How To Set Your Focus For The Year Ahead

Now that you’ve come up for air after the end of the financial year, what are you going to do from this point? Dive back into it all and continue paddling furiously around in circles or raise your head up for a moment and check your bearings on the horizon first?

Episode 64 Blog

There’s a lot to be said for stopping and taking a breather every so often. We can get so caught up in ‘stuff’ that days, weeks, and months fly by in a blurry haze if we’re not careful. However, that’s how we often drift away from our original goals and winding up somewhere else entirely.

Paul Meissner and David Boyer have both recently taken the opportunity, at the start of the new financial year, to reconnect with the things that are important to them. (You can hear the list each came up with in From The Trenches episode 64, New (Financial) Year's Resolutions.)

Dave will continue to value and lock in his ‘daddy day care’ time on Thursday mornings with his 6-month old daughter. (Especially as she can sit up but not yet talk back!) Quality time spent with our loved ones is irreplaceable. Of course, we all have other commitments, but we need to ensure that we actively allocate time to our friends and family on some sort of regular basis as we don’t know what life has in store for us in the future.

One of Paul’s ‘new year’ resolutions is to cut back on the volunteer roles, such as being on panels, that don’t exist just for the sake of it and to pick those that are actively making a difference.

Maybe there’s an area in your life that needs you to prioritise (or continue to prioritise) it? For you, that could mean things like:

  • Getting back into an exercise routine. It doesn’t have to involve running a marathon each week. It can be as simple as stretching for 15 minutes in the morning. A little bit of focused movement each day is much better than no movement at all.
  • Returning to a hobby that’s been neglected. Is your guitar gathering dust? What about your sewing machine or your fishing rod? Practicing or learning new skills keeps the right side of your brain engaged and helps to remind you of the joy of doing things for their own sake.

But, what if you find it hard to clarify what it important to you these days? What if you don’t have an underlying purpose that drives everything that you do? According to Phil Nosworthy and Dr Angus Hervey, this is a common scenario, but also one that can be overcome by taking the time to stop and working out who you really are deep down.

In their talk, The Art of Focus, delivered as part of Florence Guild’s speaker series also called The Art of Focus, Nosworthy and Hervey discussed how a lack of clarity around our internal motivators often leads to procrastination, indecision, and inner turmoil. However, they didn’t just stop there, they also outlined a number of practical ways that each one of us can work out what it is that defines us as individuals and how we can align this with the goals we set for ourselves.

So, now you no longer have to keep muddling through any which way. Instead, try some of the above tips to help you decide the paths you want to take for the next 12 months. Enjoy the journey!


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Many of the themes in this article came from Episode 64 of the From The Trenches podcast series, New (Financial) Year's Resolutions, presented by Paul Meissner and David Boyer. Paul & David are passionate CA's who care deeply about the accounting industry.

Paul quit his accounting day job seven years ago and now owns and runs the Melbourne-based firm, 5ways Group Chartered Accountants, and his online Freedom Accounting System firm which allows him to travel and work from anywhere.

For the last 4 years, David has worked as a Virtual CFO. At the start of 2016 he co-founded the Virtual CFO Association and in December 2016 his company, Sequel VCFO began franchising to mobilise the experienced work force of accountants in industry and bring their expertise to SMEs.

Together with their impressive list of guest presenters, Paul and David are the brave souls needed to fight through the noise and give accountants in practice the support and information they deserve.


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