If you could accomplish only One Thing this year what would it be? Every year I write annual goals and A life plan. This year, however, I will be focusing on one top priority that I want to accomplish.
What got me thinking about this was reading the book The ONE Thing, by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. (Which, I highly recommend!) This book challenged me to consider principles such as:
- Extraordinary results come narrowing one’s focus.
- High achievers are driven by and work from a clear sense of priority.
- Multitasking is a lie and does not produce what you think it will. (“To do two things at once is to do neither.” – Publilius Syrus – all the way back in the first century BC!)
- If everything is important, nothing is important.
- Getting focused means learning to say no.
In considering these principles for this year, I have decided to work rigorously toward one particular goal. I have done this before in various areas and seen great success.
Several years ago, I decided that I wanted to buy a Tour de France-style road bike. I set my sights on a $3,000 Specialized Tarmac. For a whole year, I saved every penny I could (including spare change.) I said no to spending on nearly everything else. I looked for opportunities to earn extra money and saved it. After saving $3,000, I finally bought that bike with cash that I had earned and saved. I have now been riding that bike for eight years.
Eliminating clutter and focusing on one thing will bring you results. Here is how to do it:
1. WRITE DOWN your ONE THING for this year.
The simple act of writing a goal down makes it much more likely that you will accomplish it. If you could achieve only one goal this year what would it be? You are likely to complete more than only one thing, but what is the one goal that you will pursue with all of your might? Now write it down.
2. Organize your Time, Priorities, and Finances to Achieve your Top Priority.
If your ONE THING is to run a marathon, you will need to organize your time and nutrition to accomplish this goal. If your primary goal for this year is to write a book, you will need to carve out daily time for writing. If your one thing is to save your marriage, you will need to pursue this above all else. If your one thing is to eliminate debt, you will need to change your spending habits and make different lifestyle choices.
3. SAY NO to as many things as necessary to accomplish your ONE THING.
You will never accomplish your top priority without saying no to other things – even things that may otherwise be good. You will likely need to say no to other opportunities. You may need to say no to investing time in particular relationships. You will need to say no to time wasters. You may need to say no to buying things or spending money in certain ways. Saying no to things that may be good is necessary to accomplish your ultimate goal.
Interested in serious results this year? Narrow your focus to ONE THING.
Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing. Peter Drucker
What’s Your ONE THING for this year?
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