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Let’s talk about distractions


I am aware attention span is in short supply these days (still there?)

Studies show we pay attention to a piece of information for an average of 3 SECONDS before moving on to the next image/line/track/video or whatever it is you are looking at on your phone or computer screen. And there are so many images and lines and tracks and videos to check out at any given time it is just too tempting to stay in just one for fear we may be just missing out. So we browse (a.k.a. we look at hundreds of things, hardly absorbing any information) This is mainly subconscious, I know, and it happens to all of us. Well maybe not to the likes of Tony Robbins or Gary Vee, but for the rest of us mere mortals it is just too difficult to stay on one thing for more than a few seconds.

Which brings me to the fact… my posts average some 750 words a piece… I’m doomed am I not??

I am stating all of the above as I too am prone to succumb to internet distractions. Often. Embarrassingly too often. Why? Not entirely sure, but I have come to the conclusion it resembles a defence mechanism quite a bit. I guess my mind takes me to Youtube or Instagram or whatever it may be so that I do not have to face the fact I should be ticking boxes and labouring my way through my goals on a Saturday afternoon (the fact it is now Sunday afternoon and this is the first entry I write in 4 days is crippling me with guilt, people!!). Why?

Why? Why? Why???

Well I am glad you asked, young warrior… I guess there may be a whole array of reasons, but I can assure you one of the main answers goes something like this: Because it is HARD and SCARY. Because it falls right outside our comfort zone, that big old grey daily mess we call routine. Because there is a part of me that would rather curse and swear today is the day I am quitting my 8-5 job (and I am so giving them a piece of my mind before I slam that office door…) on my way to work tomorrow then allowing me to accept the fact a 42 year old male, supposed to be a health and fitness tycoon by now, still needs to pay bills and keep on hustling for a few more years before I reach my Valhalla of work-life balance.

Gym in the am after a full 8 hour snooze, books and guitars in the pm after a peri-peri chicken platter, evening with my lady and repeat. Life can be a good place my friends…

Because I would rather be distracted checking out Youtube for 3 hours (there’s only so many tutorials on how to play Enter Sandman you can watch….) than putting the time on something that scares the living life out of me. So I go back to what I know, and pretend nothing happened I guess.

But that is me.

Insecurity leads me to procrastination and distraction which leads me to slow progress towards goals. I am aware of it, your Honour.

Let me make a wild guess here. Say your goal is to lose weight… Say this time is for real bruv.

Say you know what the websites with the right information are. Say you bought the books. Say your grocery list looks like the ten commandments of the Cross Fit Games elite (THOU SHALL NOT EAT STARCH!!) Say you got a membership for the local 24 hour gym. Say your partner supports you fully in achieving that goal. Say Father Christmas was a darling last year and brought you those awesome gym shoes, the fitness tracker, and the gym gear you had saved on your Amazon wish list last August after another unpleasant trip to the beach (sorry, when on the beach you must take your top off, goes with the territory mate…). Santa knows it all doesn’t he?? Say you’ve cleared 2 hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for #dagym plus you’ve promised the kids a bicycle ride every Sunday morning.

Say you doing fuck-shit-nothing about losing weight despite all of the above.

Why?

I am guessing distractions.

Your subconscious would rather be distracted than stepping out of the known misery ahem… routine. The daily grind works because it has you somehow hypnotized into believing it is too late for you, it is not going to work because you are weak and who cares when your partner says they like you the way you are anyway. And you are just busy. So busy the term busy should be removed from the dictionary and become something else because busy is just not even busy enough to describe how busy you are right now. Busy, brothers and sisters: busy. Not to mention a couple of the guys at work are even larger than you and by golly they are taking home twice the money you are making (working half as much than you do…) so they may be into something right? Cool, now pass me that pack of Oreos and another glass of wine would ya??

I am not pontificating here. I am telling you my journey is not that dissimilar to yours after all. In my case, I am ok with my nutrition and my fitness. Not 100% where I want to be, but surely enjoying the process and a few steps ahead of most. But I have my dark moments too. There are a few corners of my mind where that lusty siren song often enough succeeds into luring my time to being unproductively distracted. But I am fighting back. One day at a time I guess.

You know what you need to do: get started. Not tomorrow morning. Get started now. Do not have wine/beer with dinner. Have water or even better some green tea. In fact, have a full litre of water before going to bed tonight. Do not snack on biscuits but on fresh fruit (just a piece or two, more on fructose to come). Try to have a full conversation with your partner/child/whoever you live with without looking at your phone or your TV. Try to listen to what they have to say. Whatever meals you have left for the day, make them wholesome. If possible, treat yourself to a 15 minute walk. No headphones, no browsing on the phone.

Just walk.

Repeat tomorrow.

And the day after.

Try to hit the gym at least once this week and get on that bike on Sunday after brekkie. Have fun doing it. And when you fail and get distracted and take a few steps back, don’t worry too much about it. Just press reset and keep going for it.

You just know it. At least that conscious part of you that has made it to the bottom of this. 1,166 words, I can only thank you…

I promise I will keep reporting on the bumps in my journey too.

Have you actually checked those gym shoes do in fact fit you? Go try them on right now.

Keep strong.