How to Stay Focused During a Workout – the Do’s & Don’ts

1. DO NOT talk on your cell phone or text while you are working out.  Pull yourself away from instant distractions and concentrate on what’s important—your workout. Not only does a text message or phone call distract you, but it also distracts people around you from focusing on their workout.

2. DO NOT focus on everyone else in the gym. Worrying about who’s doing what exercise will only slow you down. Stay in your zone, and work on yourself.

3. DO NOT compare yourself to other people in the gym. Focus on your workout, and know that you are on a journey to be the best and healthiest version of your present self. Before your workout, set a personal goal, whether you aim to spend twenty minutes on the treadmill or attend a class, set a goal and stick to it.

4. DO NOT listen to other members in the gym/fitness facility when they tell you what you “should be doing.” Follow the plan/guidelines of an educated fitness professional, and don’t worry about the opinions of everyone else.

5. DO NOT beat yourself up about not being perfect. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, and keep taking small steps to reach whatever goal you desire to achieve. Accept yourself for where you are, and know that you are doing something life-affirming and empowering for your mind, body and spirit. If you need encouragement along the way, consider hiring a personal trainer or surround yourself with positive workout buddies.

Here is my list of what TO DO to stay focused during a workout:

6. DO be prepared with an iPod/mp3 player unless you’re taking a group fitness class or personal training session. Music will motivate you throughout the workout. If you are planning to workout for 30 minutes, make the playlist for 30 minutes so it keeps you in the zone.

7. DO make an appointment with yourself for your workouts throughout the week.  If your goal is to workout three times that week, having an agenda of what you would like to do for those three sessions will help you stay focused. Whether you choose to lift weights for  two days, take a spin class, or you could even work out at home to an exercise DVD. Make sure your outlined workout program is on your calendar with specific times. This outlined schedule will keep you accountable to your allotted workout time.

8. DO set goals for yourself and reward yourself once you achieve them.  You have to have a goal of where you want to go, or you will just stay in the same place. If your goal is to look hot in a bikini for the summer, look at your eating habits and see if you are truly nurturing your body with food, or ask yourself if you need to treat it better with foods that will serve you. If you need to be stronger and healthier so you can easily chase after your kids, set a goal of working out three to four times per week to get your body stronger and healthier.  Start out with small goals, but make them specific. Make weekly goals to keep you focused on what you plan to do that week. If you achieve that goal, do something nurturing for yourself (reward yourself). Some ideas: get a manicure, get a 10-minute chair massage, buy a new shirt or a take a bubble bath.  Make your goals specific. The anticipation of the weekend reward will help you stay focused.

9. DO have a support system.  Find people in your life that will keep you accountable for your goals.  Find people in your life that will be there for you when you feel like giving up on yourself.  Everyone struggles from time to time, but when you have a support system, it helps knowing that someone has your back. It’s much more effective if you work out with someone who motivates you than if you work out with someone who criticizes you.

10. DO focus on the internal, then on the external (e.g. your appearance). Many times in life, we think that all of our answers are found outside ourselves–in pleasing or impressing other people, in boosting our ego, in meeting a standard society has set for us, etc. But in reality, those outside resources are just facades and fantasies. Our true self knows the answers to what we really want and what we need to work on.  Being your true, authentic and genuine self will keep you focused on YOU. There is no one quite like you.  Be the best you that you can be from the inside out.

Staying focused may feel difficult at first, but after a while, you’ll feel and see positive results–in mind, body and soul. I’d like to share one very important final thought with you: have a mantra for your week to keep you inspired. An example of a mantra would be: “I am strong, confident and full of life. I can conquer any obstacle in my way with willpower and grace.”  Believe in yourself, take care of yourself from the inside out and stand in your truth.  Focusing is just the beginning to being the best version of YOU!

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