2018 Focus

It’s that time of the year again. It’s the first day of January. A new year is about to unfold. Every year, I share with you my goals and plans for the year. This year, I’d like to do things differently. Instead of goals, I will be sharing with you my primary focus instead. These are one or two areas in my life that I would like to see a major improvement on. I am doing this for the following reasons.

Reason #1: Overcoming mediocrity.

Over the years, I feel like I have been stuck in mediocrity. I would like to get out of that once and for all.

In the book Die Empty, Todd Henry described being mediocre as like going up on a rugged mountain. Climbing the mountain is hard. Through hard work, you can go up and reach the middle of the mountain after some time. You feel good because you have reached a certain level of success. You are content. You ask yourself whether to continue going up, or just rest and enjoy what you have right now.

This is the hardest part of any journey, financial or otherwise, when you get to a point where you can be contented. Being mediocre is not so bad. You are actually accepting good things. But as they say, the enemy of great is good.

If you dream of becoming the best that you can be, you understand that it is actually fear that is holding you back. Fear of going through hardships again. Fear of letting go of the blessings you have right now. You hold dearly into these things. In the end, you will realize it is only an illusion. If you are moving toward personal growth, the path to take is obvious. The greatest growth comes from your biggest fears.

Reason #2: Pushing for imbalance.

Over the years, I realized succumbing to the social pressures of having a “balanced” life is a futile exercise. If you want to achieve something significant on a certain area of your life, you need to become UNBALANCED…for a time. This makes it possible for you to FOCUS your energy, time and attention in that area. In so doing, you will get amazing results, instead of a mediocre one.

Realize that what most people call a balanced life is actually a perfect example of untapped potential and lots of compromises. You end up not reaching your full potential. As they say, you become a jack of all trades, master of none.

Observing my mentors, I have seen that at a certain point in their business, they were actually highly unbalanced. They were focusing in growing their businesses 101%. They eat, they breath, they think about their business even in their dreams. That’s why they also achieved fast and amazing results as well. The financial rewards of that hard work has given them the freedom that they need.

Being in a great financial position allows them the option to become UNBALANCED again in another area of their life (if they so choose), like focusing 101% of their time into their family instead of their business. They may allow their business to slide just for some time, while they give their focus and attention to nurturing their family for the time being.

I think this is a way better proposition than having a “balanced” life where you just go in circles not really achieving significant results in any area. In the end, it’s better to be amazing in one area, than none at all. Of course, you can obviously change your area of focus after some time.

Life rewards those who become masters of something. You can only do that if at some point in your life you decide and intentionally put yourself in a position to become highly focused on one specific area and unbalanced on other areas of your life.

That’s why this year, I want to use that same strategy. I want to focus on a specific area. I understand that achieving a significant improvement in this area will also elevate the other areas.

This year 2018, my area of focus is to improve my overall fitness level and health.

During my time in the corporate world, one thing I learned is the importance of metrics. They say, “what gets measured, gets done.” So if I am going to seriously do this, I need a way to track my progress and measure it on a consistent basis. Perhaps this is where the fitbit or other tracking devices will come in handy.

What do I plan to track? Perhaps, my weight, diet, level of physical activity, etc. But I think one of the biggest things I will need to adjust is my mindset on becoming healthy and fit. I will have to align my VIBE into how healthy and fit people think, feel and decide on things like their diet, exercise and more.

Trying out the 30-day trial to kick-start this.

One thing I also want to explore more is the 30-day trial. I plan to do something related to my area of focus every day for the next 30 days. Just to see if I can possibly sustain it. If I can’t then I am free to drop that trial after 30 days. I am hoping of course that the law of inertia will take hold and it becomes a habit. But there’s no pressure to do that.

John Maxwell said that you will not change you life until you change something you do daily. That’s having a D.M.O. (daily method of operation.) It’s why having a morning routine is popular for successful people. It allows you to be on autopilot and sets up your mind body and spirit to be more condusive to achieving your goals.

