Do you know where your focus is taking you?
By Anne Bachrach
A.M. Enterprises (The Accountability Coach)
As a financial professional, you know the importance of focus and how it directly affects your success, for better or worse. This is most evident when applied to your goals; the more focused you are, the more precise your actions can be, getting you closer to your goals more quickly. But did you know there are different levels of focus? The level that you are focused on will determine where you’re going. So the question is, do you know where your focus is taking you?
While I suggest that focusing on a single task at any one time is ideal, I’m about to introduce an exception to that rule. The exception applies to the focus you place upon your short-term and long-term goals.
As I mentioned, there are different levels of focus. They are: Current, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and life. Unfortunately, when it comes to goals, having too much focus on short-term goals can cause short-sightedness. Focusing only on your short-term goals means that your yearly or life goals may never get the focus they deserve.
Let’s explore the different levels of focus.
Immediate focus is the most basic form of focus, and the goals that are immediately in play. In the moment, focus is useful for getting from step A to step B, B to C, and so on. As an entrepreneur, this is an important tool to use when completing complex tasks that must be broken down into smaller pieces.
Made up of the goals for the day, this list ranges from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed and could include personal and/or professional achievements. Your daily focus should support your monthly focus. Try to have at least one powerful daily focus each day — something that will visibly and immediately have a positive impact.
The short-term goals for the month. These should always support other short-term goals (six months, yearly), as well as long-term goals. Choose one powerful monthly focus for each month of the year, and be sure your daily focus supports monthly achievements.
The goals to be achieved within one calendar year. Your yearly focus should contain somewhat achievable and stretch goals, as well as stepping stones to long-term goals and your overall purpose in life.
Overall life focus
This is more about overall purpose in life — the big picture. This is about focusing on who you want to be, what you want to experience and your core values. To achieve all the goals you have set for yourself, you must use all levels of focus. The reason being, each step you take, however small, directly affects your ability to achieve your life goals. When you are consciously aware of all levels of focus, you can determine which steps will support your goals and avoid the steps that do not.
Before you apply this information to your life, take some time to write down your goals. Start with your life focus and then work backwards, including each level of focus until you reach the daily focus. You want to start with your life focus so you can start with the big picture. From there, you can break down your focus into yearly, monthly and then daily goals. Each night before you go to bed, write down your daily focus for the following day. You may want to buy a small notebook or keep a lined tablet in your daily planner, so you always have it on you, even if you’re on the road.
*Important note: If your goals are in conflict, nothing will be achieved. All short-term goals should support other short-term goals, as well as your long-term goals. Get clear on what you really want to achieve over a lifetime and then break it down into smaller steps that can be achieved yearly, monthly and daily.
In an effort to encourage you to achieve your goals easier and faster, leave the past where it belongs — in the past. It’s tempting to replay old scenarios that you would change if you had a second chance, but focusing on the past takes away valuable energy that should be used for the present and future. Take the lessons you’ve learned from past experiences and apply them to your success. You can’t change the past so there is no need to dwell on it. Easier said than done, and yet good to keep in mind.
It is a great time to be a financial professional. Increase your focus on your highest pay-off activities and put yourself in the highest probability position to achieve your goals so you can have an even more successful and balanced life.
Remember, your energy will always go in the direction of your focus, so keep it where you can make some real changes — in the present and future. Focus on what you really want in life and work toward achieving those things so you can fulfill everything you want in life.