How often do you find yourself getting distracted and focusing on the urgent rather than the important? You possibly know this isn’t the best way to get the long term success you desire. Although urgent matters need to be attended to, it’s those important and perhaps non-urgent, the unexciting tasks that will lead you to long term success. Moreover, these are the needle moving ones that are essential for you achieving the results you desire. So why are we so good at avoiding doing what really matters?
Well, the simplest answer is that you are a human being and your brain is wired to seek instant gratification. Furthermore, to keep you safe and avoid feeling uncomfortable. Now that one is out of the way, let’s see exactly how to focus on long term success a little more. Just like compound interest works, small steps taken daily add up to amazing adventures and great achievements.
Here are six simple steps to ensure you keep yourself focused on long term success.
1. Creating a compelling future vision is a key foundation for long term success
Creating a clear future vision gives you a clear direction to head for. Without one that is clear and compelling, you won’t be inspired to keep on track over the long term. Furthermore, our brains love bright shiny objects, variety, and are always on the lookout for visual distractions. Add to this, our attention span has fallen in recent years to a mere eight seconds, according to a study by Mircosoft.
To help yourself stay focused on your long term success, write your vision in a book that you keep nearby and check-in with it every day. This action step is a key habit and part of creating a plan to establish good habits.
I teach my clients a precise system that shows them how to create their own Blueprint for Success. This is a handbook that contains everything that is important to help them stay focused on long term success. Along with this, it’s necessary to create clear goals that are compelling, measurable and aligned to your level of commitment. I have my own specific CLEARer Goal Setting Method. To access a copy, click here.
2. Set Intentions that help you take focused strategic action
To start your day being by setting a clear Intention as to precisely what you want to achieve. The energy of the mind is attention so when you steer your mind towards the vision of your outcome you increase your chances of success. Add to this the feeling you will get when you have lived a great day and achieved what you set out to do, adds fuel to keep going. Because energy flows where attention goes, it follows that the clearer your Intention, the more energy will flow towards it. Consequently, you will be more likely to stay on track, keep focused and accomplish greater things.
3. Create a list of ‘Daily Doings’ separate from your to-do list
Discipline and focused intentional tasks are what create results, however, they are often boring. Furthermore, it’s often the same, repetitive tasks that are the critical needle-moving actions in business. Write down three to four critical activities that you commit to doing every day and each week that when done consistently will get the results you want. Moreover, as actions are the measurement of results it makes sense to focus on daily actions.
Chances are you know what these tasks are but you have a tendency to avoid or neglect them from time to time? Furthermore, you probably allow yourself to get distracted by more interesting or seemingly urgent tasks that feel instantly more pleasurable? When you know what needs to be done each day and you commit to doing the tasks consistently, you will get magnificent long term success. Simple yet not easy. When you add in way of measuring and logging your success with these tasks on a weekly basis you have another powerful tool. A measuring tool that shows how are you going and will be reflected in your results. You will be able to easily identify where you went wrong and what you need to do to improve on the next week.
4. Long term success requires you to become a master planner and action taker
Following on from the above, the more you schedule your tasks into your diary the more likely they are to get done. This needs to be one of your most important habits as it directly influences your long term success. Furthermore, a common challenge is to ensure your projects are prioritized correctly. It’s a balancing act that foils many business owners and busy professionals. If you need help determining what is important, check out the Eisenhower framework. Do whatever it takes to not get distracted by urgency. Categorize all demands into one of four buckets. Otherwise, long-term strategies are at risk of being hijacked by more urgent, day-to-day tasks.
Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower once said:
“I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent is rarely important, and the important is rarely urgent.”
5. Review Your Progress
At the end of the day spend a few minutes carefully reflecting on the day that was. Write down what went well and what didn’t. What you could improve on and what you learned. Above all, choose to learn from your mistakes and challenges. Review your day, week, month and quarter through the lens of curiosity and kindness. and then write down all your successes. Even the small ones! Usually, people focus on what they didn’t do well rather than what they did do well. For myself and many of my clients, this is a keystone habit.
Moreover, when you reflect on your successes at night, it gives your subconscious mind, which is awake 24/7, a healthy tonic to feed on while you sleep. Additionally, reviewing your week gives you a greater level of control and awareness over your life and is a great platform to launch off the following week. All of these small habits create incremental improvements that lead to greater long term success.
6. Celebrate and Reward yourself as part of your plan for long term success
Celebration and rewards along the way are a super important part of long term success. How else will you keep motivated to keep doing the same, sometimes tedious and repetitive tasks otherwise? Set milestones along the way and celebrate. If you have a team of people engage them in the process and set joint rewards. If you work alone make sure you have a wild celebration in your head because your brain loves accomplishing goals. It has no idea if they are big or small and will send you a shot of serotonin, the happy hormone which provides fuel to continue.
Finally, the bonus seventh step is to be consistent. Continue doing the above steps. Rinse and repeat. Consistency is the ultimate glue which holds all of the above together. Furthermore, it ensures you achieve great results both in the short term and for your long term success and accomplishing your ultimate goals. To help you be a consistent person, heed the wise words of William James:
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
If you would like to up your level of consistency to create healthy and helpful habits that support and champion your long term success, I invite you to book a call on my calendar. I guarantee results.
Mandy Napier is a Global High Performance Mindset Coach who is dedicated to supporting high achievers fulfil their potential and achieve extraordinary results professionally and personally. Transformations are the norm, and results guarantee
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