Post9 Essential things to focus on in 2017

It’s that time of year again. Wow! Where did 2016 go? Did you ever wish you could slow time down a little?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to charge into the New Year refreshed, rejuvenated and able to make every minute of every day count…

Here is a list of nine things that I think are the most important to focus on for 2017…

1) Don’t forget to have some fun!

Especially this time of year it seems like we all start taking ourselves way to seriously. Goals and resolutions are great and we all need to learn to focus in and get stuff done. But don’t forget to stop a few times a day and do something fun, a little naughty or even decadent…

Laugh out loud at least once a day and remember that the only thing that truly maters are the things that you’ve identified as essential to YOU…

2) Learn to say NO…

“No” is a concept that can have very negative connotations in our society. Used properly however it can be the key stone to a simplified, de-cluttered, life of awesomeness. I’ll talk a lot about identifying what is truly important to you in a minute. Once you’ve zeroed in on that important stuff, getting to it and focusing on it can take some work and discipline. Using the concept of “No” properly is one of the most efficient ways to get there…

Identify the top 20% of those things that are important to you and flush or delegate the rest…

Only focus only on the essential, (Tip, there are very few things that actually fit into this category)  Of all the teeth grindingly important things that you rush around and do every day probably way less than 20% of them are truly essential…  Make a practice of either getting rid of the rest of it completely or delegating the mundane busy work that “needs” to be done to someone else… Understanding how to effortlessly, kindly and efficiently say “No” to the right people, circumstances and situations is crucial to this concept…

3) Define what success means to YOU…

A friend of mine reminded me yesterday that in the grand scheme of things, really, “Nobody Gives a Sh*t!” In other words the only things that really matter are the things that really matter to YOU. Go on a mission to define those things. “Follow your bliss” as Joseph Campbell would say. Identify your life’s purpose. Don’t be afraid to be a little selfish. Take some time and sketch out in fine detail what your perfect life would look like and then get busy making it a reality…

4) Fix your finances…

Some of us are okay in this area. Others are allowing the lack of adequate monthly cash flow and sufficient savings and investments to create stress and strife in our relationships as well as hinder us from doing what it is that we find most important in our lives… if this is the case with you…FIX IT!

It’s not easy, but it is possible. And before you start coming up with all kinds of excuses about why you can’t, read this blog post by my friend and mentor Jon Morrow: https://unstoppable.me/life-lessons/

5) Remember that the past is not (necessarily) a predictor of the future…

No matter what has happened, be it great or horrifying, the past is the past. It’s gone, there’s nothing you can do about it except take its lessons and thank it for sharing. Focus in on the way forward. Just because you didn’t accomplish something or had a bad experience yesterday or last week or last year or last decade… Doesn’t mean that 2017 can’t be the best year of your life! You must however remember that doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity! If you want it to be different, you have to identify a different path and strike out in a new direction… (We’ll talk about courage on another day)

6) Get into and stay in consistent focused action…

Once you’ve identified what’s important to you and defined the top 20% of things that are worth focusing on and made decisions about the path forward… Get into consistent focused action and stay the course… develop a routine and the discipline to stick with it. A simplified life of awesomeness isn’t going to just drop in your lap. It’s going to take some work and focus… Taking massive daily action towards your target is one of the foundations…

7) Lose the excuses…

I know, there are some really good reasons why you can’t make 2017 the most awesome year of your life. Your husband left you, you sent all your money to that preacher who was screwing the hockey player, (If you need to, stop and watch “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” again to understand that reference) you have this, that or the other disease, aliment or condition. Blah blah blah…

No one cares! Sorry to be so blunt but being a victim is not going to get you where you want to go. If nobody else has the guts to tell you… I guess I’ll have to be the one.

Just stop it. Some of us have more hurdles than others. That’s just the way it is. But you can take just about any negative situation or set back and turn it into a positive if you have the right attitude. If you need to, click the link in #5 above and read the blog post by my friend Jon again… then come back here and tell me all about how your situation won’t allow you to succeed…

8) Eliminate the trivial from your life…

(Hint, it’s almost all trivial!) This gets back to focusing only on that top 20% of things that matter. Make a concerted effort to get rid of the stuff that you dislike, don’t care about or don’t want to do. I’m also going to suggest that you take a look at removing some of the things that you think are important to you. You may find that removing even some of the good can make room for more of the awesome. I have a new mantra… “Less… But better!”

  • Go off the grid once in a while…

Unhook, unplug, go incognito… Take some time for yourself. Don’t be afraid to leave you phone at home and go for a walk. Turn off the computer, and (horrors!) even the television once in a while. It will all still be there when you get back. Go look deeply into your loved ones eyes, do some yoga or take a long walk at a beach. Recharging is an essential activity.

Agree? Disagree? Think I’m a nut job? Leave me a note below about how you’re going to kill it in 2017

Happy New Year! Good Luck and we’ll talk soon.

Cary David Richards