Energy is not an infinite resource; we must protect it, harness it, and focus it on the results we want in business and in life. As we start another new year, another trip around the sun, it is a wonderful time to set out intentions and create some forward momentum into 2023.
The key is to focus on the present-future state of our life. Where are we now, in life and business, and what future state do we want to move toward? While we want to be in the present and thankful for all that we have at this present moment, we also need to have an eye on where we want to go in the future, so that we can act now with the end in mind. What we want to avoid, is getting hung up on the past and stuck in an emotional rut from our failures and losses. We must release the attachment to the past and free that energy up for what lies ahead.
Staying present in the now, while also focused on the future, and engaging our team to join us on the journey ahead, is a tough balance to find. It requires a lot of focus, discipline, and conviction. Here are some of my suggestions on how to do both well and create positive forward momentum in your life heading into 2023.
How to stay focused and engaged in the present
On an individual level, I hear from many entrepreneurs that staying focused and disciplined on a day-to-day basis is hard. It can be challenging for many to complete keep up with daily tasks and bring things to completion… Most entrepreneurs are highly distractible and have wandering minds. Here are some tips to help you maintain focus on your present needs:
- Create systems to make regular tasks easy to execute and repeatable so doing them becomes effortless. Templates, automation, or delegation are great options here.
- Create routines, such as time blocking to dedicate focus on key repeatable activities. Certain types of time blocks at the beginning and end of the day can help create powerful book ends of productivity on your day.
- Evaluate and prioritize everything. My brother and I use a method we call the “do, dump, or delegate” to help us focus on what is most important. Another way to think about this is by asking where you add the most value, that’s where the focus needs to go first.
On the team front, it can be challenging to keep the team disciplined and focused on what matters most right now. Many teams derail because they get distracted or focused on what is next, and ignore what is essential now. Some great methods I recommend using to help establish and maintain weekly disciplined execution in the business, include using simple and repeatable processes to make the repeatable aspects of the work simple; leveraging an accountability structure to create focus on who owns what; maintaining a steady meeting pulse to keep all circles connected and the team engaged.
How to keep your focus on the future
It may seem impossible to focus on the present and future simultaneously, but it is possible. Creating clarity on where you are going and how you will get there, will help you get there faster and more efficiently. Getting clear on your future helps you begin now, with the end in mind, effort, and investment in the present then become far more strategic and value-added because it is with intention and focus on the future.
Vision building and goal setting is a powerful practice that helps entrepreneurs move toward their goals with more clarity and confidence. On a personal level, this helps entrepreneurs create direction for their personal and financial objectives and goals. At the business level, this work helps to align team members with where the group is headed, so that they understand how to best use their energy and time to move the team toward those goals.
Another important thing to focus on is consistency. Once the vision and goals are created, these plans need to be reviewed and shorter-term goals set to get momentum on the longer-range plans. 90-day cycles are shown to create optimal periods of focus and execution on business goals. With the context of future goals in mind, it becomes a lot easier to prioritize what is most important in the present, because when we begin with the end in mind, we get what we want and where we want to go.
How to start 2023 with intention, focus, and momentum
For many, the new year inherently comes with an increased drive and encourages strong starting momentum. If you are highly motivated in January to start, use that to build momentum now.
Here’s what I encourage my clients to do this time of year to set their intention, focus, and momentum:
Step 1: Long-term goal setting: Step outside the daily chaos and brainstorm what you want to achieve in the next 3 years and the next 12 months. What does accomplishment look like? Make the goals clear and executable, then keep them visible to stay front of mind throughout the year.
Step 2: Short-term goals setting: focusing on the first 90 days, working to establish the most important priorities for the first quarter. These priorities will help you focus on what is most important and help to gain momentum on the bigger goals.
Step 3: Regular review: The simple art of regular, structured, and consistent review of the goals can help to maintain focus on them. When they are brought to the front of the mind and reviewed every week, month and quarter, there is less opportunity to get distracted and lose focus.
When should you start? Right now!
As I always say, start small, start early! I believe that starting early with your plans will help you gain good positive momentum for 2023. Even the simplest of plans with just a handful of goals or priorities can have a significant impact on your results for the year ahead. The time and energy you put into this work now will help you start on a strong footing as you launch into the chaos and distractions of the day-to-day, waiting for you on the other side of the holidays.
Note, even the best-laid plans may need to change from time to time. Execution and outcomes will inform whether you are heading down the right path or not. Growth-orientated entrepreneurs typically lean over the front edge of their skis, they go hard, and they go fast. Sometimes, plans will need to change to changes in circumstances and both internal and external forces. As brave and humble leaders, we must face the brutal facts and from time to time change goals, because it is the right thing to do. Sometimes admitting failure or error can be hard because of the investments made, but we must do it anyway. It’s about doing what is right, not what is easy.
Make 2023 the year of intention, focus, and momentum. Staying focused on the present, while also keenly focused on the future, can be a tough balance to find. Good discipline and practice can help you find the middle ground and begin with the end in mind. Remember, start small and start early.
What plans do you have for establishing and maintaining forward momentum into 2023? Let’s talk, hear about your goals, and set a focus for the new year – Connect with me on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.