This does not have to be the case!
You made a promise to yourself, and just because you have hit a few roadblocks doesn’t mean you have to abandon your good intentions altogether. Life can get in the way and you may feel like you are just running, stuck in busy, an example of the old saying ‘insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result’. You may be wondering how to find your motivation and why you feel so wrecked all the time – but I urge you not to give up.
Treat your life like your business
Getting a different result from your efforts comes down to where you are finding your energy and where you are giving it. With good energy management comes focus and the ability to effectively harness your time and productivity without descending into burnout. Uncovering where your energy and focus is being used is a little like doing an audit or yearly business review. If a business is not hitting KPIs, for example, they may put in place new procedures, protocols or even staff to get the results they need.
Your personal life is no different! Most people tend to focus externally to make sure everyone else is ok, especially as we reach ages 50-60 and take responsibility for a brood of kids and grandkids as well as working and keeping a household running. However, isn’t it time to turn your attention inwards and make sure you are kicking your own goals too?
As a Personal Mastery Coach, I see many clients wanting to fit more into their lives, but this mindset only leads to greater overwhelm and confusion as their energy and focus are stretched too thin. As a significant part of my coaching for success techniques, I encourage my clients to understand one key point: our life is determined by the quality of our time, not the quantity.
Gaining more of what we perceive as ‘time’ is about doing what is important to you – making that time count instead of letting it slip by as you undertake task after task that does nothing to fulfil you or your goals. So, while everyone is looking for more time, what we really should be looking for is meaningful experiences and enjoying the time we’ve got.
To help you prioritise your time and make moments for things that truly matter to you, I have put together my five tips to harness your energy and focus. This process will ensure you are being pulled towards your goals, and are not constantly pushing for something that doesn’t align with your value system or long-term vision.
By the end of the five steps, you will have decluttered your mind and come away with a clear understanding of who you are, what you want and how to nail that new year’s resolution once and for all!
Step 1: Priorities vs values
The first thing to do is to ensure your priorities match your values through some self-reflection. Try this effective coaching strategy; without overthinking, write down what your top five priorities are. These could include your family, your children, your work, your friends, earning money, or something completely different such as travel.
Next, think about how those priorities are showing up in your world. Where are you putting your energy? If your top priority is your children, yet you’re spending much time at work, there’s a significant conflict of values going on. In reality, the priority that is showing up in your life is, in fact, work. Getting really clear on what your priorities are and how you’re spending your time brings about a clarity and awareness that will help you move forward to where you want to be, rather than stuck in the same cycle.
Step 2: Daily check-ins
One of the easiest yet most effective changes I encourage for my life coaching clients is to leave their phone alone first thing in the morning and instead go through a quick daily check-in. In a world of constant ‘busy’, it is easy to fall into the trap of beginning your day before you have even left your bed. Picking up your phone and scrolling through social media first thing in the morning may seem harmless, but what you are doing is letting people into your space before you have had time to take stock of the day ahead and catch a few minutes to prepare your body and mind.
Instead, ask yourself, ‘what’s going on for me today?’ and run through your mind who you want to be to make your goals a reality. Take a few minutes to connect with yourself and take stock of what is going on in your mind and body; are you feeling re-energised from a good night’s sleep? Stressed about a big meeting or project coming up? Anxious about your commute? Tired from staying up too late? Excited about an outing, or grateful for your family for which you care?
To really get to know who you are at any given moment is a real gift, because it prevents you from reacting unnecessarily when people come into your sphere who may accidentally push your buttons. It helps you flush away the clutter and carve out the space to make time for what is important, rather than being swept up in other people’s issues or non-important chatter that clogs our virtual news feed. Make it your priority to get back your energy and focus – starting the moment your alarm clock sounds.
Step 3: Discover the real you
The next thing to do is really get to know yourself, to discover THE REAL YOU. Think about what are your motivators? What are your stressors and your stress relievers? What do you want to do moving forward? How do you want things to be different?
As you delve into your own mind and begin unravelling who you are and who you want to be, start to pull out your strengths and perceived weaknesses. The ability to become aware of your inner workings, to see yourself in black and white, is a real gift that will give you a solid foundation to move forward. Rather than looking at who you think you ‘ought to be’ and ‘should be’, it’s about taking 100 per cent responsibility for knowing and accepting who you are and what you can bring to the world around you.
It is your unique talents and skills that are going to serve you the best when it comes to deciding where to focus your energy, rather than trying to ‘fix’ your perceived weaknesses. By expending your time and energy putting out fires rather than flourishing productively, you will end up burnt out, tired and constantly feeling like that hamster on the wheel.
Rather than looking at what you ‘can’t do’, are ‘not good at’, is ‘not your thing’, instead look at what you can do and where your passion is – this is what will take you forward.
Step 4: Out with the old, in with the new
Now that you have discovered who you are and what you can offer the world, it is a lovely thought to simply move forward with your prosperity mindset and push aside your perceived pitfalls. However, we all know this is not that easy. Discarding the ideas and traits that no longer serve you is the next step – and a very powerful one.
We’ve all got our ‘roadblocks to success’ that allow us to sabotage ourselves in some way. Due to a complex set of circumstances and evolutionary conditioning, as human beings we are very good at setting up rules to keep ourselves safe. Your rules will tell you that you can’t do something this because it’s dangerous, or because someone once told you that you can’t.
So, every time you set these fabulous goals and strategies because you want to move ahead and run with an idea, you’re tripping at the starting block. Those limiting beliefs, the influences of parents and other people you have met throughout your life, they are no longer serving you. Shake off the shackles of past worry and expectation and discard the meaning attributed to the oft well-meaning negative comments that now haunt you.
Once you have cleared the clutter, you can start building some great foundations and find the gold that is going to take you to where you want to be.
Step 5: Leveraging your strengths
After you have taken a step back and reviewed your values, given yourself time and space, discovered who you truly are at your core and what you want, then discarded thoughts and ideologies that no longer serve you, it’s time to reevaluate your goals. You are now in a much better place to decide if your goals are really what you want and how you can tweak them to better reflect the real you.
From here, you can embark on the critical final step to channelling your energy and focus and finding more time for the things you love; it is time to start leveraging your strengths. This, in turn, will allow you to leverage your focus, your priorities and your clarity to pull you towards where you want to be, rather than facing the incessant push to the top.
Rather than being a human ‘doing’ and constantly pushing towards your destination, be pulled to where you want to be and enjoy the journey as a human ‘being’. At the end of the day, the destination – the goal – will either be there or it won’t. However, who you become on your journey and the meaning you put to your time means the quality of your life along the way will be much greater.