Focusing our efforts on healthy initiatives can be extremely challenging in today’s crazy world. We live in a culture filled with demands pulling us in numerous different directions – kids, career, responsibilities, challenges, other people, etc. Our lives are spread far too thin, which is a reality we must accept. This being the case, how do we begin to think about adding another layer – exercise – to our already overwhelming lives? The answer to this question is focus.
Having focus can give you tremendous power. With it you’ll find your exercise program will not just have motion, but direction. This will produce positive results. Furthermore, having focus gives you the energy needed to get started and stay consistent. You have the strength within you to make it work, you just need to focus and have a clear set of objectives. “The mind doesn’t reach toward achievement until it has clear objectives,” John Maxwell once said. Here are three ways you can use focus to make you fit:
Be Intentional. It is imperative that you have a plan to put into action, in this case a specific exercise program to follow. Too many people start exercising at random. The outcome of this is motion, not direction. This lack of direction (intentionality) leads to failure. Being intentional means having an exercise program laid out in advance of each workout. Having a plan allows you to follow through day-by-day and week-by-week. In addition, the ability to measure progress breeds motivation, and motivation leads to success.
Challenge your Excuses. When it comes to exercise, excuses are as plentiful as grains of sand on a beach. The problem with excuses is that’s all they are: excuses. Everyone will find the time and resources to do what he or she wants. It’s a matter of priority. Exercise doesn’t have to consume exorbitant amounts of time; a little bit here and there can make a big difference. Research has shown that three short bouts (10 minutes) of exercise a day can have a positive impact on your health. Unload the excuses and start doing something today!
Forget the Past. Many people are plagued by their past experiences or failures with exercise. But let me say this gently to you—get over it and move on! Today is all that matters; what happened yesterday is history. It’s okay that you failed. Learn from it and move on. I like what Thomas Edison said: “Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Today is a new day. Truth be told, you’ll probably take a number of exercise sabbaticals throughout your life. Remember, however, that exercise should be viewed as a life-long endeavor.
I wish you all a prosperous and healthy 2011. Remember, your life and happiness are a direct result of the choices YOU make. Be intentional and focused with your choices this year—you will be amazed how far that can take you!