Five Focus 2011

So it’s that time of year again when we make the obligatory promises to ourselves and if we’re lucky, they’ll see the other side of February. I was wondering how I could solve this problem, and I think I came up with a solution.

a new way of making resolutions

Most people would tell you that the best way to make New Year’s resolutions is to set goals like losing a certain amount of weight or getting a certain level of grades etc. There’s nothing wrong with setting goals to achieve, in fact, I think it’s one of the best ways to approach it.

However, setting specific goals and achieving those goals are separate things. Using the old method, you have to be responsible for setting the goal, then deciding how you are going to achieve it. A lot of people get to this stage, they buy planners, equipment and gym memberships but when it comes to actually doing it, their motivation runs out after a little while and soon they give up.

So instead, I’ve decided to do things a little differently. I will pick five things to focus on in 2011. And I mean really focus. Apart from basic living – eating, sleeping etc. I will dedicate as much of my time, effort, money and energy into five areas of my life. My motivation is less likely to run out this way if I make my life revolve around doing things in these areas.

why five?

The conventional wisdom is that you are much more likely to accomplish something if you focus only one thing. This is great, because it really means you’ll get it done, but it’ll only work for something like a particular project or measurable goal (“I will lose __ pounds this year” etc).

But if I want to be able to live out an entire year, it would be better to not be too narrow. And, it would also be better to not be so wide ranging that you end up doing a little bit of everything and not really achieving anything. Five is a great number, but if you would like I think three would work great too.

my five focus

1. Write. Back in October, I started 750words and now almost every day I log onto that site and tell it everything, from my daily life to my most intimate secrets. I use it to draft stories, blog posts and to answer Reverb10, MMT and the mindfulist. I’m not worried about putting my thoughts out there, (I haven’t done anything illegal, don’t worry!) it feels good to get it out of my system, and speaking of focus, it helps me concentrate on my work and arrange my ideas into something tangible.

2. Learn. As a book-lover, there are some books that I feel guilty about having never read in high school. Of course I’ve read some classics, but not all the ones I always see on ‘books to read before you die’ lists. I got a brand new Kindle now, so in 2011 I will definitely concentrate on ticking them off. Also, this year I will really focus on learning Japanese and getting to the level of fluency that I really want to reach. I have my own measurements for this, but for my resolution, I would just like to say that I want to dedicate much more time and effort into it.

3. Travel. I still have the bulk of my year abroad to come in 2011, not to mention a very long summer break. During the last couple of days, I spent it touring Tokyo in all it’s early morning to nightlife glory. It’s been one of the best trips I’ve made in my life, let alone 2010, but I don’t want to leave it there so in 2011, I plan to do much more travelling all over Japan and Asia.

4. Health. I’ve made a lot of improvements this year, but I am still not at the level of fitness I would like. I run over 5km quite often now, but I hope to be able to double this in 2011. Also, after my year abroad, I hope that I would be able to go back to being vegetarian.

5. Minimalism. Finally, there’s being ‘more’ minimalist – which covers all of the previous four focuses. For ‘writing’, I will concentrate on growing Minimalist Student blog. In the past few weeks I’ve been a little busy with studying and travelling, but after the new year, I will go back to writing about minimalism in general, tips and so on. I’m always learning about minimalism all the time, and because of minimalism I’m able to travel as much as I do. Finally, it is no exaggeration that because of minimalism, I’ve managed to improve my health to the point it is at today, but in 2011 I am going to redouble my efforts.

So these are my Five Focus. With these, my daily life may include a run in the morning, studying and reading during the day and travelling on weekends and holidays.

how to create your own five focus

Ask yourself:

  • What is important to you?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What skills would you like to develop?
  • What kind of person do you want to become this year?

I would love you know what your five focus would be! Please leave a comment.

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