Go get 'em. By Big Cartel.

Finding Your Focus

Each new year breeds new resolutions, new endeavors, and new expectations.

It’s easy to get swept up into the “new year, new me” mania. Packed gyms, new planners, trying out new apps to organize your digital life. For many, this passes, only a fleeting moment that’s usually long gone by the end of February and definitely by March. Now in April, where do we go next?

For creatives and entrepreneurs, inspiration isn’t just some resolution that we make with friends over cocktails. It’s the crux of what we do. It’s what moves us, day by day. It’s how we keep our businesses afloat.

But what if you are uninspired? What if you cannot see your goals coming to fruition? What do you do when you feel your business goals are out of reach?

For some, it seems less about resolutions and more about willpower. But willpower has a limited battery life. So instead of questioning your self-determination, question the clarity of your goals.

When you’re feeling uninspired, stuck, or frustrated - that’s when you need to get extremely clear on your goals.

When you have clarity, you’ll find inspiration everywhere. Clarity helps you see the path necessary to take your goals from a vision to execution. When your vision is crystal clear, you’ll know exactly what you need to do. Your new goal, for now, if you feel stuck: Develop a real, tangible vision that you can absolutely execute.

But what’s real vision? Start by focusing on one thing.

Since the start of the year, I haven’t been blogging as much as I normally would because I wanted to get a clear focus on the trajectory of my business. As a blogger who brings in revenue through advertising and partnerships, I’m looking to take things to the next level. I have a vision, I revamped my business plan, but I was missing the one thing that I need to focus on to get to the next level of success. And I finally found it.

I must send out one email, once a day, to the subscribers of my newsletter. No matter what is going on with my day, even if I’m feeling uninspired, bored, or too busy, my one thing is sending out my email to my subscription list. This is a lesson I picked up from reading The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, and it’s been a game changer for me.

Recently I was talking to my friend who just launched an online store. She was lamenting about how she feels uninspired and stuck. Her stress centered around creating enough fresh content for her blog. She was convinced she needed editors, a content manager, and writers to make it work. I pointed out that she was looking to hire an entire staff to pursue a vision she wasn’t even clear on yet. I told her to find her one thing.

Since she just launched her shop, which should bring in more revenue than her blog, I suggested that her one thing could be promoting her store via social media. That’s a goal with clarity and purpose. No matter what, her goal is to promote her online store with a tweet, an Instagram video, a Facebook post, or an email each day. She only needs to focus on promotion.

Finding the place where your vision and one thing meet is the ultimate sweet spot. It’s the intersection of purpose, priority, and productivity. It will determine your success. And once you have your goals in place, trust your trajectory!

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Sometimes I’ll get upset that I’m not at the level of success I strive for yet. I get angry and jealous at others who are seemingly more successful than me.

So often as creatives and business owners, we look at the destination of our dreams and we lose sight of the fact that success is not the destination, but the journey.

I’m learning that success means being appropriate for each moment of my life. Being appropriate means living in the present and enjoying every day. I strive to do the best with each day that I face. I’ve stopped judging the process and I’m learning to enjoy the little victories. The little victories are beautiful and they should be acknowledged.

In the past, I’d look at other bloggers sitting front row at a show during Paris Fashion Week in awe, thinking I’d never get to that level. But now I’m here. I am in Paris for Fashion Week, representing my own brand, my own blog, and on my own assignment. And it’s sweet.

I don’t always get what I want, but I’m learning that the process is what makes a business owner. It’s what makes me happy or sad - and at times, uninspired - but I cannot wait until I get a little further on this journey, in my life and my businesses, to step back and look at what I’ve created.

Being uninspired but full of ideas is a real feeling. But when you get into this feeling that’s when you must get clear on your goals and your one thing. Set the goals, be mindful of your goals, do the work, and enjoy your journey. That’s what life is really about. Don’t look for the end game, be a starting player now. Get busy.

Carla Thomas is from Baltimore, Maryland, where she’s a stylist, writer, and the creator of The Fly Girl Guide. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.