The problem you have, above all, is you’re trying to do too much all at once.
I should not because I have a cluster bomb of goals i’m trying to achieve right now. What ends up happening is you achieve nothing. You go to narrow and so wide that nothing gets done. Nothing gets traction. Then you get pissed off and give up.
Giving up is not the answer. Focusing on one thing is.
Here’s why you should focus on one thing at a time:
1. Your memory sucks
We now have so much information to store in our mind that we end up forgetting most things whether we want to admit that or not. Focusing on one thing frees up space in your mind to store all the knowledge associated with your one goal.
Get used to ignoring information that you don’t feel is needed. I do this all the time. When I check emails, most of them are deleted before they are even read. If an email is not aligned with my two-line purpose or my current goal, then it’s gone. Never to be seen again.
What you want to do instead is use the virtual memory in your mind to do the same habits associated with your goal over and over. This carves a deep path in your mind for the tasks and habits you need to be awesome at to hit your current goal.
2. Go for one big goal
Instead of having lots of small goals that are mostly meaningless, go for the big goals. Try knocking off one every few months or even one a year if you have to. My current goal is to pivot my career in a new direction. Then straight after that, I’m going to knock off some big speeches to up my public speaking game. Other than those two items, that’s about it.
Nice and easy to remember. This strategy puts large amounts of focus on only one or two goals meaning you get results faster. I find that as I gain momentum and see results quickly, my one big goal doesn’t require motivation. Your results should become your motivation and that requires all your energy and focus.
I had another big goal this year to sort out my love life. People laughed at how crazy and deep I went on this goal. Within five months and after more than fifty dates, I got my goal. There’s a lot that you can get from focusing on one big goal. Try it for yourself.
3. Keeps fear from destroying your action
Fear is a constant battle – even for me. Having too many goals means that you’ll get a small slice of fear with each one. Once you add up all of that fear, you can easily become crippled by it. By focusing on one big goal, you only have one slice of fear to deal with.
For me, changing career and nailing public speaking at the same time is just too much fear. It’s way easier to tackle one at a time. You can’t just block fear out and pretend it doesn’t exist. You have to work through the fear that comes with your goals and this requires smaller doses.
4. Your conversations become simpler
We all get asked to join 101 meetings and do lots of coffee catch ups. These two things already annoy me enough. What having one goal has done for me is make my conversations simpler. If someone wants to talk about something, if it doesn’t align with my current big goal, I decline.
I explain that I’m working towards one big goal and anything that’s not part of that goal is on hold for the moment. By saying it in this manner, you avoid sounding like a smart ass and your no is delivered in a respectful way.
5. To-Do lists become a thing of the past
These problematic lists become near irrelevant because when you have one big goal, you don’t have as many tasks to manage. Right now, when I wake up, I work on my career goal and then get to work. I don’t need a to-do list because there’s only one goal to think about.
6. Deep thinking sessions deliver more value
I tell everybody to spend a bit of time every day doing some deep thinking. When you have too many goals, these sessions are wasted. By having one big goal, I’ve been able to use my deep thinking time to really reflect on what it’s going to take to achieve my goal.
The progress I get from these deep thinking sessions has tripled. I’m no longer trying to fix all of the world’s problems every time I go into deep thinking. I’ve found that I’m becoming much better at solving my own problems because I can deeply think about what’s standing in my way.
7. Answers are much less challenging to find
My mind has become a beacon for the information I need to achieve my one big goal. When you have lots of goals, all the information you consume get’s lost. Having one big goal makes your mind focused on what bits of knowledge you need.
“All the answers you seek have already been presented to you in one form or another. The problem is that you can’t hear the answers because there are too many goals which have created a lack of focus for your very busy mind”
For example, my public speaking goal is something I always thought would be near impossible to solve. As I practice my habit of listening to podcasts, I’ve found that all the good tips for crushing fear when it comes to public speaking have been there all along.
People like Tim Ferriss and Gary Vee have been sharing the wisdom needed for good public speaking for a long time. The problem was I had too many goals, so I didn’t hear their golden nuggets of advice. With more focus, I do not only hear their tips, I’m meditating and doing deep thinking on their ideas.
8. You can’t be known for everything
Ever been to someone’s LinkedIn page and it says something like this:
“Kimbo is an entrepreneur, blogger, speaker, coach, finance professional, investor, advisor, avid reader, professional hockey player and lover of cars.”
I mean you can’t be known for all of that. When all of us see profiles of people like this, we end up switching off. Focus on being a world-class blogger, or an accomplished author.
“There’s no point trying to be A-grade at everything because you never will be, and your personal message will get lost”
9. Simple is always better
Whether it’s your goals, fitness routine, business, etc, simpler is always better.Simpler equals focus. Focus equals power. Power equals energy and motivation towards your one big goal that will make you unstoppable.
Stop trying to do so much because you’re not fooling anyone, least of all yourself. Chunk things down, go for simple and be incredible at fewer goals.
You can be a standout person when you go for one big goal rather than a huge lists of goals that never get actioned.