By Jesse Logister
Since I started learning about the principles of minimalism, I noticed the effectiveness of focusing on one single task or goal at a time. Multitasking and multifocusing can often leave you confused and overwhelmed. Those are problems that you should avoid, especially when you tackle difficult habitual changes like becoming an ex-smoker. Single-mindedness is the key that opens the door to a better life.
Multitasking divides your attention, your energy and your motivation. You need all three of them 100 per cent fueled, and they need to be targeted on one task, especially when it is a difficult one.
I often failed when I was trying to change my lifestyle (trying to quit smoking is just one example). I wanted to implement too many adjustments at the same time.
Focus On One Goal at a Time
Whenever I quit smoking, I always notice an increase in my energy level. As a result, I become more motivated to improve my life. Suddenly, I do not only want to work on tackling my nicotine addiction, but I want to combine it with goals like waking up early, having a jogging session in the morning or stop eating sugar.
However, so many big lifestyle changes are a bit too much to tackle all at once. Changing one habit can be mentally exhausting and even depressing for a while. This is especially the case with the break-up process from tobacco. You give up something that you liked (or thought you liked), and that can be a depressing feeling.
At such a moment, it certainly does not help if you have to lay off the sweets as well, while at the same time forcing yourself to wake up at 4:00 a clock in the morning to start a jogging session.
Some additional changes occur naturally and effortlessly while you work on modifying your lifestyle. They are nice bonuses, but see them as bonuses and don’t let them distract you from focusing on your main goal.
Find Your Ideal Transition Period
How long do you need to focus on one habit before you can move on to the next one?
Opinions and studies differ on that answer, and every person and habit is unique so you need to find out what works the best for you.
Personally, I like the idea of a 30 day single-mindedness period of change. Changing one big habit per month is a goal I want to focus on.
Experiment with transition time periods, but give change a royal amount of time so that you can be sure that there is a strong foundation before you move on to the next life changing habit that needs to be tackled.
Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed By Your Goals
Avoid making things to complicated and becoming overwhelmed. It can lead to failure and you might end up embracing a bad habit again.
Slow down and focus on one positive change at a time. I use this single-mindedness tactic during my quit smoking process and I notice that it makes it easier to fulfill my goal.
Give yourself all the time that you need. It is alright to do a little bit less in order to fuel up on energy and mental power. The time will come when you can start another positive change. Eventually, all those changes pile up on each other. They not only make you stronger, happier and healthier every day, but they also help you to tackle the next lifestyle adjustments.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the goal that you want to achieve? Slow down and take a deep breath. Change will come, but let it come gradually. Don’t try to race to the finish line like the hare.