Focus: the most important healthy habit

Have you ever had that moment when you decide that that’s it, from now on I am going to the gym every day, I am not eating anymore crap, I am going to be healthier. Probably, most of us have. Have you had many of these moments? I am not talking about mastering one habit, feeling good about it and then adding a new one. Have you had multiple moments where you rededicated yourself to the same goal….only to forget about it a few weeks, days, hours later as life distracted you.

If all around improved wellness is your goal, there are lots of little habits that you may want to adapt: getting an appropriate amount of sleep, drinking water, developing an exercise routine and eating healthy food. Which are all wonderful things but can be overwhelming when tackled all together. Sometimes even one of those goals can feel like a mountain when the desire is there but the practical application of the strategy hasn’t been figured out.  You may notice that even though you have a strong desire for the outcome, the familiar habits take over and you are not seeing the progress that you had hoped for.

Instead of beating yourself up or pushing yourself to “just try harder”, take a step back for a moment and think about what has gone wrong. More than likely, distractions of everyday life and familiarity of old patterns have gotten in the way. If this is the case, commit to a practice of focus. Make a list of the habits you’d like to develop. Then set aside some time at the beginning of every week (or if this seems like too much, just a few minutes every day) to take an honest look at your calendar and decide when and where these new habits are going to fit in. If you’re trying to develop a meditation practice, for example, look for a few minutes every day (or every few days) where you can have some quiet time. If you are wanting to fit in more exercise into your week, decide the minimum amount of time required for each workout, and look for those spaces between other commitments in your calendar. Write it in your calendar and stick to it. If something changes and you are not able to keep the appointment with yourself as planned, reschedule.

As that focused time of intention setting becomes a habit, you’ll see that the other habits begin to fall into place because you have created a space for them.

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