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Get Focused Now: 10 Essential Questions

If you feel like life is passing you by, take a look in the mirror and say hello to your biggest opponent. Tell yourself the honest truth. Are you where you planned to be five years ago? Do you have all the fame, fortune, and success that you can handle? If not, roll up your sleeves and get to work. Don't put your life on hold a minute longer waiting for New Year's Eve to roll around! Answer these ten questions and create the life you deserve.

1. What do you want? Sounds like an obvious question but you'd be surprised at how many people simply don't know the answer. Take five minutes and write a list of anything and everything you want. Then rank them in order of importance, taking into account that some desires might seem more important than others, but that certain things need to happen first. For instance, you might feel that owning your own home is the most important item, but you actually need to work on getting out of debt first. Next, take each item and answer the following questions.

2. Why do you want it? Consider carefully what motivates you towards this goal. Is this project your lifelong dream or something that your parents or society pushed onto your shoulders? Make sure you want it for the right reasons and not simply because it's something you think you should want.

3. What's the pay off? Write a list of all the benefits of reaching your goal, both emotional and physical. Can't come up with much? Reconsider why you want this goal at all. This list will play an important part in keeping you motivated and focused when the initial excitement about this project wears thin.

4. What needs to happen? Keep the pen and paper out. Write a list of every conceivable task that needs to happen to reach your goal. Get as specific as possible down to the last detail.

5. Who needs to know? Don't keep your goal a secret and don't do all the work alone. Computers and the Internet make it possible to turn into a 'lone ranger' who relies only on him or herself to get the job done. Not only will this increase your chances of quitting (it's not a failure if no one knows about it), it makes your job ridiculously and unnecessarily difficult.

6. When will you do this? Another moment of truth'setting the deadline. You're not writing anything in stone, so don't freak out! After looking at your task list and considering who will help, estimate how long it will take to reach your goal. Note, studies show that people respond better to a shorter window of time. When the due date is too far off, it's easy to procrastinate and lose the motivational energy needed to push the project through to completion.

7. Why will you succeed? Everybody has strengths and weaknesses. Where do you shine and excel? You want to spend 80% of your time utilizing your strengths, whether that's organization, creativity, or negotiation. Next devote 15% of your time to learning and research and the final 5% on your weaknesses. Most importantly, know why you will succeed now at what you have never reached in the past.

8. Why will you fail? If you failed in the past because of fear, it's likely that the same fear will trip you up again. Take a bold look at the obstacles that have foiled you time and again and devise strategies to avoid, disable, or defeat them.

9. Who holds you accountable? You absolutely need someone in your corner to cheer you on and also to make sure you stay on track. Find someone positive who believes in you and give him the power to check on your progress. Consider hiring a professional life coach or consultant who can give you non-judgmental support and a kick in the pants at the same time.

10. How will you stay inspired? Chances are that the road might not run as smoothly as you would like. Things will go wrong. Results might trickle rather than flood to your door. Devise some tricks to help you stay motivated when the honeymoon is over. Post your pay off list where you can read it daily. Draw or cut out a picture of what this goal represents and combine it with a picture of you at your best. Add a daily reminder to your virtual calendar, cell phone, or refrigerator door to help you stay focused.

Answer these questions honestly and become your best asset instead of your biggest liability. The future begins today if you have the courage to envision and reach for it.

About the Author
Certified fitness coach, Kim Nishida, is the author of the innovative program, 'Conception to Completion: The FIT Mind Method to Getting It Done.' To learn more about this step-by-step program and to sign up for FREE how-to articles and workshops, visit

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