There are so many things to do, training styles to follow, and cool things to train for especially when you train for general capability. You can get lost in all the things you want. Fitter, faster, stronger, more pull ups, bigger squats, a handstand, pistol squats, jump higher, a back flip, swim around an island. Everything is awesome and there are just too many things to focus on at once.
I have fallen prey to this. Running around like a headless chicken trying to get good at everything including the ability to get good at doing everything, and that never happens. Then nothing is awesome!
Action overrides intent
We are what we do, not what we intend to do. We are defined by our actions not our words or goals. When we focus on too many things we water down our intent and our ability to execute. We need to hack away the non-essential and refine our goals to the necessary - in life and in training. Once you have this you need to pick one and work towards it relentlessly.
Another problem that arises is jumping from one goal to another, doing something for two weeks then moving on to the next thing without really achieving much. How do we get results? We need to focus our intent. We need to have a process to follow.
1. Have goals.
2. Pick one that will create the most improvement, the one that bring the most benefit or the one that will help you achieve the others.
3. Set targets to hit, steps towards your bigger goal.
4. Dedicate a reasonable amount of time to achieve it. At the very least 6 weeks.
5. Maintain what you have in other areas while you drive to build up ability in your goal domain.
Let take a simple example: getting stronger
Firstly let’s define getting stronger:
Note: strength can be defined in many ways, this is just an example.
Where do you stand in relation to this?
Now we need to focus our training. We do just enough to maintain our fitness, mobility, speed and other qualities while we put more energy into getting stronger. This means adjusting your training program by adding in more strength work and doing less conditioning (it takes less work to maintain than to build). Track your progress to see if you are improving throughout the 10 week block. At the end of the block, assess your results and decide how to move forward. Should you adjust your training focus or stay strength focused for a while longer? This will depend on your results and your overall goal.
Focussing your intent applies to all areas of life, not just training, like Bruce Lee said, “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser like focus.” Everything is awesome, but everything all at once isn’t.