Where is your focus? Our lives follow our focus, and our habits lead our success — success at whatever it is we are tackling and working on, be it personal or business. Do you need more focus to succeed?
What do you think of when you see the phrase “focal habits”? Does it evoke any feelings in you? Maybe it makes you cringe, but maybe it makes you thrill at the possibilities. Habits are the actions and motions we go through on a regular basis without thinking. Sometimes that’s good and sometimes not so good — depending on how much attention and intention you put into forming those habits.
Focal habits are the rituals and routines you follow to help you accomplish those things in your life you deem to be important because they support your health, your productivity, and your overall life performance. With focus, those habits further your life in several ways:
– remove the mundane decision-making that steals your energy
– reduce non-essential activities that squander your time
– keep you on track with the goals and important relationships you have
– reinforce the healthy habits you already have in place.
Every decision you make consumes energy, precious glucose reserves in your brain. Have you ever noticed that some days you’re more mentally drained than others? Consider that at least some of those days you are making more decisions than others, and without replacing the glucose you are burning. The solution? Reduce the number of decisions you make each day, and feed your brain when you have a busy decision-making day.
Each habit you form reduces the number of decisions you make by the number of actions within the habit. Your morning routine can be, without even thinking about it, to rise with gratitude, stretch, meditate, exercise, shower, dress, eat breakfast, and tend to dental hygiene — all before starting work. That’s eight decisions you don’t have to make each morning when you roll them into one habit. If you want to decision-proof it further, weekly plan your meals so you can follow the plan for what you have for breakfast each day, assuming you want something different each morning.
Maybe you have a varied exercise program, something different each day. Have it planned, like you do your breakfast menu, and drop the decision making to once a week (or month, even), and stop that unnecessary glucose burning. I’ve heard that the President of the United States lets others decide what he’s going to wear so he can preserve his daily brain energy for important decisions. Maybe you can’t go quite that far with your decision making control, but you can turn many actions into one routine, or habit, and help the day flow smoother and with more energy.
Now that we have your energy thieves on the run, and maybe even under control, let’s look at how focal habits can reduce non-essential activities. If a common complaint you have is that you are “too busy” and can’t get all the important things done in a day, it’s time to look at how you spend your time. How much time do you spend watching TV, attending meetings, skimming social media (yeah, like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Imgr), doing things that don’t give you pleasure or satisfaction or even matter to you, or “window shopping” for stuff to clutter your life? Many hours a day? Probably. Focal habits can be designed to restrict such activities to a small window of time during the day or week, if you don’t drop them all together. Think of the time you can reclaim each day and week, adding up to a huge time savings during the course of your year and life! The new habit keeps you focused on what’s important to you.
Speaking of staying focused on what’s important to you…what goals and relationships do you have that you want to stay attentive to? How are you doing with keeping them front and center in your life? Are those important goals and relationships progressing and developing the way you want, maintaining to the extent you desire? Focal habits help. You can design habits that keep you working toward your goals, and habits that keep you involved in your relationships. You go where you focus, right? You attract what you focus on, right? What a great formula for success in work, play, health, and relationships! Focal habits to the rescue, or, at least to your assistance. Guiding people in forming beneficial habits is one of the services I provide in my coaching, if this is an area you would like a bit of extra help with.
Focal habits support your already present good habits because you most likely will use those existing healthy habits to anchor the new habits to, expanding the goodness of the existing habit. That’s smart planning and living. Augment your success by paying attention to what you are doing, your goals, what’s important to you. Improve the flow of your life by being attentive and intentional to the things that aid that flow.
Now what feelings are evoked by the phrase “focal habit”? If you are serious about getting control of the chaos in your life, and succeeding at your goals and what’s important, your reaction is most likely a sense of relief and excitement at the great possibilities for a better life.
If you are going to be more successful next year, what habits are you going to have to start, or restart, right now? That’s what focal habits are all about. Are you on it?