The lake is fully thawed and summer is here! I’m dreaming of outdoor adventures while I sit in my office writing this blog and working on other projects. I am consciously aware, however, that focusing only on the future leads to dissatisfaction with the present moment.
Here are some tips that I have picked up along the way that can help you stay focused on achieving your goals.
1. Schedule time to make a plan
Scheduling specific time in your schedule to dream and plan is important because it can help you understand what you can realistically achieve with your time.
At the start of every season and at the beginning of each week, I’ll write out a list of adventures that I want to pursue - ie. paddle on this lake and hike up that mountain, etc. I schedule them into my calendar and make them a priority. Once they are in the calendar, I don’t have to think about them during the work day, because I know they are already there waiting for me when I am finished work. "Adventures" mean different things to different people. They can symbolize getting ready for a garage sale on the upcoming weekend, meeting friends for dinner or going on vacation. Whatever your short-term or long-term goals are, be sure to do some planning to help you achieve them.
Don't forget to check in with your goals regularly. Have you achieved them? Do they need to be adjusted in some shape or form?
2. Express gratitude for what you have already achieved
Research has proven expressing gratitude can make you happier and improve your self-esteem so you have the courage to dream big and achieve your goals.
Being grateful for what you do for a paycheck can make it easier to focus on the work-specific goals you want to accomplish. I actively remind myself that I love my "job". It is a privilege to work at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and curate wellness retreats for our guests. Seeing a project come to life gives me the same satisfaction as hiking a beautiful trail in nature.
If you aren’t loving what you do, perhaps you need to schedule time to reflect on what you can change so that your days are focused on fulfilling your life’s objectives.
3. Be gentle with yourself
Crushing your goals isn't necessarily something that happens overnight; it can take time. Be patient, stay motivated and recognize that you're doing the best you can.
When I acknowledge I'm procrastinating at work and day-dreaming, I look to the two tips above, take a few deep breaths and find something small to tackle that will get me back into the work stream. Sometimes work is just like a hike - when you only focus on the summit, it can seem too far to reach. If you just take one more step, or respond to one more e-mail, eventually the task is accomplished in smaller segments.
4. Spend time in nature
Sometimes all you may need is a quick five minutes away from the computer to get the blood flowing and reset the mind.
When all of the above just isn’t working and my monkey mind won’t concentrate on work, I’ll get up and go for a quick walk. I’ll also grab a snack because sometimes it is just my blood sugar dropping that is keeping me from concentrating.
One of the best ways to de-stress and refocus can be to experience Forest Bathing. Lake Louise in the heart of Banff National Park is the perfect place for this!
5. Figure out what motivates you
People are motivated in a variety of ways. Do you know what motivates you? Here's a list of techniques to trigger some thoughts.
I personally respond to goal/reward motivation techniques. I will also reference what is happening outside by viewing the Lake Louise webcam. Knowing it's a beautiful blue bird day motivates me to ensure all my work is complete before I can go and play outside.
If you are reading this blog while you are at work, I hope this was a great reset for you. Now, off we go to complete the next task on the list.
Have a wonderful day!