The Relationship Between Focus and Motivation

There was an extra spring in my step following my first session with my trainer on Sunday. I stood taller and was perhaps a little cocky as I drove from his studio to my regular gym to add a twelve mile bike ride on top of the workout I had just completed. My energy level was out of control and I liked it.

The next morning, I groaned as I rolled out of bed while every muscle in my body seemed to scream. Going into my program, I was expecting it to be painful. I was ready for the grueling road that stood between me and the tone I was after. Yet the actual, real-life soreness still caught me a little off guard. I moved slowly throughout the day, struggling to lift a bottle of water close enough to my face for a drink as I debated in the back of my mind if I would hit the gym that night to keep on my cardio routine. I had worked hard and a night off wouldn’t be a bad thing, right? But it was Monday, the other part of me yelled into my psyche, I always do cardio on Mondays. After all, going into this next chapter I had it in my head that my training sessions wouldn’t replace any of my regular workouts, only add to them. If I skipped the gym, in my mind, I was already failing.

So off to the gym I went and logged my miles, even though a minute into the ride I thought I was going to die from the burning in my legs. But as each mile passed, it got better and soon enough I was in my usual stride. Next step taken, roadblock averted.

In my last post, we talked about keeping your eye on your goal; envisioning yourself getting there, imagining how that moment is going to feel and making that your motivation.

Your motivation is that “thing” you want to achieve; whatever it is. Keep that in your sight line, but not in your focus. It’s easy to obsess over that end goal and that leads to frustration when you don’t get there right away. Right now, it needs to be that blurry thing in the distance that gets clearer with each day… each step… that you take towards it. Your focus is the step-by-step you have to take to get there.

This morning, I was still insanely sore. I didn’t know how on Earth I was going to possibly get through another session of circuit training and wanted more than anything to stay curled up in my bed under a pile of blankets. Put it off another day. But if I started skipping sessions now, the pain I’d endured the past two days would be for nothing. I’d have to start all over again. So I focused on what was immediately ahead of me and told myself that I just had to get through it. You got this, I thought as I looked in the mirror.

Often times it’s thought that the first step is the toughest, but I’d kindly disagree. Anyone can change up their mindset for a day or two. The hardest part is keeping focused beyond that, pushing yourself when things get hard towards that thing that motivates you and keeping yourself from sliding back down into your old way of thinking.

One step at a time, as they say. Keep focused on that next step, with the vision of your goal in the distance. One step turns into five. Five turns into ten. Ten into thirty and so on. Pretty soon, you’ll be so many steps in, you won’t let anything send you backwards. Your motivation simply won’t let you quit.

Keep focused.  You’ll get there.

——————————————————————————————-

As an aside, I tend to lean on music to get me through the times when my brain and body argue, as they’ve done the past few days. While this song has likely been played to death on the radio (and rightfully so, it’s great), I personally hadn’t heard it in a long time and rediscovered it this weekend. It’s taken on a whole new meaning for me and has reignited my own focus. I wanted to share it with you, in the hope it can perhaps do the same. (lyrics below the video)

If anything, the vid itself is freaking incredible… so there’s that.

TRY by P!nk
Ever wonder about what he’s doing
How it all turned to lies
Sometimes I think that it’s better to never ask why
Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try try try
Funny how the heart can be deceiving
More than just a couple times
Why do we fall in love so easy
Even when it’s not right
Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try try try
Ever worried that it might be ruined
And does it make you wanna cry?
When you’re out there doing what you’re doing
Are you just getting by?
Tell me are you just getting by by by
Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone’s bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die
You’ve gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
You gotta get up and try try try
Gotta get up and try try try
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