Leo Babauta of Zen Habits has written a list of 7 Little Habits that can change your life. I love his list of habits, which include developing positive thinking, and practicing kindness. Go to his site to read the others.
Let me give you my take on two of the habits on his list: "focus on one goal", and how it relates to "eliminate the non-essential." I've lately been refocused on guitar playing. Big time. And I don't have a lot of time. In fact, I don't play/practice until well into the evening. However, I've been so focused on it that when I went to see a movie last week, I was surprised to find out that it was the first movie I saw in a theater this year.
My take on "focus on one goal" is that a good goal eliminates the non-essential things. So don't ask me if I've watched a lot of Red Sox baseball. Don't ask me what books I've been reading. Don't ask me about what I'll be blogging about next. I've been playing the guitar. That's what I've been doing.
Of course, you can always reconnect with your other goals. The list recommends breaking up big goals into mini-goals. Since I've done that, and have achieved some "success" with these mini-goals, I can step back from this big goal and focus on other "big" goals.
This advice probably sounds trite, but it is surely the key to big goal "success". I think back to the days when I was consumed by learning to play ice hockey. When I think about the progression of events that led me to playing in a recreational league, I can now see all the mini-goals: buy some ice hockey skates, join an ice skating class, practice ice skating incessantly, learn about local rec leagues, buy equipment, hang out at ice rinks and make connections. I couldn't have focused on guitar playing then (and I didn't). Staying focused on one thing and eliminating the non-essentials worked. It really did. Conversely, I no longer play ice hockey anymore. It's become non-essential.
The "7 Little Habits" list is terrific for all goal-setters. Check it out.