Saturday, September 1, 2012

FOCUS - Follow One Course Until Success

Focus
Focus (Photo credit: Michael Dales)
by Ron Rosenberg

It's sometimes funny how life works. You're busy doing whatever it is you do every day and then something is said that really hits home and makes you think long and hard about something.

That's what happened to me the other day when I was taking a cycling class at the YMCA.

Our instructor was leading the class and giving specific instructions on how fast to pedal and encouraging us to do our very best - it's our class, of course, so we need to push ourselves so we can improve and make progress.

She is a 1981 graduate of West Point, so you always know she's prepared and on time for class. Plus, she's very disciplined (thanks to her training at West Point), and had recently completed the Disney Marathon (the Goofy Challenge) where she ran a half marathon one day and a full marathon the next.

That's when she asked us in the class if we knew what the acronym FOCUS meant? We shook our heads, no, and she said, "Follow One Course Until Success!" And I immediately thought, "Wow, that makes a lot of sense." So for the next half hour, as I was pedaling I thought about this concept.

Goal Setting

In life it's important to set goals. If you don't set them, then there's nothing you need to strive for. Last year I set the goal that I wanted to complete a half marathon.

The thing is with any goal, there is a path you need to take to get you there. If you want to learn another language, if you want to travel to a foreign country, if you want to lose 25 pounds, all of these goals have specific steps you need to take in order to reach them.

If you want to learn a language, for instance, you have to decide if you want to take a class or do on-line training. You need to schedule time each day to study and practice your skills. You may want to join a "Meet-Up" group where you can converse in the language. You might want to plan a trip so you can be immersed in the language and become fluent.

Follow One Course

That's what I really liked about the word, course, as opposed to goal. Because many people have a goal, and it sometimes can be a lofty one. A lot of times it's sitting out there and seems too difficult to accomplish ... because as I stated previously, there's usually a lot you need to do to achieve your goal.

That's why so many of us put off our goals and go on with "business as usual." We'll get to that when the kids are gone, when I'm feeling better, when I'm retired; and you don't make any progress towards your goal. For many years, I've had a goal to learn French. And I have been putting it off until my daughter goes to college, because then I'll have more time. Will I? Or will I find another excuse?

So instead of setting goals, why not rather set a course for what you want to achieve. When you set a course, you're planning on how to get where you're going. Then you can focus on that course, doing whatever it takes, until you achieve success.

This may not be complete attainment of your goal, but might be the minor successes you achieve along the way. For me, when I completed my half marathon, I was very ecstatic. I had attained a goal that I wanted to achieve and I did it in 2 hours and 24 minutes, which was a good time for me.

But the real enjoyment for me was "the course." It was planning how I was going to complete the half. It was doing training runs with my best friend (there's not a lot of talking as we run, but it's incredibly comforting having a friend by your side). And it's the progress I'm seeing each and every day I train.

Your Assignment

Right now, go to your calendar and pick a time when there aren't any distractions and think about what you would like to achieve in the next few months, few years, or before you "kick the bucket."

Pick something you'd like to accomplish and determine your course, the one course you want to follow. What do you need to do to get there? Then start to FOCUS on it ... every day, every week, and every year. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish and you'll feel great when you do.

Ron Rosenberg is a nationally recognized expert on marketing and customer service, business coach, and public speaker. Maximize your marketing efforts and generate more revenue in less time with his Business Self-Defense 90-Day Success Program and Business Owner Survival Kit. Get free marketing tools, tips, and tactics at http://www.RonsBusinessCoaching.com or for details on our speaking and coaching programs contact us at 800-260-0662 or info@qualitytalk.com.

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