Focus NowYeah. That’s not a typo, though I’m pretty good at making those. Actually it started as a typo in a text and it struck me that it’s an upbeat way to start 2015.

In terms of action, “now” is all you get to make a difference in your life. Your past actions have an impact on where you are now, but they are still actions in the past.  Perhaps you can build on those actions (or apologize for them) but you can’t change them. And of course, you can always do things in the future, but again, what you will do matters much less than what you are doing right now.

So now is important. Very important. The choices you make in this moment about what you do with your time, what you say, how you interact with people, etc., are what make the difference between success and failure, happiness and disappointment, progress and stalling.

For the past few months some family situations, particularly the health of my mom, have consumed much of my attention. When moments arose when there was a choice to make about whether work or friends or volunteer commitments or even personal time came first, it was always dependent on which combination of those were vying for attention. On occasions when my mom was in the mix, she came first. A decision didn’t really have to be made and frankly, it made life easier to be so clear about that.

To be additionally clear, she didn’t need me all the time. Often it was more important to me to be there than it may have been for her to have me there. You know how that goes. It was my choice about how to focus my time and energy and therein lies the key.

It’s your choice, too.

You get to choose how you spend your 1,440 minutes a day. Every one of those minutes is “now” at some point. In that now could you watch another TV show or go for a walk?  Could you balance your checkbook online or play Candy Crush? Could you worry about that weird sound your car is making or make an appointment to have it checked out? Could you stew over a disagreement or make a call to talk it out? Could you focus on how unkind life can be or do a kindness for someone? Could you shuffle stuff on your desk because you don’t know what to do first or tackle just one thing – anything – on your task list?

If you look at every category of things that can rise to the top of your priorities, you’ll see that none of them have the priority every minute of every day.  You may say family comes first, but only when family is in the mix of needs in that moment. Right? Other times work or friends or even relaxation comes first. It’s about timing. For some, work comes first no matter what and while I understand it, it’s not for me. Is it for you? Or can you put work first during certain segments of your day. Even if you work for a larger company instead of in your own business, there are still minutes of the workday that can be focused on non-work tasks (calls from family or friends, lunch breaks, water cooler conversations). Remember, better breaks mean better work and better results.

So this year, how will you spend your now? The exciting part is that you get to choose! You have so many opportunities to spend your minutes on things that really matter to you. Things that will move you closer to your goals.

Happy Now Year!!

And now, I’m going for more coffee.