As 2017 begins, it’s a great time to do some hardcore goal setting. No doubt you’ve established some New Year’s resolutions, but where those resolutions normally take the form of new diets or lofty or vague goals, I’ve found it helpful to instead ask myself a simple question in my pursuit of 2017 betterment:
What’s the essential thing I should focus on in 2017?
At first glance, that’s already the approach many of us take in our New Year’s resolutions. But where resolutions fail in comparison is the fact that essential goals require our immediate and unwavering focus and are not optional.
(As a side note, you’ll want to make sure this essential goal doesn’t include the word “more” in it — travel more, save more, exercise more — as “more” goals are totally vague and destined for failure.)
It’s also worth noting that defining what’s essential often means ignoring what’s not. In my latest reading of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, I’ve come to understand that there’s massive payoff in pursuing an attitude of, as the author puts it, less, but better. When we’re stretched thin among multiple people, jobs, or other obligations, there will always be something that goes without our needed focus.
My advice? Pursue one thing, and pursue it as though it’s absolutely required. In 364 days, you’ll look back on your decision today and feel great knowing that you stuck to what’s most important.