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Last Updated on March 17, 2021

How to Focus on Yourself and Accomplish Your Goals in Life

How to Focus on Yourself and Accomplish Your Goals in Life

Do you know how to focus on yourself? Do you do so during your morning meditation? Before bed, when you’re winding down?

If you want to accomplish your specific goals, it has to be constant. You have to put yourself first, even when it involves saying no to others.

At a high level, focusing on yourself is about paying attention: What do you truly want? What’s standing between you and your best, happiest, goal-conquering self?

Focusing on Yourself Isn’t Selfish

Just like everyone else on this planet, you deserve to get what you want out of life. You may already be wondering how to focus on myself. That doesn’t mean you’re a selfish person; it simply means you’re the one who has to work for it.

Say your goal in life is to be an amazing parent. To do that, you can’t take care of your kids 24/7. Although you’re going to have to spend time cleaning up after them sometimes, you can’t support them without a stable career. You can’t teach them to manage their mental health if you don’t take care of your own.

Before you can give others your best, you have to sort out your own priorities and learn to tell yourself, “Focusing on myself is important.” And again, it has to be constant: Your goals might change, and that’s OK as it’s part of focusing on what you really want. What isn’t OK is focusing on others at the expense of yourself.

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How to Focus on Yourself and Get What You Want in Life

Achieving your goals has to be a lifelong endeavor. That’s why it’s so important to start today. If you’re asking, “How do I focus on myself,” use these strategies to go after your goals and get your life moving in the best direction possible.

1. Spell out Your Dreams

Get a college education, land a job that makes a lot of money, and reach that next rung of your career. The traditional vision of success appeals to a lot of people, but it may not be right for you. Ask yourself: What does the life I actually want look like?

It’s up to you to create a vision for your life. You don’t need to know all the details, but you should be able to paint the broad strokes.

Say you know that you enjoy history and writing. The key stages of your life vision might include:

  • Work for a state historical society.
  • Become a freelance writer.
  • Write a historical fiction novel.
  • Win the Booker Prize for Fiction.
  • Become the modern Leo Tolstoy.

Or, let’s say you are working in healthcare, and while you don’t want a complete career change, you do want to pivot toward something different. You can start looking into online programs that would allow you to earn certifications without having to go back to school to earn another degree.

There’s no “right” or “wrong” dream. All that matters is one thing: that you’re willing to work for it.

2. Practice Constantly

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Do the thing, and you will have the power.” That “thing” is whatever your goals require of you.

One way or another, you have to put in the work. Writing skills don’t build themselves. Strong families aren’t forged by an absent parent.

The good news is, you don’t have to do it all today to start feeling good about where your goals are going. Break your goals into small, manageable pieces.

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If reading a craft book is what’s stopping you from taking the leap to be a freelance writer, start by reading just 10 pages per day. Over a month, that’s 300 pages—a full-size book. How does learning the business of freelance writing in just a month sound?

Small steps add up, so take one or two each day, and you’ll make more progress toward your goals than you thought possible.

3. Face Your Triggers

You’ve been told to avoid your triggers, but when it comes to learning how to focus on yourself, that isn’t the best advice.

How can you grow as a person if you run away from every trial? If you truly want to focus on yourself, you have to face your triggers.

Say your heart is set on holding public office. If you want to accomplish your goal, you’re going to do things that might scare you, including:

  • Speaking in public
  • Saying no to people
  • Taking personal attacks in stride
  • Working with people who you disagree with

Remember, you grow most when you’re challenged. Focusing on yourself means putting yourself in tough situations.

4. Tap Into Your Sixth Sense

Focusing on yourself isn’t a science. Finding your path requires you to get in touch with your intuition.

When you’re intuitive, you can sniff out a bad relationship before getting too close. According to best-selling author Malcom Gladwell, you can evaluate people with about 70% accuracy[1] in a mere five minutes.

How is that possible? Because past experience is powerful. Intuition is another word for using your experience to see beneath the surface of a situation. To learn how to focus on yourself, you have to trust yourself.

