Avoid distractions – achieve your goals
Unfortunately, when we succumb to distractions on a regular basis we lose the momentum we need to attain our goals. Getting severely and regularly distracted might even ruin your chance of experiencing that wonderful rush that comes with reaching your goal.
Distractions can take a variety of forms
Sometimes you may not realise you’ve been distracted until after the fact! I can easily get distracted by thinking I need more information or validation for what I’m writing, from external sources. So I end up spending 30 minutes Googling stuff, only to find I had all the information I needed already.
Television, social media and the internet: some of life’s biggest distractors.
It’s so easy, after a difficult day at work, to contemplate vegging out in front of the TV and doing nothing for the rest of the evening. It’s so tempting to ‘quickly check’ what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social media sites that seem to keep the world connected, only to find an hour or more has passed.
And the internet itself is like a giant encyclopaedia that can answer any question you can think of – in 0.42 seconds!
I shared my own experience of this in the previous paragraph. Doing any of these things will distract you from your goal, making it difficult to get back to it. And the longer you put your goal on hold, the more problematic it becomes to reach it.
To avoid these distractions after a long day, it’s useful to think about the end result of your goal. If you can visualise the compelling outcome you want to achieve, it should re-energise you so that you’re ready to get cracking on that next step.
You can also set up systems and rules for yourself
Having the information or equipment you need to move forward with your goal in an easily accessible place makes it more likely you’ll work on your goal. For example, If your goal is a physical one, something as simple as laying out your gym or running gear before you go to bed can make all the difference.
Make a pact with yourself that you’ll give yourself 10 minutes to check social media once you’ve worked on your goal for 90 minutes.
Or record a TV Programme as your reward for working on your goal. In essence, set up systems that make it easy for you to reach your goals and harder for you to be distracted.
Listening to negative people.
It’s important to ignore people who say you can’t attain your goal. Detractors will just get you down. So if you think someone you know will behave in this way then don’t even tell those people about your goals. In fact there is research to show you shouldn’t tell anyone about your goals. I’m not sure I agree with it entirely but I do believe that some goals should not be shared.
Setting and achieving challenging goals will be difficult enough, without having people around you being sarcastic or dismissive. Just smile and ignore them – then go show them how to do it. In truth these people are often scared. They may be:
- Worried that in going after your goal, or in the achievement of your goal, your relationship to them will change. They don’t want that.
- Concerned that getting your goal will mean that they’ll have to change in some way to connect with you. And they prefer to stay as they are and in their comfort zone.
- Worried you’ll show them up because they’re not achieving.
Whatever their reasons are for being negative, that’s not your concern. While they’re wasting your time telling you why you can’t or shouldn’t be chasing your goal, you’ll be doing it.
Getting overwhelmed by too many goals.
Having too many goals at one time will disrupt your flow state and divide your focus. It’s OK to have several goals you want to achieve over a year, but try to focus on just one, or possibly two at a time.
Getting overwhelmed by too many steps.
Remember you only need to complete the next step. Define what that step is and then do it. The next step will reveal itself. Take that step and then just continue in the direction of your dreams.
Sometimes overwhelm can lead to…
Ah, yes, the P word! Procrastinating is tiresome. Once you put something off it doesn’t go away — it quietly sits there, at the back of your mind, taking up mental and emotional energy and making you feel guilty, tired and resentful. There’s a whole article on procrastination you can find here.
To overcome procrastinating you can change how you talk about the task you’re putting off
Or, you could visualise yourself achieving the goal. Then visualise the consequences of not achieving your goal. The combination of the two should get you off the couch. Even just completing one small task towards the achievement of your goal will keep the momentum going and give you a level of satisfaction you’ll never get from procrastinating. You know I’m right!
You’re not in the mood.
This is B/S! You know you can change your mood easily and simply – because you’re in charge of your own mind. Read this article on mood management. You could put on some upbeat music (or calming music if you feel wound up), go for a walk or a run, watch a quick funny video on YouTube, call a friend for a quick chat etc.
To overcome distractions generally, and to stop distractions from preventing you achieving your goals, it’s critical to connect with the reason you decided to go for the goal in the first place. What’s important to you about achieving your goal? What will it mean to you and others? Answering these questions will lead you to your big WHY? These heartfelt reasons will help you reconnect with your goal. And with that reconnection to your heart brain you’ll be able to overcome all manner of distractions.
So, no more distractions. Just get back to your goal – and NO excuses!