Focus is the New Superpower

I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase radical intentionality. The first time I wrote it down was last year when I created a slide for the Fall Into Focus Workshop titled Focus is the New Superpower. I wrote that “it takes radical intentionality to take back your time and attention.” As the months have passed, I keep turning back to this phrase. 

It takes radical intentionality to stay focused on your goals, for sure. The AW Process was born and has been successful for so many people because it is so darn difficult to stick to a goal, yet it feels so good when we do. And it’s not just the finishing that feels good. It’s all the small steps along the way when you are taking action instead of wishing you were.

Radical Intentionality in Practice

Let’s say you want to get up earlier which requires you to make not one but several different choices. What time you go to sleep, what you eat and drink, or what you don’t eat or drink before bed. What do you do with the additional time in the morning? What do you give up in the evening to go to bed earlier?

If you want to eat more healthfully, you have to decide multiple times a day what to eat and what not to eat, and you have to be clear not only in your decisions but in your criteria. What does eating more healthfully mean to you? There is always more tweaking to be done. Are you being too rigid? Too lax? Is paying attention making your choices better, or is it kicking up your cravings? 

What about your professional goals? Imagine you are building out a new offering. How do you stay on top of the new thing while still giving your time and attention to what already exists? How do you divide your time, allocate resources, or prioritize when your goals might seem to be competing?

Approaching it like a scientist

I was talking with one of our coaches this week about how she approaches her goals as a scientist, learning and tweaking, and making changes as she goes based on what she’s learned. She isn’t just learning; she is taking what she is learning and implementing it as she goes. This is a great example of radical intentionality.

What does success look like?

In the podcast I shared last week, Walter Green spoke of radical intentionality as asking the question, What would success look like? This is another great way to stay intentional, especially when it comes to interactions with others. I listened to the podcast before I went on a ski weekend. So I asked, What would a successful weekend look like? My answer was to have fun, connect with the people I was spending the weekend with, and feel good in my body on the way home. This ended up influencing my end-of-day decision not to hit the hardest runs with my husband because I know the end of the day is typically when I’m tired and am more likely to hurt myself. I was still sore from riding hard all weekend, but there were no injuries or end-of-day falls I would regret later.

The Tools

You probably have a lot more tools in your toolbelt for staying radically intentional than you realize. If you are a client of ours, you have your vision, goals, weekly commitments, your group, and your coach helping you stay on course. 

One powerful tool I’m always touting is tracking. Insight Timer, Calm, and Waking Up are popular for meditation. MyFitnessPal or food journaling are great for tracking food. Your Apple Watch, FitBit, MapMyRun, and so many others for movement. Clockify, Focus, and Forest all help you track focus time on work or projects. I’d recommend this blog post to learn about even more. The point is that there are a lot of apps to help you track because tracking works.

What do you want to be radically intentional about?

The most important thing is knowing what deserves your time and attention. What gets that level of energy and focus, and why? If you aren’t sure, I recommend taking a moment to ask yourself. Take a moment to sit and close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and tune inward. Once you feel your body relaxing and your breathing slow and steady, ask yourself, What do I want to be radically intentional about today? There’s your answer.