3 Quick Tips for Remaining Focused
About 3 minutes to read
Most of us make resolutions coming into a New Year. By the 3rd of January, many have broken them.
I no longer do this. It seems like an exercise in futility as often I become embroiled in the holiday season festivities and excitement of entering a fresh, clean new year.
However as my birthday rolls around each year I am often introspective and reflective of the year that has been and the one that is to come. This is a good time to regain or remain on focus for me.
Today is my birthday, and yes, I am happy to be “aging” into more grace and wisdom. Over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on my experience of walking the Camino Francés at this time last year.
When I reflect on the 365 days that have passed, I can only marvel at the journey I have undertaken.
This has been one of the most challenging years of my short life and one of the most fulfilling, inspired and joyful years.
Shortly before my last birthday, I set some major goals for my life. Actually, this is not fully true. I can say I made some grand statements and the universe has conspired with me to make them happen.
I have not always remained on point but reflecting on my life, I see that in this past year I have been more focused than ever before.
What has been different? Looking back, these three practices, and habits have enabled me to remain focused with greater consistency.
Know your purpose
There is a saying, “He who has no vision perishes,” and I find this to be true. When we lack vision or sense of purpose, we allow things to drift, forget our direction, and become rudderless.
We each have purpose in life. Even seemingly, insignificant parts of our bodies such as the appendix or horrible horse flies have purpose.
This year I have chosen to align myself closely to my life purpose and to live on purpose. When doubts and insecurities set in or the sense of purpose diminished, I consciously brought my purpose back into my vision. Even though I cannot see around the next corner does not make the purpose invisible. It is always there and I need to remain purposeful in thought and deep to maintain focus.
Hold fast to your values
Many people think that their values remain unchanged. From my experience, I do not find this to be the case. When I was younger, I valued different things to what I now do. Where I once valued money, I now value abundance. Where I once valued popularity, I now value deep, lasting relationships.
Knowing what I value and how my values affect me each day helps to keep me focused on my purpose in life and keeps me on track when distractions, big and small, come along.
When new opportunities arise and old challenges resurface, I perform a quick mental audit to see how they align with my values. If the situation is unaligned with my values, I have learned to walk away much fast than previously.
Knowing what I value enables me to reduce unnecessary clutter in my mind and life.
When was the last time you checked in with your values? Here is a good values exercise from Mind Tools that might interest you.
Jon Kabat Zinn has popularised the idea of mindfulness in modern society. Stemming from Buddhist tradition it is the intentional, accepting and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in this present moment. 1
In a society, where mindlessness seems prevalent – losing my mind, mindless speech, television, violence etc. is it not wonderful to take responsibility for your mind in a non-judgemental, accepting manner.
Mindfulness does not only involve meditation but all activities in our lives. We can apply it to walking, talking, eating, socialising, loving. Being present in this moment, slowing down, being aware – this has been one of the greatest habits walking the Camino cemented for me this past year.
Here is a great resource to learn about mindfulness. Enjoy.
To remain focused I now practice these three steps daily.
Knowing my purpose on a deep inner level keeps me from falling out the boat when the seas become choppy. Being mindful of the moment and present within myself reminds me that this too shall pass and right in this moment, all is well. Reminding myself constantly of what I value and hold to be true is my yardstick by which I measure everything.
I hope these quick tips have inspired and benefited you today.