How to Focus On One ThingNov 07, 2023
Where we live, it's getting dark very early.
It's just that time of the year when there's less daylight.
The temperature is dropping too.
Perfect hibernation weather, if you are a bear.
But you are NOT a bear.
Problem is, this cold-and-dark-weather phenomenon is a recipe for poor eating and skipped workouts.
So I have the perfect story to share as we approach the cold season in the Northern Hemisphere.
See if you can find the message.
Tom moved into a new neighborhood.
Each day he could see his neighbor's dog sitting on the front porch howling, as if in great pain.
At first he thought little of it, but when this had gone on for a couple of weeks Tom approached the neighbor and asked why his dog kept howling.
The neighbor looked at the dog and said simply:
"He is howling because he's sitting on a nail."
Tom thought about it for a moment and asked:
"Well then why doesn't he sit somewhere else?"
To which the neighbor replied:
"Well I guess it is not hurting him badly enough to move just yet."
How many of us are GUILTY of this in various facets of our lives?
- Skipping workouts.
- Making mindless nutrition choices.
- Responding with the cliche "sooo busy," when somebody asks how you are doing.
Your busyness is a choice, by the way.
- Thinking you can be your own coach, or worse yet, be your spouse's coach.
- Not being where you want to be.
- 🙁Hanging around with negative people... the list goes on.
If you're tolerating "pain" it is only because you have chosen to accept it.
Sure, there will be some discomfort with change.
But it sure as heck beats having a nail stuck in your backside!
You are only a few daily habits away from living the life you desire and deserve.
I'm serious. Allow me to explain.
How to Focus On One Thing
There’s a saying that goes something like this…
“The dog that tries to pick up two bones usually drops both.”
The lesson is that it's tough to focus on two things at the same time.
I’ve been working on this concept with our children, George and Giavanna, since they were very young.
Years ago, when it was time to clean up toys, they tried to pick them ALL up at once.
Although I appreciated the effort, both kids always dropped one toy as they attempted to pick up the one dropped a second ago.
We also see this when it comes to dinnertime with the family.
When it’s time to eat, there can’t be anything else going on.
All devices with a screen are switched off.
Why? Distraction, of course.
If our goal is to have meaningful conversation and mindful eating at dinner, all electronics must be out of sight.
Only delicious food and happy attitudes are allowed on the table.
Which reminds me of a funny story.
When I was in elementary school, we would almost always have a sit-down family dinner.
My parents didn't tolerate sour faces at the dinner table.
If me or one of my younger siblings would have a frowning look, my dad would ask what was wrong.
"What's wrong, Joe?"
I would just look away, push my lips out even more, and fold my arms tightly across my chest.
You had better respond or you got the "Faccia a Fungo."
The phrase, translated from Italian, literally means "Mushroom Face."
Dad would put down his fork and say, "Okay everyone, looks like Joseph has 'Faccia a Fungo.'"
And everyone would look at me, with my sullen "Mushroom Face," and then count out loud:
"One. Two. Three. Hmmmmmmm!" while pushing out their lips into an exaggerated sourpuss face.
I know. I know. Seems mean and a little harsh at first.
But it's impossible not to laugh, even when you're the one with the scowling facial expression and grumpy attitude.
And, just like magic, the frowning face would turn into a smile, laughter, and the mood would immediately get happier.
Try it sometime.
Just not with your boss.
And never with a police officer if you get pulled over for speeding.
Okay, only do this with your kids when they are little.
What's my point?
Well, I’m not saying you must treat yourself like a dog or young kid, but there’s certainly a teachable moment here.
When a new client joins the fitness-and-nutrition coaching program, it can feel overwhelming.
Maybe they have a grumpy attitude because they have low self confidence.
Perhaps they are frustrated with "getting old" and "everything hurting."
Most often they are cynical because they've "tried everything" to lose weight in the past, yet "nothing worked."
If you are visiting our facility for the first time, I aim to get you to focus on this one thing:
Walk through the door 10 times.
If you are training at home, the goal is similar:
Walk into your "home gym," or wherever you will exercise, 10 times.
Don’t try to change nutrition, don’t worry about fat loss or strength.
Don’t worry about anything else other than walking through the door 10 times.
What I'm trying to do is build the habit of frequency.
You need frequency as the foundation before you can change anything else.
If you try to set 100 goals and go after multiple things like frequency, losing bodyfat percentage, getting stronger, changing nutrition, all at the same time, guess what happens?
You lose focus and, as a result, you may not achieve your priority-one goal.
So do this:
Focus on one thing at time, make it a habit, and then, only then, stack another habit on top of it.
For most over-40 mean and women, training frequency is the first habit you need to build.
And training frequency increases when you walk through the door.
Just remember that, wherever you train, your workouts must become part of your weekly routine.
Kind of like like dropping the kids/grandkids off at school or going to church on Sunday.
Once walking through the door becomes a habit (there is no magic number of days, it’s when you feel it’s become second nature)...
...then, and only then, can you focus on things like your specific goal, nutrition, etc.
If you are ready to work with the best online personal trainer, we can sit down with you and create a clear plan of action.
It's very east to schedule a call to get the ball rolling.
To wrap, I’m not suggesting you ONLY go after one goal.
Or ONLY go after one thing.
Or ONLY pick up one toy.
I’m just saying only focus on doing ONE thing at at time.
Then the next one.
And the next one after that.
Stack your small successes.
That's how lasting change is made.
To your success,
Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online age-management personal trainer, or you want to visit the best longevity program in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.