The importance of Fitness Focus

October 22, 2013 at 8:34 AM

“If you do not take the time to establish and maintain a strong fitness focus, then when you are faced with those hundreds of little choices, you are going to take the easy way.”

You have only so many hours in a day and unfortunately there’s not a dam thing you can do about that. There’s only so much energy that you can expend in a single day. And even though I can outperform most of the people I know, there is a limited amount of things I can focus on in a day. Limited time, limited energy, limited focus, which means I’m fooling myself if I think I can simply jam in a fitness goal into an already full life. 

Focus is a limited resource. It’s like diverting a river into channels, the more you split up the focus-flow, the less powerful the current. That’s why I have always said it’s so important to guard your focus, and this is especially important for those who desire to accomplish something counterintuitive and focus-demanding, like weight loss or increasing fitness. It takes a river of concentrated focus.  

For the last four years, one of my closest friends has announced almost weekly that she is going to start a serous fitness program. By nature, I’m an encouraging guy, so I respond with equal bravado, “you can do it! Go for it!” A few days ago, when talking on the phone, she blustered again, “I’m doing it, and nothing is going to get in my way. When I turn 50 I will be in the best shape of my life,” I felt in good conscience it was time to get honest with her. “Annette, you have been proclaiming this now for four years. What will be different this time?” She paused, so I continued. “You have one of the busiest social lives I know, and that’s the life you love. But if you are serious about starting a fitness program, some of that social life will have to be sacrificed.” 

She is making the same mistake many people do thinking that maintaining good fitness into your 40’s and beyond is easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. You would be doing it. After all, everyone wants to be fit. The reality is, it’s not easy, not one bit. Don’t let any late night infomercial selling some quick-fit contraption, tell you differently. Fitness takes time, energy and focus, all limited resources; therefore something is going to have to be sacrificed. 

In fact, I would say that the hardest part of fitness for me is not time or energy but focus. Here’s why.  A fitness lifestyle does not come naturally for most of us, especially as we age. It involves not giving into food cravings, hitting the gym when tired, getting proper sleep when staying up late with friends is more fun, having just one drink when everyone is having four. It means saying no a lot when emotions are saying yes! Most of all, it is thinking long-term instead of just satisfying a short-term desire, like eating that piece of cheese cake. 

Staying on a long-term goal requires focus. Here’s why. Being fit is about hundreds of little choices you make throughout weeks of daily living. You may forget the cheese cake you ate a week ago, but your body does not. Those 300 to 500 calories will be stored as body fat. If you do not take the time to establish and maintain a strong fitness focus, then when you are faced with those hundreds of little choices, you are going to take the easy way and not the hard way. You will lose sight of the long-term goal and go for the short-term fix. Before you know it, the fitness goal is long forgotten, until you are standing in front of a mirror dripping wet, wearing all those hundreds of little decisions around your waste. 

I’m in good shape for my age, but over these last few weeks, I have decided to increase my fitness to a higher level. I’m actually very excited about it. Over the next few blogs, I would like to share the specific things I am doing to maintain a strong fitness focus. They work. 

Read: Getting Motivated To Exersise

Posted in: Weight Loss

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