March 10, 2016

One Change to Find Focus.

Author's own (Jane CoCo Cowles)

“I have so many ideas, so many things I want to do. So many things I love to do but just can’t find the motivation.”

Melissa sat across from me, her eyes scanning the room, as she searched to find the reason she was stuck.

“If I just had that spark, that burst of energy I would start consulting again. I would go back to that recipe book I started to write. I would complete my certification at the School of Integrated Nutrition, but I get up go to the gym, get my coffee and the day goes by I haven’t accomplished a thing. If I had an office…”

I have known Melissa for years.

She is the girl to check out a new art opening, find the latest restaurant. By the end of the night, she has met a bunch of people, collected a few business cards and has great stories to tell.

The problem wasn’t that Melissa couldn’t get motivated, she couldn’t focus. Her cell phone rang, she checked her Facebook and Instagram accounts, flipped through pages of Vogue looking for inspiration. Melissa, I said, “You are motivated to go to the gym but after that you get lost. I think you need a 45-minute time out to strategize.”

It is so easy to get lost in social media, television and other daily distractions.

It happens to us all from time to time.

I find that taking as little as 45 minutes to not just write down goals but visualize them and get excited about them, gets me in the mood to be productive.

“Think about what you do before you hit the gym—you know your routine. You get there, go straight to the treadmill and run for 20 minutes. Then you head to the weight room, do your crunches on the mat and lift weights. Then you are done. Have you thought about planning your day like you plan your workout at the gym?”

“No,” she replied.

“Do you want to try?” I asked her.

Melissa agreed she had nothing to lose. As we were leaving the cafe, Melissa thanked me and said she was going out to by a journal.

Each night before she went to sleep, Melissa put down her magazines, turned off the TV and computer, put down her cell phone and opened her journal to make a list of goals she would tackle the next day when she got home from the gym. She put it next to her bed so it was the first thing she saw when she woke.

When she got up, she read the list as she was putting on her gym clothes.

She did not check her email, Facebook, Instagram or even turn on the television—this was her 45 minutes to create a fresh approach.

This was the time that her goals became more than items on a to-do list. They became inspirations. They were the mantras she sang to herself as she ran at the gym.

When she got home, she felt refreshed, awake and alive. She was no longer searching because she had a plan.


Author: Jane CoCo Cowles

Editor: Khara-Jade Warren

Images: Hernán Piñera/ Flickr & Author’s own illustration


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