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With that said, intuition isn’t infallible. Don’t let it stop you from seeing what’s right in front of you. For example:

  • Your intuition is heavily influenced by your biases. If you find someone attractive, you may be more likely to glass over their bad characteristics.
  • If you’re in a bad mood, you may be overly pessimistic. Take another look at the situation once you’re feeling better.
  • Hearsay isn’t a good base for intuition. Don’t read too much into what others tell you.

The bottom line is to be aware of your gut feelings, but don’t let them drive the car.

5. Switch It up

Focusing on yourself isn’t the same as being single-minded. If you want to achieve your goals, you need new experiences to help you climb higher.

Every so often, try something new. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to do it again; what’s important is that you learned something about yourself.

Not sure where to start? Try one of the following:

  • Go ziplining
  • Learn a foreign language
  • Dye your hair
  • Travel to another country
  • Fix an unfamiliar car or home problem yourself
  • Invert your schedule

Experimentation helps you build skills and deepen your sense of self. Both of those things are critical if you want to reach your goals.

6. Put Your Health First

What better way to focus on yourself than to prioritize your health? When you feel better, you’ll get more done than you would working yourself into the ground.

You can get a long way by taking a “mother’s advice” approach to your health. That means:

  • Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes at least three times per week.
  • Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Spend less time on social media day to day.
  • Meditate for 10 minutes per day.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  • Take breaks often.
  • Ask for help when you need it.

If you struggle with maintaining healthy habits like consistent exercise, then try to make it more fun. For example, I’ve started taking electric bikes that have pedal assist when I go out with friends.

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You can also check out Lifehack’s free 30-Day Resistance Band Workout Challenge for a fun way to get into an exercise routine.

7. Start a Side Project

Side gigs allow you to call the shots, and it’s a lot easier to learn how to focus on yourself and achieve your goals when you’re in it for yourself.

Side projects teach you to love work again. The key is to choose projects that are aligned with your life goals. For instance:

  • If you want to become an acclaimed artist: Moonlight as a graphic designer.
  • If you want to become a professional driver: Be an Uber driver in a big city.
  • If you want to become a veterinarian: Volunteer for the Humane Society.
  • If you want to become a famous musician: Join a local band.

Although it’s nice to earn some extra income via a side gig, that shouldn’t be your goal. If it is, look for a different job. The point of side projects is self-exploration.

With that said, side gigs can help you further your main gig. Engaging in one shows potential employers that you’re willing to go the extra mile. Unlike many nine-to-fives, they let you build a portfolio of work that reflects your true interests.

8. Work Backward

When you’re old and gray, what kind of life will you wish you’d lived? Taking an end-of-the-road perspective can help you see blind spots in your plans.

For example, it may be a dream of yours to live in a dozen different countries. If you achieve that, however, will it bother you to feel like you never really put down roots anywhere? If you also want to be a parent, will you be able to do both while giving your kids a stable upbringing?

Working backward is how you play devil’s advocate with yourself. Make sure your life goals don’t require you to make an unacceptable trade-off along the way.

The Bottom Line

What legacy would you like to leave? Are you willing to put in the work and accept the consequences? Make a change today, and you’ll have taken the first and most important step to achieving your life goals and learning how to focus on yourself.

More on How to Focus on Yourself

Featured photo credit: Anastase Maragos via unsplash.com

Reference

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John Hall

John Hall is the co-founder and president of Calendar, a leading scheduling and productivity app that will change how we manage and invest our time.

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Last Updated on May 7, 2021

23 Goals in Life to Set and Achieve for Personal Success

23 Goals in Life to Set and Achieve for Personal Success

Many people want to achieve personal success in life, whether it’s in their business, family life, or hobbies. However, it is only a select few that realize that it is having the right goals in life that will carry you towards the dream of having your best days in front of you.

Personal goals come in every area of life, whether it be deeply personal ones, health-related, financial-related, or how to become a better person in society. Prioritizing sleep, practicing mindfulness, and keeping up with old friends are just some of the goals you need to adopt to lead a happy and successful life.

Imagine if you had a set of amazing goals that you could begin today and continuing pursuing until your final days. How would that make you feel?

Once you realize that there is no set destination in this game of life, only a dance to be danced, you are free to achieve your own version of personal success.

