These days, mornings are definitely a challenge. Hala, soon to be 3, is a little “slow-moving”, to put it nicely. Whether it is changing her mind about what she wants to wear, resisting brushing her teeth, wanting breakfast before getting dressed or simply just not wanting to do anything just yet… she finds a way to stall. Her knew favorite word (which she can clearly say, but we’re still working on learning the meaning of) is “focus”. Whether it’s a toy that’s out of place, a question she recalls from the previous night (“What’d you have for dinner last night, Mama?”), or something her little sister is doing – her world is full of distractions.
Life can be full of distractions, can’t it? It is so easy to be pulled into conversation, “play” with the newest technology revelation, entertain that mind game in our heads encouraging procrastination, or wallow in feelings caused by a previous situation for far longer than anticipated. Much of our time can be wasted on these unnecessary side turns.
Just think, what if each and every moment of your day was filled with purpose? Don’t get me wrong… “down time” or “play time” can certainly be purposeful, so this wouldn’t be a life without relaxation or fun! How accomplished would you feel? How content? The only moments we are guaranteed are the ones we are living right now. So how can we strive, then, to focus on each moment with purpose?
- Start each day with a mental review of your life vision and what you hope to accomplish for the day. A glass full of optimism wouldn’t hurt either.
- Practice mindfulness exercises so that you can start each task with a clear and open mind. Be present in the moment. Don’t spend your time worrying on what lies ahead, or gravel in the past. The past is gone, now is here.
- Establish a schedule that works with your daily energy flow. Assign “brain tasks” when you feel alert and focused, and plan your physical activity to give oxygen to the brain and stimulate its activity.
- Anticipate the need for change. Four years ago my focus was directed mainly on my career, creating a retirement fund, things of that nature… Now, I find myself researching preschools and contributing to 529 plans. Identifying the need to change focus is different than losing focus – they should not be confused.
Take a moment to reflect on the past 5 years and look forward to the next 5… what’s different for you? What can you do today to help you focus on where you want to be five years from now?
Quote from Disney’s “Princess and the Frog”… a bit of advice from Tiana’s father:
Charlotte’s faity tale book said,
if you make a wish on evening star
it shoulda come true.
Hmmh, won’t you wish on that star, sweetheart?
– Yes, you wish and you dream with all your little heart.
But you remember dear Anawet,
that old star can only take you part of a way.
You got to help him with some hard work of your own.
Yeah you can do anything
you said you mind to.
Just promise your Daddy one thing?
That you’ll never, ever lose sign
what is really important.