2019 brings in another opportunity to either readjust or start a new path. We don’t necessarily have to wait for the New Year to begin anew, because every day we are given brand new mercies to start again. I love the idea of starting each year off with a motivating word that sparks the inner flame and propels me into action. I believe that it is equally important to use a one word theme as the central point to draw from it helps encourage me to remain diligent on the course of self-improvement, enlightenment and living my best life.
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks” – Winston Churchill. Thus my one word theme this year is FOCUS! If there is ever a time in my life that I need to readjust and realign my thoughts on my goals it’s now. I took the time to “Embrace” all that was coming my way in 2017 and in 2018 I was sure to “Celebrate” all of those accomplishments. This year I begin the third stage in my five stage long term goals and it requires my complete focus. I anticipate distractions, hell I’ve had several while writing these short paragraphs however I refuse to allow every distraction to hinder my progression. If I am aiming to achieve what I've set before me then not every "dog that barks" will be worth my time.
My main focus is to remain focus on the objectives I created and formatting a strategy on obtaining them. I know that staying focus can be tough with the constant distractions and nuances each day presents. I, personally had to train myself not to reach for my phone in the mornings, but intentionally say a prayer or words of affirmation. That change has assisted me in setting the pace to a positive start to my day. My definition of being successful is accomplishing the goals I set for myself and that can only be done through dedication and concentration.
Practicing mindfulness has helped me to improve in multiple areas, such as controlling my emotions, calming down and being present. Mindfulness is about focus and training your cognitive abilities to be present in the moment. So much of what we encounter can be a deterrent that if one isn’t careful can easily be lead astray. I’m currently nurturing a positive space and that alone is compelling me to concentrate my focus this year on continued personal growth. I was reading an article titled “Improve Your Concentration” by the mind tools content team, in early 2018, the article was so helpful, I saved it. Here is an excerpt I thought could be useful:
Follow some of these guidelines to help focus your mind:
· – Many of us have trouble concentrating during the day because we're constantly worrying about other things. It could be an approaching deadline for a project you haven't started, a new colleague who's causing problems, or just the amount of work on your desk. If you find yourself distracted by worries, then note these down so that you don't need to hold them in your mind. Then schedule time to deal with these issues.
· – It can be much harder to focus if you take minibreaks (15–30 seconds) to answer emails, send text messages, or take quick phone calls. Some researchers believe that it can take up to 15 minutes for us to regain complete focus after a distraction.
· – Let your voicemail do its job. If your office allows it, close your office door or put up a "Do Not Disturb" sign to let colleagues know you need to focus. (If you're a manager and you want to operate an open door policy, then consider working from home or from elsewhere for times when you need to focus.)
· – This can give your brain a rest after heavy concentration. For instance, if you spend two hours working on your department's budget, you'll probably feel tired afterward. You can recharge your energy by working on a low-attention task, like filing, for 15 minutes before going back to your budget.
· – Having too much to do can be distracting, and this sometime causes procrastination. Or, you may quickly jump from task to task, creating the illusion of work – but in reality, you're not accomplishing very much. If you're not sure which tasks to start or which are most important, take 10 or 15 minutes to your . Our article can also help.