ED'S NOTE

Focusing on the focus

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Starting the New Year for me is always refreshing. Whether it is because I'm happy to see the back of the old year, or whether it's because the old year was good to me and I'm fired up and geared to make the next one even better, on both a personal and professional level. No matter how I look at it, it's always a positive space from which I intend to build the following 365 days of my life.

I also always start the year off with a list of new resolutions (cryptic and bullet-pointed), which I start making from the beginning of December. However, like most people I encounter, by the last week in January, once I'm firmly settled in at work and it's all stations go, I have forgotten most of my good intentions and failed the new eating plan, exercise routine and visions I've had for my business.

Research by the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology concludes that 25% of us will give up on our goals in just one week and by the end of the second quarter, the second group (more than half) would have gone 'astray'. Interestingly, only 8% of us will see those pledges all the way through.

I've been wondering why I always end up in that second group, and what I've been doing wrong. So for this year I've decided to tackle the whole thing differently to become part of that very dedicated 8%. For starters, this year we will not refer to it as New Year's resolutions; I'm calling it my focus for 2016.

Living in the century of extreme technology, my first thought was to download a few apps to help me along with my 'new' focus on fitness, to lose weight, save money, be more organised and help me to stay in tune with my business – among others. But as one of my focuses is to detach myself from my obsession with electronics and gadgets, I figured it would be a better start to manage my focus the old fashioned, traditional way.

Instead of just repeating the same ideas from last year (and the many other years before) on my focus list, I've asked myself how I can improve on my achievements on last year's 'list'. At the end of last year I narrowed the list down and attached a small plan to every focus. Somehow I started this year with a lot less pressure, fewer expectations,and on a positive note, opposed to dreading the next time I ignored my (often publicly announced) New Year's resolutions with some sort of excuse. And it actually makes sense: staying focused on not making the same mistakes can work a lot more magic than a bulleted list of resolutions that will fade away in no time.

To underpin all of that, I have embraced the importance of self-inspiration; the latter I will achieve by getting closer to nature more often and doing more regular outdoor exercise (not part of my focus list).

I guess the same principle can be applied when it comes to taking one's business or career from the one year to the next, especially in tough economic times like these. Can it be that we focus too much on all the ‘nitty gritty's’ surrounding us that we forget to focus on the focus? Yes, I see it happening all the time in interactions with clients, readers, friends and family alike. We gun for the end result without having a plan, or we lose focus of the plan and eventually miss the end result.

As we enter this challenging year, I wish you all the best of luck in both your personal and business endeavours. May 2016, if nothing else, become the year that we focus on the focus!

Lindsay

Sent from my iPhone

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