Losing weight? On an exercise programme? Wanting to build more structure around your life? But you have one problem - you keep losing your focus!
We live in a world that is filled with Sooooo many distractions! In any given day, we can be doing something for a full 15 minutes and realise we have just been sucked into a massive distraction. Checking email, Facebook updates, Magazines, talking to a friend when you are supposed to be doing homework or an assignment...the list goes on.
How can we keep on target?
1. Stick with the Plan.
Oh - you don't have one? Then find one quick! I'm a very unstructured person - naturally. I don't like to be hemmed in with too much structure. However, I've also learnt the stress of no structure! Deadlines are on me in the next 24 hours and I should have been ready a week ago! A plan will help you to head in a strong direction. Your plan will need to be logical and methodical. Just think from the 'end' backwards to the 'beginning'. What needs to be done? Who do I have to help me? When are my deadlines? Begin to write down your plan. Jesus Christ was a great example in this regard. His ultimate goal was to become a sacrifical lamb - a sin offering for God, and he planned everything upto and around this event. This included timing, recruiting the 12 apostles to delegate the ongoing work of God to. Making sure he was on target. In fact, when some people were trying to kill Him, he simply said "It is not my time yet". He was on a time continuum and he needed to stay on track. A plan will help you to stay on track.
2. Be clear minded on what your Goals are
A plan is often broken down into bite size chunks which we call goals. A goal will take you to the completion of your plan. e.g. If I'm on weight watchers I need to meet my weekly goal, so when I weigh in at the meeting I can complete my weight loss programme one week at a time. Until eventually - I will hit my goal weight (by the way, I did weight watchers a number of years ago and now I need to go again!).
Paul was a great leader and Apostle of the faith. His job was to take the good news of Christianity to a world that had never heard it before. He had a driving goal - to plant churches where there were no churches. So he was clear minded about what he needed to do next. Go to another town, another region, that did not have a church and start one up! Your goals help you to stay on track. Read your goals regularly and keep clear minded about the pathway ahead.
3. Determine what it is that you need to do NEXT!
A project has many tasks before it can be completed. In fact, that is exactly what defines a project - more than one task to complete. Some years ago I stumbled across a time management system that saved my life. It is called GTD - "Getting things Done". This is a system of organising your life so you never forget appointments, tasks and goals. David Allen wrote this as a book which has had global success. The basics of how GTD works is simply getting everything out of your head that needs to be done and putting it into a 'safe proof container'. A large part of GTD being successful is determining what my next ACTION is. Sometimes I've been overwhelmed by the size of projects that are my responsibility and I've had to simply break it all down and ask the question "What is my next action?" As you complete each next action - you are well on your way to staying on track and completing the project.
When Jesus Christ was wrongly arrested and falsely charged of crimes he did not commit he had to stay on track with what God had asked him to do. Isaiah the prophet records it like this "I have set my face like a flint, and I know I will not be ashamed". Jesus completed the greatest act of love the world has ever seen, because he stuck with the plan, he was clear minded and at no time did he ever not know what His next step was going to be!