What about other areas of my life?

Does that mean I will no longer set goals for the other areas of my life? Definitely not.

On Business.

One thing that has hindered me to achieve more the past few years is my low level of physical health and fitness. There are weeks when I am highly motivated. I work hard and stay up late. A few consecutive days of not having enough sleep and I start to have colds, which turns into cough, and the circle starts. During that time of recovering I won’t be able to do anything. My momentum is stopped. I would have to re-start again if I want to get back on track.

Go through the same thing over and over again and you feel burnt out. You feel like you are just running in circles, not achieving something meaningful. When I look back on why I wanted to start a business, I realize money is important to me only as far as it can give me the freedom to explore and grow myself even more.

I am interested to create a business that would give me freedom in these areas: financial, time and mobility. I am planning to execute some pending projects in my business to make this more a reality. At this time, my mobility is not to the level I want it to be. I am still stuck in traffic most days (who isn’t if you’re living in Metro Manila anyway?) Perhaps moving some of the stuffs I was doing offline to online will help.

This is also a good time to re-examine what I want to get out of my business. Setting expecations is going to be critical in making sure I find meaning in what I am doing and be able to enjoy enough to do it for a long time.

I do realize that some things in my business simply can’t be done online. I know the importance of offline activities especially meeting people in person. There is no substitute to being face to face especially if you are building a team.

There’s a reason why airplanes are still needed. It allows people to conveniently be there in person to meet face to face. It allows for better communication. High-tech doesn’t mean we need to forego the high-touch aspect of business.

On Personal.

I plan on improving the way I use my energy and allow time to recharge effectively. Challenges in handling emotions, low physical fitness, solving business problems requiring lots of mental energy are some of the things that I will need to watch out for if I want to improve in this area.

Facebook is overwhelming. I feel de-energized when I scroll through Facebook. Perhaps it’s just me. But I feel it sucks my energy. I need to reclaim that focus and conserve my energy. Perhaps I am getting older or maybe I just need to refocus my mental energy to other areas.

I plan on re-evaluating how I currently use Facebook in my personal life as well as for business. Hopefully, I will come up with a plan soon. I cannot drop it yet because some of the business tools I use require Facebook. But I do need to find a way to use it that it adds value to my life and my business, instead of an energy drainer.

I realize that I am an introvert. I like to recharge alone or with nature in order to get back my energy. Being in an environment where I am constantly surrounded by many people can be overwhelming for me. It drains my energy, to the point where I no longer have anything to give.

I will need to allot some time to recharge whenever I feel overwhelmed. I may also need to restructure the way I do business to align it to how I use my energy.

One of the areas I can do this is in utilizing my online channels to do some of the stuffs I currently do offline. This year, I will be writing more. Or use this platform more to share more of my thoughts. I can also speak and share a little bit more about how I do business. This way, I won’t have to waste my energy so much.

Writing an article is something I can do that can add value over and over again to my readers, without me having to drain my energy over and over again. I can also do some stuffs on video or audio, or maybe try out podcasting.

Anyway, I’ll see where this leads me. It is always exciting learning something new and figuring things out along the way.

Looking forward to 2018.

As you would have observed, these are not mutually exclusive to my main area of focus. Having better health and fitness will allow me to perform better in executing my business projects as well as give me the energy I need to grow as a person.

There are a lot of things in my mind right now, but they are not yet as polished as I want them to be. They are just ideas at this point. In any case, I will be sharing them here in this blog throughout the year. This way, it will help me be accountable to you, as my reader.

When you observe that I am not sharing my journey about my fitness, you can nudge me in the right direction. Or message me, to keep me back on track. It helps. And I do appreciate it. In fact, I read each and every email I receive, and try to respond as much as I can.

How about you? Can you share what particular area of your life you would like to focus on this year 2018? Let’s make it happen! Cheers to an amazing and fruitful year! 🙂

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