This article is set out to help you achieve just that. It highlights a variety of goals in life in different areas, such as health, finance, and creativity that will help guide you toward fulfilling your own potential.

If you’re unsure which part of your life should you focus on improving first, take the Life Assessment for free. After taking the assessment, you’ll get a customized report for free and understand how you’re doing in different aspects of life. Take the assessment now.

Then you can decide what goals to set for yourself. Below you’ll find 23 different life goal ideas that you can use to get started or to build on for a good life and personal growth.

1. Pursue Equanimity in Yourself

While many people pursue happiness, wealth, and health in themselves, it is usually only through equanimity where most important life goals become accessible.

Equanimity is defined as peak calmness and composure, no matter what life is throwing at you. If you can find equanimity in the most difficult of situations, then you will breeze through situations that others (and your previous self) found extremely stressful.

The best way to achieve equanimity is to practice putting yourself in tough situations again and again. Just like learning to drive a car, gradually what used to terrify you becomes routine, and that is how you start to level up.

2. Travel as Often as You Can

People often talk about travel as being a gateway to the soul, but it is hard to recognize just how true it is until you have done it for yourself as part of your life goals list.

Traveling doesn’t even have to involve flying to the other side of the world to become a Buddhist monk for a year. The benefits of travel can come from something as simple as a weekend away in an unfamiliar city in your own country.

Travel not only opens you up to new people, new cultures, and new experiences, but it also helps you grow as a person by reminding you that there is more life going on outside of your own personal bubble, making this one of the best goals in life to set.

3. Take a Class That Interests You But Is Irrelevant to Your Career

As a person who is passionate about self-improvement and creating a better quality of life, you probably love to learn new things and feel productive.

Sometimes, though, you can overdo the whole career thing and forget about what truly sets your heart on fire. You forget about all of the hobbies you used to pursue before “life got in the way.”

Go out and take a class that you are fascinated by or used to love that has nothing to do with your work. Not only will life get back some sparkle, but it will keep you much more refreshed for when it is time to work again.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Things that get a load of hype very rarely live up to their expectations. Mindfulness is definitely an exception.

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People have been preaching about mindfulness for a long time now, and its roots go all the way back to early Buddhism. Until very recently, the benefits were purely anecdotal, but scientific evidence is now emerging about the power of mindfulness.[1]

Mindfulness is most effective when it is practiced daily, even for just ten minutes. Sit comfortably and simply pay attention to your surroundings and your thoughts. It sounds simple but is incredibly effective.

Take a look at these 7 Simple Tricks To Bring More Mindfulness Into Your Life

5. Love Life for What It Is, Not What You Think It Should Be

There are countless times when life doesn’t go your way. It is useless to fight it, so you just need to accept and embrace whatever life has in store as part of your goals in life.

When you are consumed by what life should be like, you are drowning in your own expectations and shortcomings. This is a sure-fire way to lead a life of frustration and disappointment.

The only way around this is to enjoy every up and every down. Life is a symphony with a variety of notes and melodies; stopping and replaying one note that you like or don’t like spoils the whole thing.

6. Live Presently

Living in the past or in the future is where most of human suffering lies. It is often regrets about what you should have done or worries about what you need to do that lead to unnecessary negative emotion.

It is easy to forget that you only ever live in the present moment. Every thought and experience that you have ever had has taken place in the ever-flowing “now.”

Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to make one of your life goals to live presently, as this is the only place where life happens.

7. Run for 5 Miles

Even if you do happen to fall short of the marker, running is a good health habit to pick up, as it requires no gym membership and is accessible to anyone with a pair of running shoes. It should definitely have a place on your list.

8. Hold a Deep Squat for One Minute

You might think that this is one of the easy goals in life to accomplish because tiny babies can do it with ease. You might want to think again!

Although some of us can do it with relative ease, a surprising majority of people either struggle to get deep enough or fall backwards off balance when they get into the deep squat.

As an article on QZ points out, it is a form of active rest that is evolutionarily designed to counteract the bodily harms caused by sitting for long periods during the day.[2]

Holding a deep squat for a minute or more every day is a great way to boost your ankle, knee, lower back and core mobility, as well as boosting your balance.

