Lately I have been seeing a 'not very good' pattern in my day-to-day business dealings, and I want to see if you can identify ....
I wake up, nice and early, have breakfast, get dressed, think about all the exciting things I'm going to do today, visualise myself working with focus and consistency, confident that I will get done everything that needs to get done.
Reality = I sit down at my computer, switch it one, take a sip of my tea as it boots up, and then .... mind blank.
Suddenly a kazillion thoughts are running through my head, I find myself starting one thing and then getting disastrously distracted by something else; I keep on looking at the clock and getting frustrated that an hour has passed and I have essentially achieved nothing. Sitting back, I feel confused ... I never used to feel like this when working towards dreams and goals ... in fact I used to be the Queen of clarity and focus. I have dreams, but I'm feeling lost in how I am to go about achieving them ... and this is where I feel vulnerable ... cause I'm meant to be the expert in mapping your goal journey, and yet here I am, not knowing which way to turn or which dream to pursue first.
I have been in PANIC mode (queue pressing red emergency button of potential failure and defeat).
What the hell has happened to my brain?!? Where has what I learnt as an elite athlete and Uni student gone?
I realised this morning that I am in overwhelm, that I have so many dreams and goals running around my head that I don't know which way is up, and that these thoughts are causing me to have a "deer in headlights" moment. In this confusion I am so paralysed with fear of failure that I am getting nothing done that needs to be done in working towards my goals - which becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. I can't let this prophecy come true.
Can you feel it? Have you been experiencing this also? I feel for you if you have, cause I'm there too.
So what do I do? What can you do?
Overwhelm can be ... well, overwhelming. That feeling of being frazzled as you try to juggle so many thoughts, ideas, activities, and opportunities, can end up being your worst enemy in succeeding. To counteract this imbalance of focus I have looked back at what it is I did when I was training to swim at the Paralympics, what was it I did when setting my sights on 1st Class Honours at University, and I realised what it was that got me to focus - clarity. In both those instances I was so clear on what it was that I wanted to achieve in my life that every thought and every action was geared towards achieving this. So, my solution to my current moment of overwhelm is to clarify exactly what it is that I want to achieve now, next year, and in the future, and ensure that my actions are true to these focused goals.
ACTIONS FOR YOU.
1. Cut through the clutter and really minimise your goals to the essentials. Out of all of your goals, what is it that you most want to achieve? i.e., here are a few of mine after cutting the clutter - 1. book 5 pilot primary schools and 5 high schools for the RWS programme, 2. book 50 schools onto the RWS programme within a year, 3. reach a minimum monthly income of £..., 4. increase book sales to 20 books a month. Get rid of the rest, just drop them like hot potatoes, if they are that important too you, they will appear again in the future at a time when you can focus on them.
2. Write your clear goals down on the Goals Worksheet (you can download the worksheet below). The worksheet divides your goals into weekly goals, monthly goals, and yearly goals. Decide what timeframe you have for each goal and put it in the appropriate column, this will help to keep your brain uncluttered and will also give you the clarity to "forget" about some goals for the time being, letting you focus on the here and now.
3. Now that I have clarified my goals and have given them a timeframe, I am now going to map the journey, breaking down each step into edible bites (or actionable actions). This can take awhile, so it would be good to dedicate an afternoon to the mapping. As I map mine I will let you know what I have done and how you can do it too ... stay tuned.
Here is the Goals Worksheet for you to download -