Happy New Year!
We are now into February and I’m not sure about you, but personally I have never been a fan of setting New Year’s resolutions because I try to live every day with purpose and focus on the goals I want to accomplish. I feel like setting a New Year’s resolution is just setting myself up for failure. If you promise to run every day of the year and then miss a day, you may just throw your hands in the air and say, “well I blew it, never mind.”
I make a conscious decision everyday to wake up and be focused on the tasks I want to accomplish. It isn’t just a one time of the year resolution plan; It is a life plan. I wake up, I exercise and then I get to work on the projects I planned to accomplish that day.
Staying focused on one task at hand is a muscle we must flex, it is a learned behavior, that will become a habit the more we practice it.
In the film industry it is tempting to spread yourself thin, to pile a ton of projects on your plate with hopes that one of them will take off. But that can be distracting, and if you’re trying to do ten things at once then nothing is getting done to the BEST of your ability because your focus is split.
I recently found myself in this same exact boat, I was putting together a pitch deck for a studio, while in post-production on a film, gearing up for pre-production on my next film, along with doing re-writes on one of my scripts for the director. I was starting to drown in my own commitments and felt like my vision was going blurry. So I stopped, took a breath and asked myself what was the most important and immediate thing that needed my full attention. I gave myself permission to let go of my constant need to be an overachiever and to focus on one thing at a time. It is ok to put something aside and come back to it later. This is where we must learn to decipher the difference between giving up on a goal which leads us to feel like a failure and re-arranging priorities to be able to focus on one thing at a time. You are not a failure nor did you fail because you did not do fifteen different things in a day. In fact, by choosing one project to focus on, you will have a higher success rate at finishing that project than if you are trying to do fifteen at the same time.
I know in this industry people are always asking the question “what are you working on?” Which I think creates a deep need within ourselves to be able to rattle off a list of impressive achievements or create a list of things we are working on to impress others. I relate because I dreaded that question for years and felt horrible when I couldn’t answer the question impressively. I fell into the trap of working on tons of things, so I could say I was doing all these amazing projects, and yet never got anything done. It wasn’t until I made a conscious decision to pick one project, stay focused on that one goal and saw it through to the end.
Focus is becoming harder and harder to achieve, especially with social media tugging at our attention span all day long. So we have to work even harder to tune out the noise of what everyone else is doing and what everyone else is saying. We must turn our attention inward to the little voice inside our head and let it guide us to create something from start to finish.
So for 2019 don’t just make a New Year’s resolution, make a life resolution. Choose the most important goals you have and stay focused to bring those goals to life.