Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing

February is all about love, and this newsletter won’t be any different. For us, though, it’s about TOUGH love. I know that you set some great goals in January, and you were excited about them. Since then, though, you’ve probably found your goals shifting from day to day, week to week, as life intervenes and competing priorities pop up.

This will probably keep happening. In fact, by the end of this year, you may be asking yourself what you COULD have accomplished if you’d kept working, a little bit each day, towards those goals?

Ouch. There’s the tough part. Now here’s the love.

It’s only natural for you to get distracted by daily crises and other people’s agendas, not to mention your own questions, doubts and worries (as close as today’s business news report, no doubt). You’re not a failure if you temporarily lose sight of your goals; far from it.

What’s important is what you do about it when it happens, and what you do to keep it from happening again. And that’s to create an environment for success.

On our Tough 20 Questionnaire, question #7 asked you about which of last year’s goals you kept delaying and delaying. Let’s catch it earlier this time! The first key step to keeping the main thing the main thing is check in with yourself about your goals on a regular basis. Set this task up in your calendar with a reminder and plenty of cushioning around it. Don’t make it easy to drop because a meeting ran late or there was another demand for your attention.

Next, notice where your day-to-day actions have strayed from what it’s going to take to meet those goals. Look, objectively, at what the problem(s) might be. For example:

Were your goals unrealistic? Your goals should push you a little bit, out of your comfort zone – you’re trying to achieve something that’s a little out of reach, so you’ll have to work for it. But make sure it is something achievable.

Do your goals require actions that just don’t fit in your day-to-day life? Again, be realistic about your available time and energy – the resources you’ll need to meet your goals. If your action plan includes a lot of evening events and you have young children, that goal might not be a good fit right now.

Are your goals too general? Those are the easiest ones to dismiss or put off, because they’re not real to you. They’re things that would be “nice to have, someday.” Look over your answers to the Tough 20 again, to make sure the goals you’ve identified are meaningful to YOU.

Are your goals written as one big leap from here to there? You’re inviting yourself to give in to the overwhelm and give up on your goals. Instead, you need a concrete road map of the actions you will take to achieve a very specific outcome.

So let’s shorten the time line of your goals. Forget about what you want to achieve by year’s end, and focus on what you’re doing NOW. If your year-end goal is to improve your health, what choices are you going to make TODAY about your eating, physical activity, relaxation time and sleep? If your year-end goal is to increase your revenue by 20%, how much more do you need to earn THIS WEEK, and how will you bring in those dollars? If your year-end goal is to take an exotic family vacation next year, how much do you need to set aside THIS MONTH in your vacation fund?

Now, write those immediate, short-term actions onto a little yellow sticky note, and stick it up somewhere you can see it all day long, as a tangible reminder of your commitment to meet your goals.

Frank Shorter, U.S. Olympic gold medalist, said that he didn’t aim to run a 26-mile marathon; he just ran one mile, 26 times. So let’s just keep our eyes on the next mile. Let’s keep this real and immediate. Let’s keep this about your daily, weekly and monthly actions. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing.

What are you willing to commit to getting done in the next three months, by the time you open up your copy of May’s newsletter? Make that promise to yourself, and if you really want to achieve it, commit it to someone else as well.

Would you like to sit down with me for a few minutes and get started on your list and commit your daily, weekly and monthly actions? Visit my website today to send me a message and we’ll coordinate a time that works best for both of us to focus on what’s best for you.

Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing. Go For It!