Forget A To-Do List. Focus On This Instead

Michael Bonnell
Jun 20 · 5 min read

Focusing On ONE Thing

It’s hard to narrow down all of my wants and desires to just one thing. I mean, of course, I would love to wake up in a beautiful home overlooking the ocean, driving in the latest model sports car, run the most successful company in the world, or have the ability to travel whenever my heart desires.

As much as I want these things, they just aren’t my ONE Thing, though.

P.s. I am not going to go in-depth on it, but if you haven’t read The ONE Thing by Gary Keller, then you are missing out. It is truly eye opening and life changing.

If I had to focus on achieving just ONE thing (it’s actually going to be TWO things) over the course of my life, it would be to provide financial freedom for my family, while inspiring others who are affected personally by mental illnesses.

Let me tell you why. My parents, my sisters, and my grandparents were all there for me when I needed them the most. Without their continued love and support to pick me up when my mental health was at a low, and without them believing in me when I didn’t even believe in myself, then I would not be here today. Being able to lift all of the stress related to finances off their shoulders would be the least that I could do.

Why You Should Forget A To-Do List

When you envision yourself achieving all of your dreams, how many different things come to your mind? Probably thousands. If your lucky, you narrow that list down to just ten things. But even when you look at those ten things, how overwhelmed do you feel? For me, those ten things were enough to make me have a near panic attack.

Instead, ask yourself what’s the ONE thing that you could be doing right now that will help to set you up for success. Don’t become overwhelmed by ten different things, focus on one and go from there.

My ONE Thing

With my one thing (two) being to provide financial freedom for my family while inspiring others, what can I be doing right now to help set me up for success? Well, I envision myself writing, and I envision myself working directly with those who have been impacted by mental illness. Maybe in the form of a coach, maybe an author, or maybe a speaker. Honestly, I haven’t gotten that far yet.

But let’s break down this whole one thing trajectory.

First, I need to ask myself what can I be doing right now to help me achieve my goal for today. Since my goal for today is to get a blog post uploaded, the ONE Thing that I should be focusing on right now to help me to achieve that goal would be writing. Well, here I am.

Next, I need to ask myself how my goal today will help to achieve my goal for the week. My goal for the week is to earn $25 from my writing on Medium. In order to achieve that, I need to write inspirational and quality content every day for seven days. If I can do this, it will then, at the same time, help to set me up for success with my ONE thing.

My monthly goal is to earn $100 on Medium. In order to achieve that, I need to earn on average $25 a week, which starts with writing inspirational and quality content for seven days, which starts with writing inspirational and quality content today. By doing it now, I am setting myself up for success.

My yearly goal is to grow both on Medium while boosting that income to over $5,000. It’s an aggressive goal, but it is attainable. At the same time, I also want to start making additional income from my blog as well. To achieve my yearly goal, I need to continue to grow, which is done by writing every day for twelve months, which starts with writing every day for one month, which starts with writing every day for a week, which starts with writing one day, which starts with writing right now.

My five-year goal is to have earned a full-time income through writing, while at the same time inspiring as many people as I can possibly reach. Again, it’s an aggressive goal, but one that’s attainable. To achieve my five-year goal, I first need to achieve my yearly goal and continuing to grow each and every year for that five-year duration. To achieve my yearly goal, I need to continue to grow, which is done by writing every day for twelve months, which starts with writing every day for one month, which starts with writing every day for a week, which starts with writing one day, which starts with writing right now.

Lastly, my ONE thing. It’s actually two things that transpire into one. My ONE Thing is to provide financial freedom for my family through inspiring as many lives as I possibly can. To do this, I need to achieve my five-year goal as many times as it takes to achieve my ONE Thing. As my five-year goal is to have earned a full-time income through writing, while at the same time inspiring as many lives as I can possibly reach, I first need to achieve my yearly goal and continuing to grow each and every year for that five-year duration. To achieve my yearly goal, I need to continue to grow, which is done by writing every day for twelve months, which starts with writing every day for one month, which starts with writing every day for a week, which starts with writing one day, which starts with writing right now.

Looking Both Ways

You normally start by asking yourself what is the ONE thing that you want to achieve over the course of your life and break it down from there, I simply wanted to give you the concept of how The ONE Thing has helped to inspire change in my life. You can either build up to your one thing, or you can break it down, but no matter what, any result is going to require some amount of action that you are not yet giving.

Don’t wake up in the morning and overwhelm yourself right away. Forget a list of things to do and focus on just one thing instead. You will be less stressed, less overwhelmed, and more likely to take action if you are only focusing on one thing at a time. All of this will lead to you achieving more meaningful tasks, which will ultimately lead to you achieving the ONE Thing that you want to achieve in your life.

Michael Bonnell

The Startup

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Michael Bonnell

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Raising money for mental health. Stories for the dreams, doers, and believers. World Explorer. Striving to be the best that I can be. www.michael-bonnell.com

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +477K people. Follow to join our community.