“Slow progress is better than no progress.”
We’ve all been there, right?
We set big goals for ourselves. We’re determined to see them through. And we maintain rock-solid consistency for the first week or two.
But then, distractions pop up. We start losing focus. And that once unshakable regularity starts fizzling out.
I know I’ve been there.
And I’ll be the first to admit that it’s incredibly frustrating.
Fortunately, as I’ve worked through the ebb and flow of interest and dedication, I’ve discovered a simple, 3 step method that helps me stay focused on my goals. And today I’m excited to share this strategy with you.
So if you’re ready to stay focused on your goals, maintain consistency, and reach your dreams with confidence, then keep reading. This post is just for you.
Stay Focused On Your Goals With These 3 Powerful Steps
Step 1: Stay Focused On Your Goals With a Goals Pyramid
Using a goals pyramid is one of my favorite ways to work toward big goals.
Because it helps to remove the “someday” mentality by breaking down your dream into smaller, more actionable steps.
In other words, it provides you with a valuable roadmap from where you are now to where you want to be.
By breaking down your primary goal into long-term goals, short-term goals, and daily habits, you remove the intimidation factor, and you identify daily actions you can take to help keep you focused on your goals.
In order to create a goals pyramid, start with choosing one clear, S.M.A.R.T. goal.
Not familiar with the S.M.A.R.T. goal theory? No problem!
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for:
Be specific about your goal; what exactly do you want to achieve?
How will you know when you achieve the goal?
Thinking realistically about your situation and the resources available, is this goal achievable?
Why is this goal important to you and your life?
When do you want to achieve this goal?
Once you’ve established your S.M.A.R.T. goal, now it’s time break it down into two or three long-term goals. If your primary goal is to publish a book, for example, your long terms goals might look like this:
#1: Write a first draft.
#2: Edit the draft and send it to your editor.
#3 Finish the final draft.
Once you’ve identified your long-term goals, it’s now time to break them down into even smaller, more tangible objectives.
As you do this, ask yourself: What can you accomplish in a week or two to get you moving toward your long-term goals?
And remember, these short-term goals might change as you continue moving toward your primary goal; that’s okay! In fact, both your short-term goals and your daily habits (below) have a fluidity to them, which allows you to update your objectives as you get closer to your primary goal.
Now that you’ve established your short-term goals, it’s time to choose your daily habits. These are – as the name suggests – steps you take each day to move you toward your short-term goals.
Daily habits should be small, specific, actionable steps that you can check off your to-do list in a relatively short amount of time.
If we return to my book analogy, my daily habits might include: research one hour a day; write 30 minutes a day; revise yesterday’s writing for 20 minutes; etc.
Like the short-term goals, your daily habits will change often as you continue progressing toward your end goal.
By creating (and following) your goals pyramid, you create a clear action plan that helps keep you focused on your goals and seeing results in no time.
(Want more strategies on using a goals pyramid? Be sure to snag my free ebook here. Complete with a goals pyramid worksheet, this short ebook will help you create the road map you need to set yourself up for success.)
Step 2: Stay Focused On Your Goals With Daily Practice
As I mentioned above, once you have your roadmap figured out, the next secret to stay focused on your goals is daily practice.
As the quote at the top of this article reminds us, slow progress is better than no progress. And the key to progress is a daily practice.Slow progress is better than no progress. The key to progress is a daily practice. #progressnotperfection #goals Click To Tweet
Now, I hear you over there. Maybe you have a super unpredictable schedule. Perhaps it feels like you’re way too busy for daily practice. Maybe the thought of making this kind of commitment is overwhelming.
Hear me out, okay? This is totally doable.
Sure, you might only have 15 minutes on some days to work toward your goal. But that’s okay! You’re still 15 minutes closer than if you blew it off and wasted that valuable time scrolling through Facebook.
What’s more, by establishing continuity and working toward your goal every single day, you will likely adopt the “don’t break the chain” mentality.
What’s that, you ask?
Simply put, the “don’t break the chain” theory suggests that once you have an impressive streak of daily practice going – for me it’s usually 2 weeks or more – then I discover an extra boost of motivation to continue with the practice.
Because I don’t want to “break the chain.” What’s more, the longer you go, the stronger the chain, and the harder it is to break.
My favorite way to track my progress and maintain my consistent streak is by using a habit tracker. I get a (perhaps unreasonable) amount of fulfillment in checking off that box each day, which motivates me to stick with my goal while strengthening the chain.
Want to give it a try? Download these three weekly habit trackers here!
Step 3: Stay Focused On Your Goals With Single Tasking
The third key tip to stay focused on your goals is the practice of single-tasking.
Now single-tasking, as the name suggests, is the simple process of turning off all distractions, using your time wisely, and focusing solely on the task at hand.
You see, as much as we’d love to believe that multi-tasking is an efficient way to get things done, it’s not.
As studies continue to show, our brains simply don’t work that way.
In fact, when we attempt to multitask – answer emails, work on a report, and hold a conversation simultaneously – we’re both wasting our time and producing lackluster results.
And needless to say, when we’re working toward a major goal, lackluster results are far from ideal.
So do yourself a favor. When you’re sitting down for your daily practice, eliminate all distractions. Put your phone on do not disturb, turn off the notifications on your computer, and close any extra tabs on your browser.
Then, get to work.
Log that daily practice time. Check off the box on your habit tracker. And feel proud about what you accomplished for the day.
Don’t break the chain, and you’ll be reaching that big goal in no time.
You got this.
How do you stay focused on your goals? What are your favorite strategies to stick with it? Share your tips below!