Focus on your focus

At the beginning of a recent goal-setting seminar I was running, I asked the question….

“What do you find is your biggest obstacle, when it comes to achieving your goals?”




Somewhat unsurprisingly, around 70% of the attendees had trouble staying focused. Obviously ‘staying focused’ wasn’t exactly what they said, but variations of it…. “I seem to lose interest after a week, or so”, or “After a couple of weeks it doesn’t seem so important to me”, or “I just seem to get involved in other things and before I know it, I’ve gone completely off track”

So, with the new year fast approaching, what I thought I’d do this week is to help you to stay focused on your goals and complete your transformation!


The Power of WHY!

The biggest problem that people suffer from is dwindling motivation. The goal you set initially sees you fully motivated, you’ve decided to set a life changing goal and you’re rearing to get started!

This initial enthusiasm carries you over for a few days, or maybe a week or two, and then your determination seems to slowly drop away. Every day you become just a tiny bit less motivated until the thoughts of your life changing goal have slipped away into ether without you even noticing.

So why is it you become so complacent, so quickly, when a few weeks before you were charged with excitement and ready to change everything?

Well, the problem is simply that you didn’t have a big enough WHY!

Your reason for wanting to achieve your goal, is your why and it’s usually the bit of the equation that gets forgotten about.




Let’s take an example of a typical New Year resolution:  “I’m going to stop/give up smoking”

Well, apart from the initial problem of wanting something that is phrased as a negative, most people leave it at that. (there are very good reasons why you should always phrase your goal as a positive statement… but I don’t want to get off track here, so I’ll explain more in another post)

I used this negative terminology because that’s how most people who wanted to stop smoking would phrase it. What you should do, is make the goal something like… “I will be a non-smoker”

Anyway, once you have your positively phrased goal, most people leave it at that and try, using will-power alone to accomplish their dream.

As I said before, the initial impetus of setting such a life-changing goal/resolution will keep you going for a short while, then it just seems to fizzle out, because you didn’t give that resolution a good enough why!


So, how do I do it?

So, when your setting yourself any goal, always ask yourself “why must I be successful at this?” and then spend as long as you need identifying every reason, good and bad;


  • I will save a huge amount of money every month
  • I will be able to take my children to the park without getting out of breath
  • I will be stronger and healthier
  • I will be able to engage in more activities without feeling tired all the time
  • My health will improve
  • My clothes will smell fresh, instead of like a dirty ashtray
  • My sense of smell will increase
  • My sense of taste will improve
  • Etc, etc, etc.


  • If I don’t stop, there’s a greater risk of Cancer and heart disease
  • If I don’t stop, I may never experience the pleasures of having Grandchildren
  • If I don’t stop, I’ll never be able to afford that ‘?????????’ I want

Once you’ve got a nice list of reasons for wanting your goal, write them out in big letters a put it somewhere where you’ll see it every day;

  • On your fridge, or
  • On your bedside table, or
  • On the wall by the kettle, or
  • As a desktop on your computer, or
  • Anywhere else as long as you look at it every day.

Then, every day when you look at your list, picture yourself as that new person, swim in the ocean of good feelings that being that person will give you. Imagine being that happy and content, supreme being that has achieved their life-changing goal!

Obviously, before you can ‘properly’ set your  goal, you’ll need to know how to make it most effective. You can start be reading this post on how to set successful SMARTER goals.

So, that’s how you overcome the biggest problem for goal-setters 🙂

If you have any questions, either drop them in the comments, or send me an email 😉

Steve, who's also the Founder of Teen Anxiety UK, has been writing books and articles about various aspects of Psychology since 2006.

For the last five years, he's main focus has been in helping build confidence and self-esteem.

His formal qualifications include Clinical Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, NLP and CBT.

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