Goal Oriented Focus

There’s a good chance that a distraction led you here. Post something on Facebook, or maybe through a Google search, and people will find you who weren’t even necessarily looking for you. It’s like magic . . . kind of like a shiny object on a sunny day is magical . . . ummmm, wait.

Writing is a kind of meditation. It requires us to stay focused to finish our task. In that sense, it is similar to Training. Our minds might wander during the course of 150 wall balls, but the more quickly we do the work, the more successful we are at moving on.

What happens to the thoughts we don’t want? This is important in writing as well as in training, because it is the thoughts we don’t want that seem to have the loudest voices and demand the most attention.

We begin our efforts with thoughts & hopes of greatness, but by the time we get to a finishing point, we’re pretty well beat down with negativity & distractions. Maybe our phone is vibrating, maybe the little red number popped up on Facebook, maybe a string of new Tweets came in. Even worse, your mind starts to reason with you that no one cares if you do all 150 Wall Balls. The Thrusters are going to be way too hard, especially after this madness, so go light, go easy, just go home . . . have a doughnut, have a beer, they didn’t kill you last time did they? No one knows about these dirty little thoughts, no one cares if you sneak one tasty treat, it’s just one little . . . life’s too short . . . you deserve . . . 

Success in writing or in training is never one grand sweeping gesture, success is a culmination of daily habits towards a particular focus or goal. That one little doughnut, that one relaxing beer didn’t dump 10 pounds of fat in your belly . . . but look at the past year . . . How many did we have? How many “just this once”‘s did we try to get away with?

Not everyone is 100% focused on their goal 100% of the time. Some might be closer than others, but each of us can develop better focus by practicing Goal Oriented Focus. Any thought we have, and every action we take either moves us towards or distracts us from our goals. Take a minute or two and practice this quick little exercise:

  • Pick a goal, any goal . . . it can be one you are actively working towards, or even a fictional one, this is just practice
  • Write down your goal on a piece of paper . . . you can even type it on your computer, just make sure you can see it clearly for the next minute or so
  • Set an alarm for a few minutes, it can be as little as 2 minutes, or as many as 5 minutes, for starters . . . you can always increase later, but for now, pick a manageable time
  • For the duration, let your mind entertain whatever thoughts happen to it
  • As the thoughts arise, ask yourself, Does this move me towards my goal or away from my goal?
  • Whatever goal you chose is right in front of you . . . just practice labeling thoughts as towards or away

That’s it, that’s the entire exercise. The more we practice it, the better we get with it. The better we get with it, the more we can apply it to our daily lives to help us work towards our goals.

Distractions are almost always easier to maintain than focus because distractions have emotional attachments. When we are emotionally invested in something, the more likely we are to keep coming back to it. Our emotions don’t process whether something is good or bad, just that it fulfills a need or want.

When we practice learning to focus by using this exercise listed, we start to identify emotional attachments towards our goal, which through practice, leads to the greater likelihood that we will reach our goals.

No matter how you got here, what led you here, take this as a starting point to get out of the endless loop of distractions, and use this exercise to get you back on track towards your goals. Whatever your goals happen to be are worth your every effort, and certainly worth the time it took me to write this post without getting distracted. <Wink>

~Always moving, always Strong

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