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If a Teenager Can Do It, So Can You

My 16 year old son, Matthew, plays football. It’s a 6 day a week, 47 weeks a year commitment… for both him and me. He has 12+ hour days 5 days a week when you include school, football games and homework.

He handles practice and studying like a champ.

Rarely is he cranky or in a bad mood or remotely stressed out.

He consistently improves his performance and contribution to the team.

And he gets pretty good grades.

His secret all boils down to these three attributes: clarity, consistency and focus.

At the start of every season Matthew takes time to get clear about his goals for the year:  what grades he wants to get and how much of an improvement he wants to make in his performance as a Defensive Lineman. He writes his goals down and checks in with them almost weekly.

He is one of the most consistent people I know. Unlike most teens, Matthew gets up and goes to bed pretty much the same time every day. The weekends are a bit later than the 5:45am wake up during the week and yet he rarely is tempted to stay up all night. He eats at the same times and he has a great routine for managing his homework by breaking activities into small chunks. No mountains to climb for him. He steps over mole hills.

Matthew has a natural ability to focus on small things. While the rest of us are doing three things at once, with our phone in one hand and 20 apps open, Matthew does one thing at a time. He doesn’t miss things (like deadlines or follow ups) because he isn’t distracted.  He is fully present with whatever he is doing at that moment.

Football and school are his business and he succeeds every year.

With just over two months left in the year are you prepared to meet your goals?

Do you know what you need to have a strong finish?

If you aren’t where you want to be or maybe only a few steps away from your goal, take a few minutes and do these three things:

  • Get Clear: Take 10 minutes and get clear about what you want. Set more than a revenue goal. Ask yourself why you want what you want. What does it give you?
  • Be consistent: Most of us are inconsistent with our actions. The more you practice something, the more regular it becomes and it more success you will have in this area. This applies for almost any action – from the habits we create to the sales calls we make to the relationships we sustain. You know the saying – practice makes perfect. I like to say – practice makes it easier and eventually it can be perfected.
  • Focus: My kids refer to the difficulty to not staying on task as EDBOS or Easily Distracted By OOOOOH! Shiny!! Entrepreneurs seem to innately believe they can launch 3 projects at once or successfully grow two businesses at the same time. Maybe you have started a project or two only to be diverted by some other thing that seems really important and would be so cool to tackle. Take inventory of the task you have left undone with the projects you have open. Your desk and your mind will thank you.

The daily “whirlwind” of to-do’s and the requests from others can knock you off course if you do not take time to reflect, refocus and readjust – you may find yourself at the wrong finish line! Take time this week to get clear on your goals, create a consistent plan and work time into your schedule to focus on one single activity at a time.


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