FOCUS! 5 Questions to ask yourself to get you closer to your goals

Truth time friends. I have a problem prioritizing. I want it all done and I want to still have time for fun and family. Also, I am a former people pleaser (as in, I just quit five minutes ago, unless… did you need something?) Helping people is fantastic and has its place, but it can run us ragged if we aren’t careful. So here’s what I’m working on, seriously, you can ask my husband…

I’m learning to look at what will move me forward, what keeps me stagnant, and what will pull me behind.

  1. Is my ranch (or job) working for me or am I working for my ranch (job)?

I know, we have to work. It’s a fact of life. However, sometimes we work to simply fill a paycheck and sometimes we work because we believe in what we are doing. Is our ranch (job) taking more out of us than it is putting in? No job is perfect and ultimately we will sit on both sides of the fence at certain times, but if I am doing more for my ranch or job than it is doing for me, I need to fix that. Am I so tired I can’t do anything else? Am I stressed, sick, hurting all the time? Ultimately, does my job or ranch own me? It might be time for a change–either of jobs or just in the way we do life around the ranch.

     2. What drains me?

Maybe you know what zaps your energy. Is it big crowds? Too many activities? Lack of connection with friends? Be aware of the things that drain you and allow extra time, sleep, space for them and/or cut some out.

     3. What fuels me?

Sometimes we forget what we enjoy. If you know what fills you up: date nights, playing pool, cranking up the radio, reading a good book–make space in your day and your week for things that fill up your tank. If you’re not sure, go back to your childhood–what did you love then? Good movies, riding bikes, shooting clay pigeons? Find a way to bring your childhood self into your current life.

     4. What is the purpose (of this activity)?

If your day feels so full you’re not sure whether you’re coming or going, narrow done your activities and evaluate their purpose. Does this meeting help you get to know someone better? That’s good. Remember the reason behind what you’re doing. Is this simply a hoop I have to jump through to get closer to my goal? That’s ok too. If you have no idea why you’re doing something or if you’re doing it because no one else will or you think you should…let it go. If the activity makes you long for blood pressure medicine, see if you can cut it out.

     5. How can I simplify?

Ranching is busy and  there are so many unexpected surprises. Value the expected activities: a fence you know you’ll rebuild, the pastures you’ll seed and hay, the cows you’ll be moving…but also cut down on things that aren’t as necessary and regroup what you can. Take your fence stretchers when you move the cows, just in case, but also think ahead and get what you need ahead of time. Many of us do this already to minimize our trips to town, but can we do it in our fields? Instead of going to that pasture twice, can we do it in one trip?

In addition, clean out clutter. I did not realize how stressed I was by simply not being able to find things. It does not mean the house is always clean, but throwing out things I didn’t use and having specific places for many things has helped. The fencing pliers go in this drawer, those old clothes go to Goodwill, etc.

I’m not perfect and I never will be, but looking deep at what I’m doing and how I’m doing it is helping me decide what will make it on my to-do list. What helps you prioritize?

Taking the fishing poles out is therapeutic. Even if it’s to cast a line after moving the cows…