Do you try and fit 25 hours into a 24 hour day? Do you want to do all the things? Your list may look something like: land that job promotion, plan more date nights with your significant other, try out a paint night with your girlfriend, prep healthy meals for the week, volunteer at that charity event next month, attend the latest play at the theatre... and the list goes on. While the list may be long, all of those things are important. Ready for some good news? You can do it all, just not all at once.
Allow me to introduce you to what has been a huge game changer for myself; using 'seasons' to guide your priorities, or what I call, 'seasons of focus'. Unlike the cold-dark winter, or the colour-filled fall, these seasons aren't about what Mother Nature's priorities are, but rather what yours are. After you complete a season and reach your goal, you start a new season with a new goal. For example, you could focus on growing your blog this season, set up a consistent workout habit next season, and take a new art class the season after.
This set-up works for 2 reasons:
Ever spend your workday jumping from email to voicemails to important tasks, only to head home feeling like your brain has turned off and you got nothing done? Juggling multiple things, and jumping from one to another leaves us with little to no progress in any of them. Whether these are daily tasks, or goals that make up our larger priorities. (Case in point: As I write this I've been switching back and forth to 3 other items on my 'to-do' list rather than just get this article done. So I hear you babe, it’s easier said than done.)
It’s Easier to Maintain a Succeeded Goal
As an example, if you know someone who's been on a weight-loss journey, you've probably heard that losing the weight is the hard part, but maintaining that new weight is usually easier. The same principle applies when working towards a goal; it takes time, work, and energy (mental and/or physical), but once you achieve it, you can start focusing your energy towards a new goal.
Now that you know how seasons of focus work, how do you actually implement them?
get clear on your priorities.
Priorities are areas of your life you want to optimize; they fulfill you, while goals are the specific things you want to achieve under that priority. Remember that your priorities are exactly that, yours, and know that they can change. Maybe now, or maybe later this week, I want you to take out a piece of paper, your phone, a sticky-note, or whatever is on hand, and list out what your current priorities are.
To help with this list, think where you have spent your time over the last few weeks. If you say working-out is a priority, but you haven't got a workout in, in over 2 months, then maybe it isn’t a priority right now. List out all the goals you want to achieve now, and in the near future, and don’t overthink it. Now, with your priority and goal list in hand, let’s put the seasons of focus into practice.
Implement Your Season.
Your seasons can be any length (1 week, 1 month, 1 year), it's up to you and the specific goals within your priorities. Here’s how you’ll determine your first season of focus:
Look at your current priority list. What's ready to take a back seat? What goal has been accomplished? Cross those items out.
Look at the goal list you created. Choose one or two goals that would feel really great to make progress in or achieve next, and put a star next to them. If you’re having a hard time narrowing it down (let’s face it, you should want to make progress in all your goals), ask yourself what would be the most fun to work towards next, and pay attention to which one you wrote down first.
If you still can’t decide, remember, those other goals aren’t going anywhere. If anything, you may decide the goals that aren’t your focus this season, may end up changing when you plan your next season. Set a timeline for your current season so you know when to repeat this process, and choose your next season of focus.
So yes babe, you can do and achieve all the things. Just take it one thing at a time.