ll figure out a way to get it done!
The human brain is like a muscle and in order to use it efficiently it needs to be built up and strengthened. We need to train our brains to maintain focus by gradually building longer concentration levels, which in turn will strengthen the ability to focus for longer periods of time.
Top Tip: Set a timer and focus on a specific task for a period of time, such as 45 minutes straight. Then reward yourself a 15-minute break. You’ll be amazed just how much you will achieve in a short period of time.
8. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
There may be times where life gets in the way, something hasn’t gone to plan or you’ve been stopped in your tracks and prevented from making the next step towards your end goal. Being your own harshest critic can drive you to set high expectations but it can also hinder your success if you keep beating yourself up. Make a conscious effort to be kind to yourself and always re evaluate your tactics, not your talent. Analyse where you are and where you need to be before you refocus and realign your goals. No one said the journey would be easy, but we all know it will be worthwhile.
We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again…be kind to yourself. Whether you believe it or not, whether it’s something you tend to overlook or practice daily, the best way to bolster productivity is to give yourself time to unwind each day. By knowing when to unplug from work, you give yourself time to decompress, reconnect with family and friends and check in with your own mental and physical wellbeing. You’ll feel rejuvenated and better able to handle the daily pressures of reaching your ultimate goal. So don’t be afraid to take a weekend off, spend some me time, regenerate and keep up your energy levels. You will thank yourself in the long run!
10. BE CONFIDENT
Goal setting shouldn’t be scary! Instead, goals should help you get closer to what you want to achieve and help you grow your business in the right direction. Thinking into the future and planning in advance can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that just because you’ve decided on an end goal, doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. As you work through your business plan, if your ultimate goal no longer aligns with your values over time, you always have the power to change it or your expectations as necessary. Remember you are always in control.
- Be clear about what you want to achieve in the long run. What is your end goal?
- Set realistic long-term goals, which will act as the stepping-stones towards your end goal.
- Break your long-term goals into small bite sized and manageable chunks – and most importantly, enjoy ticking them off!
- Keep focused and create a visual reminder of your goals and where you’d like to be.
- Give yourself the best chance of success by setting SMART goals.
- Manage your time wisely and actively focus on achieving your goal
- Eliminate distractions and develop your focus
- Keep an eye on your progress
- Be kind to yourself, regenerate and keep up your energy
- Finally, be confident! Remember you are always in control.
HELPFUL LINKS FOR BUSINESSES IN NEWRY, MOURNE & DOWN
- Mourne Entrepreneur Network – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MOURNEentrepreneurs/
- NMD business growth program – http://nmdbusiness.org/growing-your-business/
- Digital Growth Program – http://nmdbusiness.org/digital-growth-programme/
Also more support from
If you would like and other support please get in touch with the MADE in Mourne team and we can help you int he right direct to make sure you are using you time wisely. Please email Jenna@madeinmourne.com.