I’ve heard a lot recently about the idea of picking One Thing, one main focus to push on. I’m going to read the book, but I haven’t yet. I know some daily planners are based on this idea.
I’ve been resisting it. I don’t want to just lose weight, or get on top of finances, or parent my kids better, or work on time management, or get more diligent with daily personal hygiene (if that’s weird maybe this blog isn’t for you), or write my first ebook. I want to do it all. Soon. This is partly a symptom of feeling like I lost a lot of last year to being pregnant in the spring and summer and recovering from a c-section in the fall.
But sometimes to be successfully we really do need to pick one main area of focus. This doesn’t mean that other things aren’t important or that they don’t happen to. It’s about where you put your fresh energy, your best energy, some days your only energy. And it can help you prioritize and make decisions. Avoiding decision fatigue can also help you have more energy for what you do choose to devote resources to.
Most of us do have a Most Important Goal, and if it’s not happening – or happening very slowly – then maybe you need to put some more focus on it, make it a priority, and line up your goals linearly, which means waiting to really tackle some of them.
Is that you? Beyond your day-to-day functioning, do you need to focus the precious time and energy you have left in the margins of life on one thing for awhile?
If you did, what would that be?
I’ve been asking myself that question. If you’re on my weekly newsletter, you know I’ve been thinking about dreams and dreaming. (If not you can sign up here.)
What is a foundational habit you need change? Well to figure that out you need to know what you’re dreaming about.
If you didn’t yesterday, take a minute to journal about where you want to be in the future, where you and your husband dream about being as a family – values, lifestyle, experiences, how you’ll raise your kids.
Okay, think about your dreams – what is hindering you from growth toward them? What obstacles will block you from your dreams if you don’t start moving them?
What positive and negative goals do you need to set? What do you want to be and not be? What do you need to do and not do?
What is a foundational goal for you? What do you need to accomplish in order to open the door to the other changes you wan to make in your life?
Back to the first question:
What is a foundational habit you need to change?
My One Thing
My obstacle is my weight. I’ve been contemplating all of these questions, and listing my dreams, and I realized my One Thing is weight loss. I gained 48 lbs with each child. I’ve lost it 3 times. I need to one more time. This year it’s been going slower, probably because I now have 4 kids, and I’m not in a gym routine and paying for personalized group training like I was with my 3rd son, or more in control of what food was in the house like with my 2nd son.
For those of you who have been reading for over a month – I lost another pound! I’m encouraged that the scale is moving, but at the same time 1 lb a month is not fast enough.
I’ve decided that weight loss needs to be One Thing. My foundational goal is to lose the remaining 20 lbs.
Now I need to make that actionable. I can’t actually lose a pound and check it off my list. But I can control what I eat and how much I move. I can identify actionable steps and check them off.
Habits Will Get You There
Here’s the thing with big goals and big change. They take willpower, self control, and time. If you read my post on what you need to know about willpower, you know that the best way to tackle challenges is to anticipate them, make a plan, and especially: to create habits, because the habits don’t require willpower, and the energy reserves that willpower draws from are depleted throughout the day.
So I’ve identified some foundational habits I’m going to work on establishing in the month of July. These will be things like exercising when the baby is asleep. Eating the healthiest thing available for breakfast each day. Continuing to find new healthy snacks. Finding new recipes to try – I love to learn new things, I need to channel some of that energy into my weight loss goal. Fixing the healthiest dinners that my family can tolerate, which is fortunately often easier in the summer. And so on.
What is your One Thing? What goal do you need to focus on, to unlock your future? What new habits are going to get you there? Make your own list of reasons that goal is important; knowing why is crucial. It’s really motivating, and it will convince you that you have found a focus that is a foundation for many other things in your life. (You can read my 30 Reasons to Lose Weight as an example.)
What are some simple habits that you could start to create that would help you work toward a foundational goal? A goal that might need to be your One Thing for this season?