Focus.

Focus is important in many aspects of life to keep us driven and working toward a goal. Getting through school work, work-work, spending  quality time with your kiddo/partner/friend at the end of a long day… the list goes on. Focus is also very important for reaching your wellness goals. I have spent some time here talking about focusing on goals, writing them down, planning, journaling, self-monitoring, and keeping going after setbacks. All of this takes ongoing focus, in and out of the gym, and will increase your chances for success.

I try to maintain focus on a desired goal throughout my day. This gets me to my workout, and gets me through my workout. When it comes to decision time in my day, if I have been planning, have focused on what is important to me, and know what goals I am working toward, it helps me keep that in mind when I debate between sleeping or exercise, or fast food or going home to cook. This is where reminders of your goal, visually placed about your life, can really be helpful. Put a reminder on your phone about how much you want to reach that goal 30 minutes before you intend to workout!

Focus during your workout will help you keep going, drown out distraction, and push through the difficulty. I enjoy exercise to clear my head, and completely tune out the outside world. I often see people in the gym exercising, but looking about, sipping water every couple minutes, fooling around with the dials… clearly not focused. Trust me, when your head and mind are moving about, you will fatigue more quickly, the workout will feel more tortuous, and you will not be getting the benefit you are capable of – physically or psychologically!

My tips…

  • Plan your workouts ahead of time so you are not wasting time planning while there, which creates room for distraction.
  • Write down your workout before you go in. Carry a little notebook to write your plan and track your goals. This will also keep you focused on pushing yourself harder or further each week or month.
  • When you are exercising, focus on something in front of you, and don’t divert your eyes.
    • When I am running I focus on a point where my neck and eyes feel most comfortable, and I almost blur out the rest of the world. I barely notice anything around me – even someone walking in front of me – and it would even then be rare for me to look at the person.
    • When I am running at home, my kids or husband have to get right in my line of sight to get my attention, because I don’t hear or see them otherwise!
    • If I don’t do this, I lose focus, and my mind reminds me this is hard and I am closer to wanting to stop.
  • Get lost in the music. Focus on the music and try to just listen, increase or decrease your pace to the beat, change up your playlist periodically, skip songs you are not feeling, and count your breaths to comfort with the music and your feet. Same goes with lifting… focus on that music and let it give you the energy to push through those sets!
    • Or focus on a television show if that suites you better, just focus and get going!
  • When you realize you have lost distraction, just get your mind back into it! You are bound to lose distraction here and there in life and in the gym, just bring your mind back and keep going!
  • Visualize your body looking the way you want. This personally helps me feel my body working during a workout, and keeps me going because I know it will help me get to that goal.
  • This is also helpful in daily life and getting to the gym. Think about how you want to look for that upcoming vacation or event, or how you want to look naked – visualize yourself feeling smaller, stronger, more athletic, and sexier!

Here are some more tips for staying focused from bodybuilding.com…

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/5-best-ways-to-stay-focused-limit-distractions-during-workout.htm

Focus on your goals, focus on your mind and body, and focus on that workout! Change will happen!!!!

How focus already helped me today… I just got in my morning lift between starting and finishing this post – and got a kid to basketball practice!  🙂 I put myself on a timeline for when I would work out, focused on this post before and after, and focused on my workout during that time. Now to get ready for work! It is amazing what you can accomplish with a little planning and a lot of focus 🙂

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