As I traveled to my walking track this morning, I noticed that the rough, dangerous, annoying road that has been under construction had “suddenly” been transformed into a magic carpet ride, smooth as silk. The borders of the road were clearly defined with new paint and color. It was not only easy to traverse, but pleasant. I immediately realized that this clearly defined pathway represented focus.
As we navigate our lives we quite often lose focus of our goals. This is the danger zone for our health initiatives. As we become encumbered with the tasks and trials of daily existence our lofty ideals of health and wellness can easily be pushed aside for more “necessary” tasks. Our days become like the road under construction. We can get through but it’s a difficult task. It’s occasionally dangerous as we push ourselves to our physical, emotional and psychological limits. We don’t enjoy it and the entire experience just wears us out. How often do we skip a workout or lose sleep to manage a pothole in the road? When we finally get past all of that we are exhausted and our vehicle is somewhat beat to pieces. If we had taken a more focused route, we would have arrived at our destination sooner and intact.
Setting the right goal, detailed and realistic, is the most important aspect of developing focus¹. Without this step, our minds wander and everything in the world distracts us from what is truly important. Saying “I really need to do better.” will not give us the same results as “I need to get eight hours of sleep every day.” Once that goal is established, everything in our lives should revolve around that. In my case, I lift weights three times/week. My life revolves around that fact. It is my job. I don’t get paid for it but it is my first commitment, therefore it is my job. When I put it into this position in my life, it gets done. There have been scheduling problems when I had to change my days but I have not failed to work out three times in one week since I made that decision. It’s not always easy. If I told you the complexities of my life you would be stunned that I make this happen. At first glance, it seems impossible. Without focus and having limited time to devote to fitness, we will fail. It is not a question of whether we will or not. We will. When we focus the journey is smoother. We may go through hard times and dangerous places but focus has redefined the pathway. Suddenly, we know exactly what we have to do. There are fewer distractions because the focus has expedited our journey and those unnecessary jolts and jars and potholes just don’t have a hold on us anymore. We remember them but we are on a different path and with this path clearly in focus, our journey will deliver us to the doorstep of our ultimate goal.
Go ahead. Set that goal. Make it detailed. Make it realistic. Make that commitment to yourself and then let the scenery waft by as you travel to the ultimate you. ;-*