We all have goals we want to achieve – finally getting that degree, getting in shape, eating healthy, raising healthy, happy, well-educated children. For most of us we do this by setting goals. If you have headed back to school you may already be feeling the pressure of homework, family, and other obligations. The dream of doing it all is nice but the reality is that life gets in the way. So how can you continue your back to school focus and still meet your other obligations?
There are many reasons why a person loses focus while pursuing his or her goals. The constant distractions in today's world mean that maintaining concentration can be very difficult. It takes time and it's so easy to fail in our attempt to maintain enough momentum, desire, energy and persistence needed to accomplish what we aim for. As a result we often give up and think our goal is unachievable.
Even our brains sabotage us!
But there are things we can do to refocus and achieve that goal. Michael Jordan is one the greatest basketball players of all time. His dedication and focus is well known and respected. He rarely missed a game and was known for being dedicated to practicing and pushing the limits of his capabilities.
The game has its ups and downs, but you can never lose focus of your individual goals and you can't let yourself be beat because of lack of effort. - Michael Jordan
Here are a few ways to help you focus like a pro
#1 - Focus on the little things.
“During my basketball career, I always told myself to focus on the little things because little things added up to big things.” Think about assignments not the degree. Think about weeks not semesters. Work toward your goals in increments and don’t take on more than you can handle.
#2 - Have confidence in what you can do.
If you believe you can do it you probably can. When you begin to lose your focus remember that you decided to pursue that degree because you believed you could do it. Think about the reasons you chose to do this now and how you will feel when you finish.
#3 - Don’t think about the prize think about the work.
If you focus on the little things and keep moving with confidence you will achieve your goal. Think about ways in which you can apply what you have learned in your current classes to your job and/or home life. Use your newly acquired knowledge in creative and practical ways. Make the work part of your life.
#4 - Keep it simple.
You have made a huge commitment and because of that you may need to simplify your life. If you want to keep your back to school focus you need to decide which tasks can be eliminated or delegated. Keep the distractions to a minimum and reduce the clutter, both physical and emotional. This is a good time to evaluate what is important and what is not. Learn to say no even to good things. Save your yes for the great things!
#5 - Control your emotions until the round is over.
Celebrating is a good thing if it inspires you to keep doing great things, but be careful not to overdo it. Short term accomplishments like completing that paper or finishing the course are important milestones but if you want to meet the end goal you must keep moving forward. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t acknowledge your progress, it just means that you need to put it in perspective of the larger goal.
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