Here is a simple process for you that I call the Four R’s. It goes like this: “Rituals and Review Reveal Results.
One of the things that I’ve noticed over the years as a coach is that we’re really good at setting goals, whether that’s in business, your personal life, your health, spirituality, whatever context we’re talking about, we’re good at setting goals. Some of us are even good at coming up with plans. What we’re not so good at is staying in a relationship with those goals. That’s where I find the 4 R’s to be so important. We set these goals up, we create these plans, and then they become shelf-help. They go up on a shelf somewhere, and we don’t visit them regularly. What this is really all about is creating rituals of review, to control your focus.
Now, there’s a principle of being a human being that you need to understand, which is that focus equals feeling. Let me demonstrate this to you. Wherever you are right now, how does your left foot feel? Do you have a shoe on? Is the shoe hot, cold, or tight? Maybe you don’t have a shoe on? Maybe you have socks on and no shoes? What does the floor feel like under your foot? And see, I would wager that now you’re thinking about and feeling your left foot. But you weren’t thinking about it before I mentioned it, right? So focus equals feeling, and feeling is ultimately what creates our thoughts. Thoughts create actions and actions create results.
“Rituals of review, reveal results” is all about taking control of your focus, because left to our own devices, what tends to get our focus is whatever is in our immediate environment, or what we’re habitually used to focusing on. I have a belief that in 20, or 30 years, people are going to look back at this generation and it will be regarded kind of like the 50s and 60s when it was thought of, culturally, as healthy to smoke and doctors backed that belief up. I think smartphones are the new tobacco and social media is the Big Tobacco. We’re going to look back and realize that we created some real issues around focus and maintaining focus because we are constantly stimulated by and looking at our phones, and what’s coming through them. That’s why this is so important. If you create these rituals of review, then they’ll reveal results. They will take control of your focus over time.
I would encourage you to think of it like brushing your teeth. You don’t wake up and brush your teeth on a Monday morning and say, Okay, I brushed, I’m good for the rest of the week. Focus is just like hygiene: it only lasts a little while before it wears off. So what we want to do is take control through rituals of review, so that you’re consistently moving towards what your goals are, again, in whatever context, business, life, personal; that you want. If you can come up with one solid ritual to consistently review your plans and goals, you would look up in 30, 60, or 90 days and realize that you have significantly and positively changed the relationship that you have with your goals. You will become a goal-setter and a goal-getter.
Don’t allow this to be shelf-help. Create your plans, but stay in relationship with them through the rituals of review.