If you aren’t hitting your target, then there is a good chance that your focus is not on what you want and you are being distracted. So how do you keep your focus tight ? The steps below are not sequential, but rather different practices that allow you to strengthen your focus and can be used separately or together.

Step 1 : Become Aware of Your Focus

Until you become aware of what you are thinking your focus will automatically follow your thoughts. To create awareness of your thoughts you need to create a conscious practice throughout your day where you stop for 5 minutes and allow yourself to be the observer. I imagine it as me stepping outside of myself for a while so that I can watch my thoughts flittter by. You will find when you start that you get pulled into your thoughts and the story that they are telling. This is natural simply because it is what you have always done. When you find yourself engrossed in the story, stop, take a deep breath and start again. The more you practice, the more aware you become of what you are thinking and how your thinking affects your actions.

Practice : For 5 min every hour stop what you are doing and just watch your thoughts.

Step 2 : Practice Choosing Your Focus

Becoming aware of your focus is a long term strategy that requires continuous practice. A more direct approach to creating the right focus is to consciously  choose it! What do I mean by consciously choose it ? Well, during your day how often do you remind yourself of what you have chosen to focus on ?

How do you start your day ? Do you just jump into your day ? Or did you spend 5 minutes creating a focus for your day with a set of things you want to achieve and ways of being you want to attain ? If you didn’t then your day will almost definitely not be yours and at the end of it you will find that you were pushed and pulled in any direction but the one you wanted to go.

Practice : For 5 min before you start your day, create it in your head first.

During the day,  when you find yourself in a challenging situation or when your plan suddenly falls apart, do you stop and allow yourself to just check where you are and remind yourself of what your focus was ?

Practice : For 5 min every hour or so, remind yourself of how you created your day that
                   morning. Repeat, repeat, repeat

Focus on what you want or what makes you smileWe are taught to focus on what isn’t working and if you pay attention during the day, you will start to hear that most of the conversations are about what is wrong. Well, what if nothing was wrong ? What if all that needed to change was how you see the world ? Start consciously looking for what is working and you will start to see more of that. You will also start to see more opportunities where other people just give up.

Practice : List 5 things that are working right now! List 3 things that made you smile!

Step 3 : Focus on what you have and be grateful.  

I know, who doesn’t tell you to be grateful ? If you do one thing that will make a difference today it is this, just be conscious and grateful for what you have But it is important enough to be a step on its own and if you do one thing, do this. Being grateful is not a habit most of us have – instead we focus on what is missing, never being present to what we already have..

Step 4 : Know what you want to Create !

And if you don’t know, start to become aware of what you like and don’t like. Take the time to end each day with a short review…what worked today ? What didn’t ? What made my smile ? What didn’t ? And then tomorrow, focus on what is working.

Step 5 : Keep Practicing, especially when you are ‘failing’
It sounds obvious, but this is a new habit you are creating. Don’t get despondent when you find yourself failing to get it right first time. Keep practicing!!! And give yourself permission to fail!

It doesn’t matter where or how you start, just start. It doesn’t matter for how long, in fact sometimes less is more, just start! Why ever not ?