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How to Focus on What Really Matters

How to Focus on What Really Matters

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Do you ever get distracted and veer off from what’s most important? Of course, that’s a trick question. We all do, especially this time of year!

You might wonder how world-class performers have laser-like focus when it comes to their long-term vision and their short-term progress. Thankfully, there are tools we can all learn, so we can have remarkable focus too and achieve what may have (at first) seemed not possible.

Here are a couple tips to get started:

  1. For Long-Term Focus: Create a Personal Manifesto
    Olympians are remarkably clear about their future ambitions, and they visit them often. They visualize what they want in an extremely vivid and visceral way, and they are consistent about bringing their future self and their future experiences to life. 

    Here’s a example from my book (ZONED IN: The Mental Toughness Required for a World-Class YOU) that explains this point: 

    Months and even years before the Rio Games arrived, Kayla Harrison, a 26-year-old judoka (Judo athlete), practiced imagery training for 10 minutes before falling asleep each night... mentally going through entire days of Olympic competition. "Waking up, weighing in, packing my bag, getting on the bus, listening to certain music etc.” she said. “Every night I visualize myself winning the Olympics.” She then went on to defend her Olympic judo title in Rio!

    Not training for the Olympics? No problem. What you want to achieve is no less important to you. Start by writing your personal manifesto. Think about it this way If you had a magic wand, what would come to life for you in the next 6-12 months? Make it as vivid and visceral as possible. Mine starts like this, but yours can be simpler or more grand, whatever is appropriate for you right now: 

    "My name is Sheryl, and this year I help 10,000 people to be mentally tough. The way I do this will be via my coaching my monthly Live Mental Toughness Mastery Roundtable with Q&A program, podcast appearances, corporate speaking and training. The stages I will be on are… The people attending are…. They look like… When my sessions/speaches etc are over, the look in their eyes is… The podcasts are… The response is …" . The presence I am committed to with my clients and with my family is....

    You get the idea. Be sure to read it every night before you go to bed.

  2. For Short-Term Focus: Get Intentional
    Let’s say you are a world-class track and field athlete getting ready to start a race that will determine if your dream of the Olympics will live or die. Results are note left to randomness. They are remarkably intentional. You’re clear on what the most important controllable is for you to get the result you desire, and then you set and intention to focus on that. For the track and field athlete, it may be "strong arms" for example. As you set your sights on your next level of ambition, what that is in your control is most important for you to do your best? If you have an important event coming up, what controllable is most important for you to level up and do your best? Then, take a moment to set an intention to do that. For example, let’s say you have a pitch, presentation, important meeting coming up and having high energy and referring to end goals is most important for you to do your best. Set the intention before the meeting: "energy level 8 (of 10), end goals." 

    This is a way of directing your mind or focusing on what’s most important, so you can be world-class when it matters most. I even set intentions for my daily tasks, such as writing this article or when I make calls to prospective clients! Try this at home, so you can be even more world-class there too! For example, when you get home from work, take a moment to ask yourself : How do I want to show up to my family when  when I walk in the door?

I honor you for all of the amazing work you have done all year, and for the good you have already put into the world!

To your continued success and joy!



Watch the Video: 
Tune into this video Sheryl recently shot that includes more Mental Toughness tips, tools and habits on how to focus on what really matters.


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