9. Eat for 80% Health, 20% Pleasure

One of the best pieces of advice that I have ever received comes from a certified dietician talking about her own diet. She eats 80% for health and 20% for pleasure.

80% of what she consumes is food that she knows is good for her that she may or may not particularly like. The other 20% is food that she loves, no matter how “bad” it is for her.

This is one of the best health goals in life to have and live by. It recognizes that the vast majority needs to be the good stuff but life isn’t truly lived without the tasty stuff every now and then, too.

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10. Drink More Water and Less of Everything Else

Although things like coffee, protein shakes, and soda have their place for making you feel like a more productive human being, it is important to remember the water.

With over half of your body made up of H2O, getting at least a couple of glasses of the good stuff a day is essential to your overall well-being, especially as your body uses water in all of its cells, organs, and tissues and the role it plays in many other vital processes.

11. Prioritize Sleep

The hustling “no-sleep culture” is slowly fading away, and with it, a new appreciation for our oldest biological friend: sleep.

The literature on the importance of sleep is growing every day and is causing even the hardest-working entrepreneurs out there to start prioritizing some shut-eye[3]

Recommended Hours of Sleep

     

    Sleep has been shown to improve learning and reduce risk of depression, and even napping has been shown to be a great way to counteract some of the effects of a bad night of sleep.[4]

    12. Write Every Day for a Month

    This is one of the goals in life that isn’t actually as complicated as it might first seem. By writing every day, it might mean anything from one page of journaling to writing 1000 words per day on your blog.

    The act of writing helps to both clarify and organize your thoughts, which is key when setting personal goals. It is common to be brooding over a problem for days at a time only to realize how silly it sounds and looks when you see it written down on paper.

    Simply keep a small pad of paper and a pen with you wherever you go. Sit down and write a story at your desk, or write down some ideas about your next business venture.

    Even if you only pursue this goal for a short period of time, you will learn a lot about how creative you can be.

    13. Write Down 10 Ideas a Day on Any Subject

    Legendary entrepreneur James Altucher was the first to coin this idea of becoming an “Idea Machine” and the effectiveness of writing down just 10 ideas a day. Since it went viral, thousands of people have adopted it as one of their own goals in life.[5]

    The concept is simple: by writing down 10 ideas, you flex your creativity muscle that rarely gets pushed hard. Your theme for the day might be ideas for a book to write, or ideas for becoming more productive, or even something as silly as ideas about what you would spend $1 million on.

    The theme doesn’t matter, but the thinking does. It is usually around point five or six when people have to start thinking. This is where the goal becomes most valuable, and in no time, you will be an Idea Machine.

    14. Pursue Being a Beginner Again

    As you progress through life, your late teens and early twenties are far behind you. You have a better sense of who you are, what you like doing, what gives you joy, what irritates you, and how to interact with other humans.

    All of this might be convenient, but it involves a slow slide into your comfort zone. And as you probably know by now, not much exciting life is lived in the comfort zone.

    Ask yourself when was the last you time you were a beginner at something? The last time you knew that you looked a fool because you didn’t know what you were doing?

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    The answer should be often if you want to keep growing your character, personality, and fortitude when it comes to dealing with new and uncertain situations. So, get out there and try a new sport or a new hobby.

    15. Learn How to Say Sorry

    Alongside “I love you” and “Irish wristwatch,” saying sorry is one of the most difficult phrases to say in the English language.

    There is something about an apology that can really interfere with your ego and lead the blame to be passed on to something or someone else on a frequent basis. Because of this, not many people apologize in their lives at all.

    Therefore, it might seem like a bit of a trivial goal to have in life, but if you can learn the art, you will be one of the few people out there who knows how to say sorry. That is something worth striving for.

    16. Call or Text Someone You Haven’t Spoken to in Months

    As life ticks on, you tend to drift away from certain people that you were once close to. Even with your best friends or family that you still love deeply, it might be the case that you now only see them once a year as life starts to get in the way.

    Incredibly, you are fortunate enough to live in an era where distance has shrunk because of technology. Those friends and family that you don’t get to see face-to-face anymore are just a text or phone call away, so use this as one of your goals in life to stay connected.

