I have so many passions and ideas that I can’t find my focus, gaaaah!
– said almost every millennial ever.
There’s no denying that we have a ton of goals – especially creative millennials who just know there’s something out there for us. But when it seems that all our other friends or colleagues (or even just people we look up to) are really slaying their own goals, that’s probably because they’ve found their one big focus.
Your problem? You don’t know how to find your focus yourself.
And because I’ve #beentheredonethat, here are 3 actual action steps that I personally took to learn how to focus on just one goal – even if I had a million to begin with.
To focus on one goal, you’ve got to know all your goals
And if you’re anything like me, you’re multi-passionate, you’re go-getting – and you have been utterly lost. And that’s okay.
I don’t believe in keeping in all those ideas. So contrary to popular belief, when I found myself wanting to do every possible thing that seemed slightly interesting, I actually didn’t stop the dam from overflowing. Instead, I entertained every single goal that came to mind.
More than just entertain, I actually wrote them all down. (I’m a lover of lists, and maybe you are too – check out my massive post of 30 different kinds of lists to make when you want to beat overwhelm!)
Yes, I wrote down all my goals. Every single one! Just whipped out a notebook and wrote down every single goal I ever had waiting to be slain.
Does that sound counterintuitive? Maybe. But here’s the why and how behind doing a huge brain dump of all your goals and ideas.
By listing down all those big, hairy, scary goals, you eventually get to see which ones mean the most to you.
On my list, I had things like “Start a YouTube channel,” “Go on a solo vacation,” and even “Put up a dance school.” (That last one sounds pretty crazy!) I even have a massive mix-and-match list on 350+ passion projects you might want to try next, just in case you need the inspiration.
So once I had my big, bad list of goals in front of me, I knew it was time to get serious.
Find your focus by actually picking your focus
Look at that long (or short – it doesn’t matter!) list of goals before you and ask yourself:
Which are THE goals I cannot let get away?
Chances are, as you were listing down those goals, you might have found yourself gravitating towards a couple or a handful. Pay attention when that happens! Your gut is trying to tell you something. So open your heart-ears and listen to what your feelings have to say!
Go through the list a couple times if you have to. Really zoom in on each item, and pay attention to how you’re feeling when you think about them.
I also have a few guide questions I ask myself whenever I reflect on things like these. You might find these useful in figuring out how to find your focus, so feel free to whip out a journal in case you really need to get that reflection train running!
- Is this goal something that excites me?
- Do I see myself committing to this goal for at least 3 months?
- Is this a goal I want to do for myself, or because I think other people expect me to do it? (Spoiler alert: this was the reason I wanted to start a dance school in the first place – other people’s expectations!)
- Am I willing to do whatever it takes to see this goal through? Or am I only enticed by the idea of the goal?
Ask this question about each of the goals on your list until you get to about 3-5 items you have a really good feeling about.
Take your goals on a test run
Got that handful of goals you think you want to focus on? Great. Now it’s time to buckle up because you’re about to take these goals on a test run.
But wait! Do I mean take all these goals for a test run at the exact same time?
Here’s a secret – you’ve had a superpower all this time but you didn’t know it.
You have the power to choose.
Choose just one goal to focus on. It may seem scary. You might have all these big fears about deciding – what if I end up not liking this goal? what if I find out I want to do something else? – but don’t worry about it.
If, while taking one goal on a test run, you realize it’s not the goal you actually want to work on, that’s already a big win. Just realizing what you actually want to do is already a big step towards getting there. So congratulations!
But just a pro-tip: for every test run of every goal you do, I like to make sure I commit for a whole month. So you’ll want to take that first goal out on a test run for longer than just a week or a day to be really sure if you want to see it through or not.
What happens if I want to switch the goal I’m working on?
I get it. For some people – maybe even you – it might take a while to find your focus. But again, that’s perfectly okay.
This whole thing in life is just one big series of “figuring things out,” and especially for something as personal as big goals we want to achieve.
So if you find yourself unhappy, too paralyzed, completely drained trying to achieve the one goal you set for yourself – assuming you gave it enough time! – then maybe it’s time to move on. Move on and then start again.
Go back to the big list you made, go back to the 3-5 goals you picked out. Do another heart- and gut-check. Which goal did you keep thinking about while you were doing the test run of the first goal you picked?
I’ve always believed that the things we’re meant to do are the things we think about often.
They’re the things that keep us up at night, the things that distract us at work, or even the things that make us jealous when we see other people doing the same thing.
So pay close attention to that gut and what it’s trying to tell you. I like to tell all my confused and overwhelmed friends and readers, “I’ve never been wrong with a feeling.” And where my big, hairy, scary goals are concerned? It’s especially true.
So what now?
I’m all about helping people like you find your focus, and I believe in being actionable. So here’s a cool free resource that helps you apply what you’ve read in this post.
It’s a free PDF on how to choose your one big goal even if you have too many options and passions. You’ll find worksheets, prompts, and guide questions to help you out, so it’ll feel like I’m holding your hand the entire time.
And don’t forget, after you pick that one goal to focus on, really commit to it for a set time before deciding whether or not it’s right for you.
To get your copy of the free workbook, just sign up below!
Mica is the face behind everything you see at her blog, Mind of Mica. She champions the goal-getters, the dream-chasers, and the unapologetic hustlers who are out to make a difference – even if it’s in their own lives.