Towards the end of 2019, a friend said to me that 2020 was going to be his year of reaching out. He was naming his year and setting a powerful intention.
By naming your year, you too can set a powerful intention to refocus on as 2020 progresses.
What do you want this new year of 2020 to be for you?
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If you had to choose, what would you say is the most important goal you are working towards now?
For that goal, how are you doing in these areas:
• clarity on what you want to achieve
• steps to get there
• identifying any support you need
• maintaining focus and tracking your progress
Setting a goal is your first step. Achieving your goal asks that you make it a priority and do what needs to be done.
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When you have dreams and goals, best that you set yourself in a direction to achieve them. Your actions and choices need to be a good fit with your dreams and goals or you can be led astray. Have you ever had an opportunity come along that appears exciting or useful in some way but you have a feeling it may not be right? Trust that feeling and explore carefully any opportunities that show up. Will an opportunity take you in the direction you want to go or is it a detour or distraction from your goals and dreams that appeals to some other part of you?
When you find the opportunities that are the right fit, you’ll move quickly towards achieving your goals and dreams!
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Do you “go brightly” in your work and life? You have the capacity to shine in all that you do. Shining often starts within. Ask yourself what is your focus, what do you want to achieve, what are you truly meant to be doing? Identify your unique gifts. Then, build the reserves within to bring your gifts outward to the world. Once you do, you’ll be shining brightly!
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A recent article in the New York Times, Productivity Isn’t About Time Management. It’s About Attention Management by Adam Grant makes a good point about productivity. “Being prolific is not about time management. There are a limited number of hours in the day, and focusing on time management just makes us more aware of how many of those hours we waste.” Grant came to a realization that attention management – the art of focusing on getting things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments – is what matters.
Time management really is an oxymoron. You can’t manage time, you can only manage yourself. Maintaining and cultivating your focus gets you in a zone that is key to your productivity. What are your priorities this week? Get going on them, excluding distractions and non-priorities, and you may find your week is a highly productive one.
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When chaos shows up, best to be ready for it. Chaos can sweep you away into disorganization, disorientation, unbalanced emotions and confusion. You don’t want that to happen, do you?
Being ready for chaos involves the ability to quickly get grounded and fully into the present moment, focus, discernment, insight and emotional intelligence. Developing these skills can help you be ready for whatever chaos comes along!
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In my last blog post, I looked at being fully present in the moment, as you face a challenge. There is another useful aspect to being present – you can consciously decide how you will spend each day. Doing this requires your focus – on what is important, your expectations, your commitments and how much time you have.
What if, each morning you ask yourself what you are going to do with the day ahead of you? It could lead to higher productivity, fulfillment and motivation.
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Challenges are part of life. When you find yourself falling back into the past or drifting into the future, as you face a challenge, remember that today is the best that you have. Looking at a challenge from the present moment allows you to see where you are right now and what is available to you. Sure, you can benefit from looking backward or forward, but doing so can be a quicksand that doesn’t provide answers or get you very far. Don’t stay too long.
Next time you face a challenge, remember that you have today to do what’s needed to turn things around.
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Sometimes, it takes extra effort to keep things going. It may be that your motivation is low, you are not feeling well or something or someone outside you is making things difficult. How do you keep going, despite the pull?
First, assess whether what you are trying to do is important for you to get done. If it is, look next at whether you have what you need to keep going. If you do, find ways to increase your motivation – perhaps by rewarding yourself or rethinking your reluctance. If you don’t, get what you need.
When you feel a pull or drag on something you are doing, recognize that it is there and minimize its ability to take you off course. Focus moves you forward. Delay holds you back and doesn’t serve you.
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You may hear a lot about planning for your life and career. Yes, there are a lot of generalities, advice and platitudes out there. If you have let them slip by, take another look. Planning is well worth your effort and time. What does a plan do for you? It focuses your attention, sets your priorities and requires that you think about what you want your career and life to be.
Compare the differences between having a plan and not having one. Which looks better to you? Granted, without a plan you may feel you have more freedom, but planning is about creating freedom by defining the life you want to live and how you can get there.
Do you have a plan for your life and career? If not, try creating one. It can be short or long-term. Tie it to your dreams and aspirations and you’ll be on your way!
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