2020 was a challenging year for most of us, life changed in so many ways. A lot of us lost control of our external environments, with lockdowns and restrictions we often didn’t feel like the master of our fate. While our external freedoms may have been restricted it’s important to remember that our internal state is always within our control.
Whatever challenges we face we still have the choice to create something good for ourselves.
As always, the close of one year and the beginning of a new one is a good time to start thinking about what you want for the year to come.
Do you want to feel more in control?
Do you have goals that weren’t achieved in 2020?
Do you want to make 2021 a year to remember for the right reasons?
When you decide on your goals for next year you will need to ensure you have space and time for them to happen.
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time for that is the stuff life is made of – Benjamin Franklin
We all waste time, sometimes consciously and very often unconsciously. We browse social media, we read the news, we watch Netflix, we laze around. While none of these activities are bad in themselves it’s when they prevent us from reaching our goals that they pose a problem.
These activities are the obvious things that we can choose to stop doing if we are motivated to find more time for our goals. There are many activities that waste our time and we might not even be aware we are doing them.
Here are the top 5 that I see when coaching people.
1. Not being clear about what you want
I’ve had many clients who want to change but they don’t know what they want.
They know their current career or job is not fulfilling but it pays the bills and they have no idea what else they could do. I’ve had other clients who chop and change their minds every time you see them. Putting their attention temporarily on a goal to switch to another one the following week.
Whether you do one or both of these things, when you don’t have clarity on where you are headed it’s obvious you are never going to get there.
So many of us waste our lives because we don’t ever get clarity on what we want.
What prevents you from having clarity? There are many things, if your life is cluttered, when you are disorganised, stressed or overwhelmed, all of these things can create a fuzziness in the head which isn’t conducive to making decisions. If this is you, make time for clearing, organise what needs to be organised and stop avoiding the things that you know will have a positive impact. Once you have some clarity you can then make a decision
2. Sometimes we just need to make a decision
Alongside the lack of clarity often comes the fear of making the wrong decision but sometimes we just have to make the decision.
If you are feeling stuck and unsure and you don’t know which road to take, just make a decision, you can be guided by your intuition which is usually the first voice you hear or you can let your logic at the decision and analyse it backward and forwards.
Whatever you chose to do, take action, commit to giving a goal a certain amount of time before you get nervous and back out. And if something feels right but the only thing stopping you is fear, don’t let fear stand in the way of your goals. A lot of decisions I have made in business may not have been the correct ones, I’ve spent weeks and months working on projects that turn out to be dead ducks but I never regret it because I always learn something along the way. So if you approach each decision in a light hearted way and know that whatever happens you will grow from it, it might make it easier to go for it.
3. It needs to be a priority
When you have now made a decision on what goal you are working on, it needs to become your priority. Make it a priority, your core focus for the time period it will take to achieve it. For example whenever I wrote any of my books, the book was my core goal for the year. It took precedence over other projects or ideas that may have popped up during the year.
Making something your priority your core focus for the year or the time that it takes doesn’t mean you cannot work on any other goals but it means you don’t drop the ball on the core goal. You always plan and schedule time for it and if you have to chose one over the other you know which one you will choose. What often happens with goals, something else important crops up and because you may not have a deadline for your personal goal you put it off, you prioritise work or family every time. Every time you fail to prioritise your own goals you are sending yourself a message that you and your goals are not important. You will want to stop doing this.
4. It needs to be allocated time
Create a space for your goal in your week, even if you only commit to 30 minutes every week. 10 minutes a day will write a book was the advice I received many years ago from a friend. This advice helped me to overcome my fear and resistance and it got me writing. The type of small promise is an easy commitment to make and It creates the momentum for more to come.
A small step has less resistance and the old “I don’t have time” excuse goes out the window. Choose a day and time and stick with it, in this way everyone knows that’s your time and they will be less likely to disturb you. If your time is your own. Schedule the amount of time you want to allocate to your goal into your calendar and make it sacred.but again start small and don’t try too much at once.
5. Eliminate the Time wasting Activities
When people focus on the goal of becoming an early riser they often fail the first couple of attempts. They are usually not successful because they fail to change their other habits. They try to get up earlier than usual without adjusting their night time habits. When they go to bed earlier and stop watching Netflix or social media they find it much easier to do. An added bonus from not sitting in front of the tv at night means there is less evening snacking! So making time for our goals sometimes begins the night before.
If you are interested in creating the habit of rising early, or any other habit check out my Facebook group LifeDesigners where you will get regular tips on creating positive habits.
If you want help getting organised this year and to spend time working on your goals personal and professional check out my Workflow course . In the course I help people get clarity on their goals and give them systems to help them be more focused and organised each day. I show them how they can stop procrastinating, stay focused and achieve more than they ever have before.
Workflow is not just about becoming more productive at work it’s also about making sure you are making space for your life and your goals. So if you want to make space and time for you and your goals in 2021 I would love for you to join me.