What’s your approach to life like? Do you find yourself struggling to set goals, or are you the kind of person who thrives on reaching for the stars? It’s easy to get distracted, sidetracked, or caught up in other people’s opinions about what’s best for your life.
You might need help staying focused on your dreams and goals, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t reach for them. Sometimes even the best of us need help staying motivated and keeping our heads in the game—especially when we’re feeling weary or stressed out in our lives. Here are some tips for how to stay driven and keep pressing forward no matter what.
Make a Plan and Stick With It
People with big dreams learn how to create a plan and stick to it. It’s why medical professionals seem to go through all their college years without quitting. It’s why aspiring PA’s end up taking Pre PA tests before they even get to school. They want to be prepared so that no matter what, their plan will work.
Plan ahead. This isn’t just a good tip for staying focused, it’s also the only way to accomplish anything positive in life. If you don’t plan ahead and set goals, then you’re probably not going to get very far. Without a good plan, you may end up feeling overwhelmed and that usually ends up with us being even more stressed than before.
Stop Thinking About the Past and Start Focusing on the Future
The past is over. It’s gone. You can’t change it, so while it’s important to learn critical lessons from it, stay focused on the here and now, and on the future. By doing that, you’ll be able to make plans to create a better life for yourself and those around you now, and later on. Someone with a future focus doesn’t spend time lamenting what they could’ve done better in the past. They let it go and move forward.
Accept Distractions as a Part of Life
In the real world, distractions are unavoidable. You need to find ways of dealing with distractions and learning how to accept them as a part of life. Staying focused doesn’t mean you live a life without distraction. It simply means you learn to press forward in the midst of them. There may be times when you need to remove yourself from the source that’s keeping you from pursuing your dreams and goals. There may be times when you need to prioritize different tasks. I.e. staying home to study for a big exam instead of going away for the weekend.
Give Yourself Some Breaks
It’s important to take breaks when you need them. It’s also important not to take a break when you don’t need it. If you’re starting to feel like your focus is slipping, or if the game starts feeling too hard, you might need some time to regroup. It’s okay to take a short or an extended break depending on your needs. For those who are college-bound, this may mean taking a semester off or it might mean shifting gears for a semester. Breaks are critical for your mental and emotional health. It doesn’t mean you’re quitting, just that your mind and body are resting.
Re-evaluate Your Goals and Set New Ones That Excite You
Now, it’s time to re-evaluate your goals. In order to stay focused and keep your head in the game, you need to set new ones that excite you. Keep them realistic but challenging. This may mean creating goals that are achievable but not so easy that they bore you. Be specific about your goals. You want to make sure each one has a clear plan of how it will be achieved and what the outcome looks like when finished.
The best goals are also measurable and time-bound. This means that you can easily measure whether you achieved the goal or not. Time-bound means you simply give yourself a timeframe to complete the goal. For people with athletic goals, this might mean booking a race or a competition so that you have a timeframe to finish your
Stay Positive in Your Thinking
This one may mean removing negative people from your life all the time. You want people around you who can encourage you and who believe you can do it. When you stay positive you don’t allow negative thoughts to creep into your mind. You can replace them with positive affirmations such as “I am confident” or “I am strong” to remind yourself of what you’ve already accomplished.