On my 10-mile run today, I thought about distractions. Life is full of distractions that divert our attention away from what we’re doing and what we want to accomplish. Most situations that come up during the day are distractions. Even as I sit writing this paragraph in a coffee shop after my run, there are a number of distractions that can take me away from the writing—a conversation at the table behind me, an attractive woman reading The Alchemist in front of me, a crying baby a few feet away, a text coming through on my phone. They all mix together to take my thoughts away from what I’m doing. Then there are the distractions that require some action on our part. Those are the ones that really divert our attention and take up time. The errands we have to run, the family dinner we need to prepare, the long line we have to wait on at the DMV. We get caught up in so much minutiae that at the end of the day we don’t have much to show for our efforts.

 The answer, of course, is focus. We lose focus. Most of us have goals, even if we are reluctant to say them out loud, but we lack or lose the focus to attain them. One of the reasons why people don’t get done what they want to get done is because they spend too much time attending to what they perceive as being urgent, even when it’s actually not a high priority. Too much time is wasted performing tasks that don’t lead to results. Urgent matters tend to take precedence over important ones. This is not effective, results-oriented behavior. If you have a real sense of purpose and understand what’s really important to you, you’ll soon find out that you won’t have problems fitting everything into your schedule.

When I run, I feel focused. Perhaps it’s because there are no distractions that stop me from running. Regardless of what happens around me or the errands I have to do that day, one foot keeps following the other. I’m not going to stop. Committing to be a better runner and the daily training that accompanies that goal teaches you focus. Running has taught me all the focus I need to be successful. And it can teach you, too. When I run, I feel that my efforts are directed into something productive. Every stride moves me closer to what I want to accomplish. I feel that if I don’t get anything else done that day, at least I ran. And that’s got to be worth something.

In 2015, recognize the distractions in your life and what is urgent versus what is important and work on limiting the distractions so you can accomplish what you want.

Don’t forget to register for the Run-Fit Specialist certification and brand yourself as a running expert and get continuing education credits for NASM and ACE!

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