    17. Consciously Maintain a Work-Life Balance

    When you are at your productive best, and the work piles up just as quickly as you complete it, it can become easy to get lost and think that work = life.

    The two are not equated though. Work is just one facet of life, usually the activity that you complete to make money or, if you are fortunate, something that you enjoy, too.

    However, there is far more to life than just work. Your relationships, friendships, hobbies, health and many other aspects are just as important and often become neglected in the face of work.

    It is a noble goal in life to limit your work and to take time for all the other essential parts of life as well. Nobody regrets working too little on their deathbed, only too much.

    18. Communicate Your Ideas With the World

    It is surprisingly common for an infinitely complex human like yourself to put themselves down and not feel like they are worthy enough to share their opinion.

    Whether you realize it or not yet, the world needs you. It needs your ideas, your enthusiasm, and your unique perspective on the human experience. While many people think they are doing good by keeping thoughts to themselves, they are actually doing a disservice to everyone who would benefit from their voice.

    Your communication goal doesn’t have to be giving a TED Talk. A great goal is to simply be more expressive about your thoughts and opinions and to be receptive to those of other people.

    Starting your own blog or podcast is one of the best ways to do this, but simply telling your ideas to a friend is a fantastic start for your goals in life.

    19. Fix Things That Are Broken

    If you pursue this goal, even passively, it will lead to not just a much better life for yourself but also for the world around you.

    The beauty of this goal is that it can be as small-scale or as large-scale as you want it to be. If you don’t like how your bathroom door handle jiggles, fix it. If you don’t like the fact that there is no app for that problem yet, build it.

    Entropy may be the natural state of the observable universe, but we can keep things in order for just a little longer.

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    20. Volunteer for a Charity

    This is one of those life goals that seems to be on everyone’s bucket list, but not everyone gets around to doing. If you can manage to complete it, the results can be life-changing and help you lead a more fulfilled life.

    Volunteering for a charity gives you an impression of what life is like for those in less favorable circumstances than your own. It provides a unique perspective about all of the blessings in your own life and is usually followed by a profound sense of gratitude.

    21. Aim to Live Debt-Free

    Debt is something that will hang over your head for the rest of your life if you let it, and it can definitely be a hindrance to achieving the other goals on this list if there is too much of it.

    Debt is almost inevitable in life, whether you are paying off a mortgage, have monthly car payments, or use a credit card. However, living debt-free has to be one of your goals in life, as well as the associated peace of mind to go with it.

    There are a number of ways to manage it, but perhaps the best way is to save a little more money when you get paid. Not only is it easier to save when you get paid compared to when you are running out of money, but these small savings eventually accumulate to big ones that allow you to pay off big chunks of debt.

    22. Stop Trading Time for Money

    Most conventional jobs do just that. The one resource that you can never get more of (time) is traded away for a resource that you can always get more of and, beyond a basic level of income, is only used to buy wants not needs.

    To stop trading time for money is to enjoy freedom. It is to take advantage of the universe’s scarcest resource and live life on your own terms.

    There are a couple of ways to achieve this goal; either find a job that you enjoy and you get paid for, or build new income streams like a side-hustle that helps you to buy back your time.

    23. Live Below Your Means

    To live below your means is the knot that ties the bow to the previous two goals.

    Just because you earn a certain amount of money doesn’t mean that you should spend that amount. Living below your means is spending less overall than what you earn, and it ties back to the preciousness of time.

    Trying to fund a specific lifestyle to impress others is not only exhausting but costs both time and money.

    Spend less and you will gain much more than money. You will gain time to get after all of the other amazing things in life, including some of these new goals that you have set yourself.

    Final Thoughts

    With all of this information on the various goals in life that you can pursue for greater personal success, I hope that you feel a little less stuck and a little more inspired than when you first stumbled across this article.

    As mentioned in the introduction, these goals are something that you can work at forever. Because the path is so long, don’t be disheartened by all of the bumps and jerks that will inevitably arrive in the journey. This is just part of the process.

    You don’t have to wait to begin any of these goals. You can begin working on any and all of them today. Take Lifehack’s Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination now and learn what you can do to start working toward your goals in life.

    Tips for Achieving Your Goals in Life

    Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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