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Are You Focused?

January 13, 2010

Focus.

If there is one word that gets talked a lot about – it is Focus.

Have you started a diet or workout regimen lately only to hear that a new trend or piece of equipment is now available that will make you extra (fill in the blank)?  I have.  In fact, I’ve done it about 4 times this year already!  I guess I read too much or perhaps its a by-product of my self-diagnosed ADD?  On the other hand, have you promised yourself a new You – but you just can’t seem to gain any momentum?  Been there, too.

In my last post, we talked about being sore, a natural progression of working out muscles that haven’t seen action for a short while.  Today, we’ll continue that discussion on something we all need help with:  Focus.

When a goal is first created, you typically have a strong ally that goes with that fresh focus.  That ally is called desire.  For most, when you decide you want to lose weight or improve your shape, your desire is strong.  It gets reinforced every time you look in a mirror or pass by a reflective window.  Unfortunately, that desire to look great can often be overshadowed by short term vision for other desires that work against you – like bad food choices or how to spend your time.  So, here are three tips for keeping your desire and focus for a better you in 2010.

What Do You Want to Look Like in 3/6/9/12 Months?

When you take your “before” pictures prior to a weight loss program, it becomes quite easy to point out what you don’t like – and then to form a vision for what you would realistically look like in 3, 6, 9, or 12 months.  If you want to change, truly change, then focus on what you want to look like and make the appropriate decisions which include exercise, eating right and making healthier choices.  To help you with what you want to look like, try this:  buy a clothing item that is the size you want to be.  Put it in an obvious spot in your bedroom or closet.  Not only does this help you to visualize what you can become, it also is a reward for when you get there.  Finally, if you don’t get to that size, you’ve lost a little money.  Put some “skin” in the game – and buy some new threads for a great focus.

What Are The Consequences?

Everything we do in life has consequences.  Some times we slide something by our boss, friend, family member or neighbor so we can get away from suffering consequences.  Unfortunately, our bodies won’t let us “slide by.”  Our bodies are wonderful engines that are complex in so many ways.  If we continue bad habits, eventually our bodies will rebel against us and shut down.  If you smoke too much, your breath shortens, as does your life span.  If you drink alcohol too much, your liver shuts down and your life shortens.  If you eat too much, your belly expands as does your ability to resist insulin.  Soon you are not only obese, but diabetic as well.  Your ability to enjoy life decreases along with your ability to simply get around.  So you see, everything has consequences.  It’s time to fully grasp those consequences, don’t you think?  That sober thought should give everyone pause to think – and focus.

What Is Really Important?

Too many times we lose our focus when we put unimportant stuff in front.  Is watching a TV show more important than working out?  We all deserve our relaxation time, but never at the expense of our health.  Is eating that cake or extra helping more important than a healthy body?  Again, there is a time to eat what you like, but you don’t have to do it all the time.  Our taste buds do not have to be excited by sugar to have a good time.  There are many more wonderful senses our tongues can enjoy.  Flavors, time choices, bad habits – at the heart of it, they are simply obstacles we must overcome.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

As the rest of 2010 starts to unfold, don’t let it slip by another day.  Take decisive action with your goals and remember these three important questions so that your focus can stay sharp.  In just a few days I hope to announce a fun contest, the first of its kind on this blog, to help with focus in a fun way.  Stay tuned, it’s coming soon!

Does your focus stray?  What do you find that works well to keep your focus laser sharp?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 13, 2010 9:02 am

    I once heard if you have a goal but don’t tell anyone about it you have about a 30% chance of achieving it, if you write it down it goes up to about 50% and if you tell others as high as 75%. I journal on my goals every term, every 4 months I look back and see where I have made progress, where I want to and where I have slipped. I use a form I created years ago and modify it each year, based on that years goals. You can see the form here here It is an excel spread sheet, and I create a Tab for each month and then one to track the year and average it. What I like about this system is it developed over a number of years of accountability with two close friends. That form synthesizes down into two list of self examination questions:
    Daily Goals:

    1. To get enough sleep.
    2. To eat right & exercise daily.
    3. To refuse to be a perfectionist.
    4. To carefully control finances.
    5. To ask for help when needed.
    6. To pray and read the Bible daily.
    7. To not pressure self into planning my entire life today.

    One of the tools I use is journaling. I am currently on my 37th volume since August of 1994. Each term, I journal on these questions.

    Guiding Questions:

    Who are you?
    What do you want?
    Where are you going?
    Who do you serve?
    Who do you trust?

    Some of my favorite quotes on goals and change are:

    “It’s Very Important to understand the difference between dreams and goals. Dreams are things we wish for–things you enjoy thinking about but don’t really know when they’ll happen. Goals, on the other hand, are specific things you have decided you need to accomplish within a clearly defined period of time.”
    Bill Phillips – Body For Life

    “Mere change is not growth. Growth is the synthesis of change and continuity, and where there is no continuity there is no growth.”
    C.S. Lewis – Essay on Hamlet

    “There is nothing so constant as change. Meet it. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Learn from it.
    The one thing you can be absolutely sure of in your life is change. It’s the only thing that never changes. The law of nature is that you either grow or you die; there’s no in-between. So, what have you chosen so far? Are you growing in every area of your life? Hey, it’s not enough to be growing and looking great just because you work out. That’s only a small part of your life. What about your emotions, spiritual life, family, friends, career, hobbies? Are they growing as your body does? Become a complete person and not an in-shape and great-looking version of an incomplete person. There’s way more to life than just working out. Go with the flow and embrace changes in all areas of your life. The change will do you good.”
    Robert Wolff, PH.D. – Bodybuilding 101

    Yours Steven

    (Just my rambling response to another excellent post Jeff.)

    • January 13, 2010 11:48 am

      Great info here Steve. Thx for sharing your journalling method. That’s great commitment to a system!
      Your Robb Wolff quote – is that a book? I’m a fan of his and his new podcast, Paleolithic Solutions.

  2. January 13, 2010 9:04 am

    btw How are you enjoying your 5 Fingers? Still loving them?

  3. January 13, 2010 9:05 am

    1 More:

    I really like to free little ebook cook book your offering on the sidebar. Will be trying a few after the move next week. Thanks for the great resource.

    • January 13, 2010 11:51 am

      I’m glad you like the e-book. Now that I’m eating a Paleo/Primal way, I need to add some of those recipes or start a new book.

  4. January 13, 2010 11:44 am

    Hey Jeff….I really liked this post on Focus. That’s the key….keeping focused, not allowing distractions, emotionally,mentally, physically, to deter us from our path, our healthy journey.

    I LOVE this line,…and I’m gonna have to borrow it :o)
    ” Our taste buds do not have to be excited by sugar to have a good time. There are many more wonderful senses our tongues can enjoy. ”

    And Steve…loved your comments too!

  5. January 13, 2010 11:49 am

    Still liking the Vibrams. I wear them as often as I can, but lots of snow has prevented running much in them. 😦

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