In a recent poll on my Instagram and Facebook stories, I asked whether you would like to see a product review or a post on how I stay focused. Interestingly more of you wanted to see how I stayed focused and although this has taken me a while to put together, I think this topic is more poignant than ever given the current situation many of us are facing; whether you are having to work from home now, getting up and working whilst knowing others may not be, having to multi task between being a business woman and now a school teacher to your children too or having to re-model your entire business to being online for the time being.
Before i continue I want to stress that I am no expert on home schooling children so I apologise if you read this and think pfft.. yeah right! But if you get some time to yourself, give some of these a try and hopefully you will find your head back in the game in no time.
So I want to start with the past me, a little lost, not really knowing what my end goal was and I guess feeling a little alone in some of my aspirations. I didn't know who to turn to, who to inspire me and I felt some of my dreams and goals were a little silly, compared with the people around me who may have been aiming high in their current jobs, wanting to start a family, travel the world etc.... and i just wanted to start a beauty business (Just, she says.... ) But in all honestly, I felt like I wasn't aiming high enough and like a small fish in huge sea.
Fast forward to current me and I feel like anything I want to do, i can at least try to achieve! If I have an idea, to hell with what people might think, i'm going for it! And I've learnt anything, it's that it's OK not to be the best at something or to look the best but to know that I am being the best version of me I can possibly be... That, for me is true happiness and success. I took some time last year to have a good think about what it is I want to achieve in 2020 and the in the future and with this I prioritised taking time to enjoy the journey and not focus on the end goal. When we chase the end goal (which we associate with true happiness) we often don't enjoy the journey getting there, which can lead to us feeling like we are failing. Taking small steps daily to improve, learn & evolve will help you to stay on track, stay focused and truly believe in yourself. I am not the same person I was 10 years ago, I may have the same friends and go to the same dance class but I am a totally different person through life experiences through what I have faced along the way and one key take away is that this is your life, nobody else's!
So shall i get on with it? Grab yourself a pen and notepad and sit down with a cuppa and make sure you have no distractions in the background other than maybe some calming music.
First off create a mind map - we learnt something at school, eh? Put your thought/goal/problem in the middle and branch off ideas as to what you can do to achieve this or tackle this to help you see it clearer and to see that it may be easier than you think, or on the flip side it may be a bigger fish to fry, but that's okay you just need to get planning! But you need to visualise what you want, first.
Top Tip: Make it colourful and pretty, something you would be proud to frame as this will encourage you to pick it back up or look at when your feeling like you've lost your way.
My other option, which is personal favourite, is to create a timeline or flowchart. I can sometimes have an idea and it spirals because i'm like 'oooh I want to do this! And then this and oh..then that!' and then I get myself a little overwhelmed and do none of it because I can't focus on one thing. By creating a timeline I can visualise how i can get to my goal and what steps to take along the way, I can also set myself 'mini goals' and reward myself when I achieve these, which keeps me motivated! Take this Blog for example, when I first came up with the idea of starting one my mind went into overdrive about what I wanted to write about and I wanted to purchase all the products from Cult Beauty to talk about, but in reality I am a normal 30 year old with 2 jobs, hobbies and a social life... along with a restricted purse! I needed to be realistic. So I mapped out month by month where I wanted to be and this has kept me focused on creating relevant and fun content at a pace that suits me.
Top Tip: Mark off your timeline when you have done these tasks or steps to stay on track. And if you don't achieve them? Don't see this as a failure, see this as a learning curve and move this to next week or month, your only answering to yourself, remember.
Another thing I do, is I give myself Quarterly Reviews. I know... I have gone mad haven't I? But if business's can do it for their team members, why can't we do this ourselves? This completely changed my mindset and made me see myself as my own boss, and even if you are not self employed, you can be the boss of you. I set myself 3/4 core goals a quarter, for example - Paint the beauty Cove wall that i spilt massage oil on...' or 'Book that course you've been meaning to!' and I set out the following;
- What do i want to achieve?
- Where am I now?
- Where do i want to be?
- How Will I get there?
- What resources will help me?
And then I score myself at the end of the quarter I fill this out to complete it (all on excel) and I score myself out of 5 and I'll tell you what... when you get a 5 you feel like you've got a bonus! Pass me the Prosecco!
Top Tip: You can do this for any aspect of your life, fitness, hobbies, jobs, money etc. Just make your spreadsheet reflects your goals and is full of pretty colours or pictures to motivate you.... excel isn't exactly the sexiest of tools to use. If you would like a copy of mine, email me at email@example.com I have already given this to an online PT & a Yoga Instructor I know and they both love it!
Talking of planning, to stay motivated I often write a list before bed, this helps me to plan out the coming day and get my thoughts and stresses out of my head and down on paper in time for a good sleep. Whether this be things you need to do around the house, people you need to get back to or things you need to sort, get it on paper. Sleep is so important for focus and I feel when I have loads running around my head I may struggle to fall asleep so by getting this on paper as a to do list the day after, I find I can then fall asleep peacefully.
Top Tip: Avoid social media for an hour before bed, go on, try it... you may find you drift off quicker.
One key factor to helping you stay motivated and focused on your goals is to surround yourself with like minded people, or people who inspire you. I took a good look at my Instagram a while back and removed any accounts that may fill me with envy or disappointment and follow accounts that excite me more or make me feel inspired, motivated or like, I too am bossing it! Take my beauty Instagram account for example, I follow a lot of local businesses & small businesses to stay grounded and a few bigger fish who inspire me to be better, small and local businesses often support each other which can give you a real boost! Comparison can be a viscous circle, see it as inspiration if you choose to follow 'Instagram stars'. This is the same with YouTube, I watch a few people on YouTube when I a change but i choose wisely! I like to Watch everyday women, with passions, goals and drive, whether they are doing up their house or talking about skin care or fashion, I need to come away feeling motivated.
Top Tip: If you find a partner or a friend or even a competitor who has the same dream as you, share ideas, help each other and support one another because doing this alone is no fun and they will teach you more through true honesty, successes and failures than any training academy or 'boss' can.... also if you want an instant answer you'll often get it!
I have a way to go but I am loving the journey I am on, my Main Tip is not give up on your goals whether you want to be a director at your company, start up your own business, become an expert at a skill you have learnt or save up for that gorgeous Chanel handbag... You need to believe in yourself first, and the rest will fall in place.
If you have any Top Tips please share them with me!